Social networking site Salamworld to provide a safe Internet environment for Muslims.
KUALA LUMPUR - COME this year's Ramadan month in July, a "halal" social networking site called "Salamworld" will open its doors to netizens.
At the very basic, it aims to become an Islamic alternative to the hugely popular Facebook site.
The key to this is to make it a safe site that is free of everything that is haram or forbidden -- pornography, criminal activities, fraud, paedophilia and advertisements on gambling and alcohol.
It was launched in Istanbul, Turkey amid a gathering of Islamic leaders and intellectuals recently.
A promo video that outlined the idea behind Salamworld said: "By filtering out harmful content, and by making the content uphold and respect family values, we confirm to the requirements of Muslims throughout the world.
"At Salamworld, our aim is to overcome all political, language and cultural barriers, to open the world to Muslims, and open Muslims to the world."
This Islamic network aims to garner 50 million users in three years. In an interview with the Hürriyet Daily News, one of its owners, Siberian Muslim businessman Abdulvahed Nizayov said: "Muslims in the world are not well-represented on the Internet; we want to change this situation.
"However, we're not constructing an Internet mosque, we are just creating a halal environment for Muslims."
A number of prominent leaders from the Islamic world have joined forces with Abdulvahed's group to develop the site, which is being funded to the tune of tens of millions of dollars by a group of Russian and Turkish investors.
Malaysian Jumaatun Azmi (right), the founder-director of the World Halal Forum and the face behind KasehDia, is one of the latest additions to Salamworld's board of directors.
"I am helping them fine tune it. The main thing I want to push on the agenda is to make it universal, for Muslims and non-Muslims."
"Salam means peace in Islam and Salamworld is about just that - creating a safe, peaceful world that is free from haram (things that are forbidden in Islam) for everyone.
"And the thing that we're concerned about is that (so far) only the extremists are being heard as the voice of Islam.
"They are louder than the silent, peaceful majority that makes up the Islamic world," she added.
"That's why Salamworld, while being free of all that is haram, is geared towards providing the moderate and peaceful majority a platform for safe interaction and discourse. "This would mean that there will be a lot of censorship involved.