Apple has removed one of the most popular Quran apps from its app store in China for hosting “illegal texts.”
The U.S. company removed the Quran Majeed app earlier this month, according to the website Apple Censorship which monitors Apple’s App Store activities.
Pakistan Data Management Services (PDMS), Quran Majeed’s developer, says it has more than 25 million users around the world.
The app is also available on Android, but Google’s Play Store is not available in China.
Quran Majeed’s publicity states: “Beautify your life with the blessing of reading and listening to the Quran on the go with an an amazing Quran app ‘Quran Majeed.’ Proofread by a Muslim Islamic scholar (A’lim), Quran Majeed app offers complete Quran in the elegant Uthmanic and IndoPak script with multiple audio recitations and translations which makes it a must have app for every Muslim.”
PDMS told the BBC the app was removed for hosting illegal texts.
“According to Apple, our app Quran Majeed has been removed from the China App Store because it includes content that is illegal,” the company said. “We are trying to get in touch with the Cyberspace Administration of China and relevant Chinese authorities to get this issue resolved.”
PDMS said the app has about one million users in China.
Apple declined to comment, but directed attention to its human rights policy, which states: “We’re required to comply with local laws, and at times there are complex issues about which we may disagree with governments.”
Over the past few years China has been heavily criticised by human rights organisations for cracking down on the religious sanctities of Muslims.
In a report earlier this year, Amnesty International said that:
- Hundreds of thousands of Muslim men and women have been subjected to mass internment and torture.
- Millions of Muslims have been subjected to systematised mass surveillance.
- Muslim ethnic groups have been forced to abandon their religious traditions, cultural practices and local languages.