Apple takes down Quran app in China, prompting criticism

Apple takes down Quran app in China, drawing censorship criticisms
2 min read
Apple has taken down popular Quran and Bible Apps following requests from Chinese officials.
The app was removed [Getty]

Apple has removed a popular Quran and Bible apps from the App Store after a request from officials, prompting criticism across the world amid abuse allegations of China's Uighur Muslim citizens. 

Quran Majeed, an app which is used by millions of Muslims across the world, was removed for hosting "illegal religious texts", according to a report by the BBC.

Olive Tree’s Bible app was also taken down.

Monitoring website Apple Censorship first reported on the removal of the app.

The app’s maker, PDMS said: “According to Apple, our app Quran Majeed has been removed from the China App store because it includes content that requires additional documentation from Chinese authorities.”

It added: “We are trying to get in touch with the Cyberspace Administration of China and relevant Chinese authorities to get the issue resolved.” PDMS has some one million users in China.

The reasoning behind the removal of the app has not been made clear, and China has not released a statement about it.

The decision has prompted criticism about freedom of religion online.

Journalist Miriam Elder tweeted: “One day the history books will look back at how American companies compromised themselves during China’s campaign against its own Muslim population and Apple will certainly be there.”

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“[This] is the latest attack on mainstream Muslims in China,” said Muslim Council of Britain {MCB) spokesperson Miqdaad Versi, and the MCB added:

“The Quran is not an ‘illegal religious text’ and this is just another Islamophobic attack on Muslims in China by the Chinese government.”

Clampdown on religion.

China’s treatment of its Uighur Muslim population has been called  a form of “genocide” by rights groups and government organisations across the world.

Eye witness reports speak of Uighur Muslims being subjected to forced sterilisation, rape and abuse.

Uighur workers have reportedly been subjected to abusive and exploitative living and working conditions and many of them have even been forced to work in factories in Xinjiang, prompting several western brands to stop working with China.

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Rights groups say more than one million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim Turkic-speaking people have been incarcerated in internment camps across China's northwestern territory, with residents pressured to give up traditional and religious activities.

Recent reports and satellite imagery also suggest that around 16,000 mosques had been systematically destroyed or damaged in Xinjiang province by Chinese authorities.

Earlier this year US President Joe Biden added 10 Chinese companies to America’s blacklist over alleged human rights abuses and high-tech surveillance of Uighur Muslim citizens in Xinjiang.

China continues to deny all allegations.