Apple removed from its App Store a free program to read the Koran (Muslim bible), one of the most popular in the world, at the request of the government of China, according to the British state broadcaster BBC.
The Quran Majeed app has about 150,000 reviews on the App Store and is used free of charge by millions of Muslims around the world, the broadcaster says.
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Although the Chinese government has not responded to the BBC’s request for clarification, the station claims that the app was possibly removed for hosting religious texts considered illegal in the Asian country.
The program’s exclusion was discovered by the Apple Censorship website, which globally monitors the apps available on the Apple Store.
A statement issued by PDMS, the producer of Quran Majeed, quoted by the BBC, says that the company founded by Steve Jobs has removed the app from the App Store in China “because it includes content that requires additional documentation from Chinese authorities.” The company says in the statement reproduced by the British broadcaster that it has about one million users in China.
The BBC recalls that the Chinese Communist Party, which runs the country, officially recognizes Islam as a religion. However, China has been accused of human rights violations and even genocide against the mostly Muslim Uyghur ethnic group in the Xinjiang region.
Apple declined to comment on the app’s removal, but told the broadcaster that its human rights policy would make it mandatory to “comply with local laws and sometimes disagree with governments when there are problematic issues.”
The producer of Quran Majeed tells the BBC that “it is trusted by more than 35 million Muslims around the world”.
That is, China is one of Apple’s biggest markets, and the company produces its devices, including the iPhone, in Chinese factories.
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