Application Comment Details

Communication and Information Technology Commission, Kindom of Saudi Arabia
Asia Green IT System Bilgisayar San. ve Tic. Ltd. Sti.
Community Objection Ground
Objection to the use of .HALAL as a gTLD
12 August 2012 at 10:42:52 UTC

The Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) is the information and communications technology sector (ICT) regulator in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (SA).

Amongst its roles and responsibilities include:

• Granting licenses in the ICT sector

• Protection of users’ rights

• Setting service quality standards

• Preparation of policies, regulatory frameworks and studies of ICT sector in SA

• domain name administration in SA

• Increasing the information security awareness level in SA

• Supervision of the National Committee for Information Society in SA

Halal (Arabic: حلال‎ ḥalāl, "permissible") is a term designating any object or an action which is permissible to use or engage in, according to Islamic law. The term is used to designate food or actions deemed permissible according to Islamic law. The opposite of this word is haraam.

Approximately 50 countries are Muslim-majority. With over 1.5 to 2 billion followers amounting to approximately 25% of the earth's population, Islam is the second-largest and one of the fastest-growing religions in the world.

The applicant does not and in fact cannot represent the whole or even a majority of the worldwide Muslim community and is not an appropriate authority in Islamic law to give advice in relation to what is and what is not “Halal” in accordance with Islamic law.

Further, to approve the application to a private entity in respect of such a “string” could cause distress and division in the Islamic community at-large.

We believe that any and all gTLD applications for any name in relation to practices of a religion or a specific community should be presented to the whole of that community for evaluation before an application is denied or granted. If this cannot be accomplished then such names should be restricted completely from being used as gTLD's.

Failure to do so would give the use and control of an important religious practice to one group, unjustly elevating its influence above others.

The current applicant cannot demonstrate that it possesses a monopoly over the term "halal" nor can it demonstrate that its intended ownership of that term is accepted by Muslims around the world or that it has appropriate standing in relation to this matter.

To allow this string to be registered would be offensive to many people and societies as well as potentially divisive.

We therefore urge ICANN not to approve this sensitive gTLD name, unless the applicant receives the endorsement or support of all Muslim majority countries.