Application Comment Details

Communication and Information Technology Commission, Kindom of Saudi Arabia
Fondation Aga Khan (Aga Khan Foundation)
Community Objection Ground
Objection to the use of .ISMAILI
12 August 2012 at 12:49:45 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

The followers of the Muslim faith, who number approximately some 1.5-2 billion worldwide, are primarily split into two theological groups: the “sunni” and the “shia” Muslims. The “sunni” being the majority sect.

The shia group is divided into many sects and the Ismaili sect is one such sect. The Ismaili sect contains a number of further sub-sects, including the Aga Khani Nizari Ismailis, the Khoja Ismailis, the Mustaali Ismailis, the Dawoodi Bohra Ismailis, the Sulaimani Bohra Ismailis, the Sulaimani Bohra Ismailis, the Alavi Bohra Ismailis, the Hebtiahs Bohra Ismailis and the Atba-i-Malak Ismailis.

Millions of people within these sub-sects identify themselves as Ismaili. The current applicant represents only one of these sub-sects, the Aga Khani Nizari Ismailis – we believe that none of the other sub-sects accepts that group as representative. No one applicant which is pursuing the interests of only one of the many Ismaili sub-sects should therefore be permitted to monopolise, and have sole control over, this gTLD. Given its sensitivity and the potential for sectarian conflict, we would recommend that this gTLD be withdrawn altogether.

We believe that any and all gTLD applications for any name in relation to 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 such an important grouping name to one group, unjustly elevating its influence above others and permit that group to solely represent a spectrum of different people.

The current applicant cannot demonstrate that it represents the whole Ismaili community; it only represents the single Aga Khani Nizari sub-sect. Any letters provided in support are from this one sub-sect only.

Therefore, we strongly request that ICANN not award this gTLD string.