As Islam is the most widely practised religion in Southeast Asia, the demand for products that are halal, meaning they were made and can be used in accordance with Islamic rules and values, continues to increase in the region. Digital services are no exception.
Enter SalamWeb, a Malaysian tech startup that aims to deliver a Muslim-friendly browsing experience—one that could be for anyone who wants to filter negative content when they are surfing the web. SalamWeb relies on community-vetted content filters that mark web pages as appropriate, neutral, or inappropriate. It alerts users if they are about to visit a web page that contains materials involving pornography, alcohol, gambling, and other Islamic vices, as reported by Singapore’s The Business Times.
“We want to make the internet a better place,” said SalamWeb’s managing director Hasni Zarina Mohamed Khan. “We know the internet has the good and the bad, so SalamWeb offers you a tool to create this window that lets you go to the internet to see the good.”
Khan is an experienced business and community leader. Before establishing SalamWeb, she was the CEO of Kuala Lumpur-based IT company Touch ’n Go, as well as the deputy CEO of the Halal Industry Development Corporation, which was created by the Malaysian government to cultivate and promote the nation’s halal commercial standards.
According to Khan, the current users of SalamWeb are from Malaysia and Indonesia, both of which have large Muslim populations. However, she aims to have 10% of the 1.8 billion global Muslim population using SalamWeb, and also tap users who may not be part of Islam. “We’re promoting universal values—although SalamWeb is targeted to Muslims, it can be used by anyone.”
SalamWeb is certified by the independent Amanie Shariah Supervisory Board, which is composed of four internationally respected shariah scholars. The browser is built using the open-source Chromium software. The app is also equipped with Muslim-specific functions, including listings of prayer times, an Islamic content aggregator, as well as a compass for Qibla, the direction that Muslims must face while praying.
Editor: Brady Ng