The Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) recently launched the new and improved version of its Hijrah Siri-Homeseksualiti app which was made specifically for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community.
It also sparked a huge controversy among Malaysians thanks to its claim that it was able to help gay Muslims return to the “natural order of things”.
Read our coverage here:
Google Play: Out you go!
However, the app has since been pulled down by Google Play for its “attempt to deceive users or enable dishonest behavior” according to a report by The Guardian today.
In a statement to the British daily, Google said it would usually investigate an app whenever a report was lodged.
Whenever an app is flagged to us, we investigate against our Play store policies and if violations are found we take appropriate action to maintain a trusted experience for all.
Jakim did not respond to the said incident when approached by The Guardian for a comment at the time of writing.
In the past, JAKIM had posted a series of tweets urging Muslims to “say no to LGBT”.
Katakan Tidak Pada LGBT— JAKIM (@MyJAKIM) March 6, 2022
Dan janganlah kamu menghampiri zina, sesungguhnya zina itu adalah satu perbuatan yang keji dan satu jalan yang jahat (yang membawa kerosakan)
al-Isra : 17:32
Semoga Allah SWT mengampuni kita dan menjauhi kita daripada perbuatan yang keji dan mungkar. pic.twitter.com/WdbORDlWmW
Hijrah Diri ialah sebuah aplikasi inisiatif JAKIM bersama Yayasan Ihtimam Malaysia untuk bantu golongan LGBT kembali kepada fitrah.— JAKIM (@MyJAKIM) March 9, 2022
Buat masa ini hanya ada di Google Play Store.
Untuk muat turun, sil klik pautan di https://t.co/VjGJ7fsfIV pic.twitter.com/KJ7koDZ2M4
‘A dangerous precedent’
The move by Google has been lauded by Amnesty International Malaysia researcher Rachel Chhoa-Howard, who denounced the app as “dangerous and hateful”.
“Conversion therapy is a deeply discriminatory and harmful practice which can cause long-lasting damage to those who are subject to it. It has been criminalised in many countries.
We call on the Malaysian authorities to immediately abandon its use of Hijrah Diri, and instead ensure respect and protect LGBTI rights in the country.
Her sentiments were also echoed by LGBT+ rights group Pelangi Campaign founder Numan Afifi, who urged Google and other giant tech corporations to step up their content moderation efforts.
“Now that the general election is looming I am pretty sure that the demonisation of the LGBT community is going to get more intense, especially among those who are trying to [win] conservative votes,” he told The Guardian.
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