.halal

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Status: Proposed
Manager: Halalan Tayyiban Corp.
Type: Generic
Category: Culture
PIC Submitted: Download Here
Priority #: 1695 - Asia Green IT System Bilgisayar San. ve Tic. Ltd. Sti.

.halal is a proposed Niche TLD in ICANN's new gTLD program. It is intended to be an extension for the Islamic community looking for halal products and services.[1] "Halal" means "lawful" in Arabic, and it is used to designate an object or action that is permissible in Islamic law, especially foods.[2]The applicant is Asia Green IT System Bilgisayar, and they are using CoCCA for technical registry services.

The application is a community priority application. Halal (Arabic: حلال‎ ḥalāl, ʺlawfulʺ) 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 seen as permissible according to Islamic law. However, given that there are a variety of Islamic sects, and that regional interpretations of the law vary widely, creating definitive and universal lists of what is halal is problematic.[3] Still, many tenets of what is halal are widely accepted.[4] Intended registrants extend to "manufacturers of soups, grains, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, prepared foods, and other products, as well as hotels, restaurants, airlines, hospitals, and other service providers."

"AGITSYS is founded, owned and managed by Muslim people. AGITSys uses the expertise of the Muslim technical men, and it is incorporated in Turkey, one of the countries with the majority of Muslim people (98% Muslims)...Registrations in the .HALAL will be restricted to 1) those who can produce a copy of a halal certificate demonstrating that the goods and services they provide meet the generally accepted hahal standard and⁄or 2) all goods and service providers headquartered and operating in Islamic countries as they are deemed halal by their ability to operate in an Islamic country."[5]

The applicant has a number of endorsement letters from Halal associations, organizations, and authorities; many of these are Shia-identifying.[6] The applicant has also applied for .shia, .pars, and .islam.

Objection & PIC

Saudi Arabia's Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) filed an objection against the TLD.[7]

The application recieved two GAC Early Warnings, from India and The United Arab Emirates. The warning system is noted as a strong recommendation on behalf of national governments to the ICANN Board that a given TLD application should be denied as it stands. Applicants are encouraged to work with objecting GAC members.[8]

The UAE warning states that the applicant is a commercial entity trying to have exclusive rights over a religious term affecting a global population, and that their letters of community support and their own network account for only a small percentage of this global network. It recommends the applicant withdraw its application as it doesn't see it possible to adequately represent the Islamic community concerned about the halal issues. It notes that this string could be supported had a well regarded IGO applied for the string.[9]

India's warning notes that the applicant needs stricter measures of security to ensure the validity of its services and registrants, and must demonstrate that it intends to follow India's codified Halal laws.[10]

ICANN Board Decisions

Since the GAC provided individual government's advice on this TLD and not a GAC consensus objection, ICANN Board Chair Steve Crocker asked the GAC to provide further consensus advice on the application. However, after the conclusion of ICANN 48 in Buenos Aires, GAC Chair Heather Dryden wrote to Mr. Crocker informing him that the GAC would provide no further advice on the .islam and .halal strings. This means that the ICANN Board will now have to decide the fate of the application without strong consensus advice from GAC.[11]

In February 2014, Mr. Crocker wrote to the applicant saying that the NGPC will not review the application further until an agreement has been reached between the applicant and the Organization for Islamic Cooperation. This effectively puts the application on hold until the applicant can gain support from the objecting governments and organizations.[12]

Community Objection

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of the United Arab emirates The Gulf Cooperation Council filed a community objection against this application.[13] However, the applicant prevailed and the objection was dismissed by the ICC. The determination was published on 4 November 2013.[14]

PIC

The applicant subsequently submitted a Public Interest Commitment (PIC), which, in part, states: "a. Registry Operator does its outmost to ensure that WHOIS data is verified, authentic and publicly accessible.
b. Registry Operator does its most to limit second-level domain registrations to those of Muslim faith, or those with a clear interest in serving the Muslim community and faith beneficially.
c. Registry Operator will not tolerate any illegitimate and non-legal activity such as terrorism, online counterfeiting and piracy, radical content, content that criticizes Islam and the Muslim faith. Immediate and severe action will be taken against registrants promulgating either, and a black list will be created in an attempt to pre-empt any such attempts. Registry operator will fully cooperate with any authorities that have jurisdiction over it in this regards.
d. While the Registry Operator cannot guaranty to prevent all illegitimate and non-legal activities, but will do all possible or utmost to prevent these activities by implementing protection measures for registrations to ensure an abuse free environment whilst maintaining choice."[15]

References