.islam

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Status: Proposed
Type: Community
Category: Culture
PIC Submitted: Download Here
Priority #: 564 - Asia Green IT System Bilgisayar San. ve Tic. Ltd. Sti.

.islam is a proposed Community TLD in ICANN's New gTLD Program. The applicant is Asia Green IT System Bilgisayar San. ve Tic. Ltd. Sti..[1]

The application is effectively on hold until the applicant gains support from organizations that are currently objecting to the string.

Application Details

The application is a Community Priority Application. The applicant notes that they are a Muslim-owned and operated company, and that they reside in a predominantly Mulsim country, Turkey. "Registrants must electronically accept that they have pronounced the Shahadah (declaration of faith) which states, “I testify that there is no god except for the God [Allah], and I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of the God... We will ask all members to honor Islamic Culture, Heritage and rules. We will also require registrants to ensure that websites hosted within the .ISLAM gTLD do not violate the sensitivities of the Muslim Community. These requirements will be enforced through the [Acceptable Use Policy] and other contracts registrants must sign with their registrars prior to the registration of a domain name...AGITSys will randomly audit domain names registered in the .ISLAM gTLD to ensure compliance with all eligibility and use criteria. If a violation is discovered, an investigation will begin immediately to rectify said violation. Penalties for violation range from suspension of a domain, to removal of the domain name from the TLD and blacklisting of the registrant, preventing them from being able to register any other names in the .ISLAM TLD."[2]

The applicant has also applied for .pars, .halal, and .shia

Objection & PIC

Saudi Arabia's Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) filed an objection against the TLD.[3]

The application was issued 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.[4]

The Indian warning states that the applicant does not at all address the over 120 million Muslims in India and that there is the possibility of creating tensions in the country's Muslim and non-Muslim populations through the implementation of the string. It claims that the string is too sensitive to allow remediation of the issue and recommends withdrawing the application.[5]

The UAE warning states that the applicant is a commercial entity with limited community support coming largely from one country, not the International Islamic community. It notes the size and diversity of the community and the difficulty to represent it, especially by commercial entities. It notes that it could support this string if it was submitted by a reputable IGO with community support.[6]

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 meant that the ICANN Board now had to decide the fate of the application without strong consensus advice from GAC.[7]

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.[8]

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."

Independent Objector

The Independent Objector (IO) is a non-partisan, contracted appointee whose role was mandated by the applicant guidebook for ICANN's New gTLD Program, and who is responsible for officially objecting to new gTLDs that are dangerous to the public good. This process also involves reviewing "controversial applications," those that have received significant public comments, and investigating whether a public need for objection is provided for tin these comments. Thus, the Independent Objector issued a preliminary report on .islam, noting that most of the comments against the TLD focus on the lack of legitimacy the private entity has in representing a diffuse Islamic community with the .islam TLD. The IO works through the arguments and importance for internationally recognized rights for religious diversity, and his correspondence with the applicant to assuage any concerns, and concludes that the .islam TLD will not be objected to by him given that it seems like a boon to religious diversity on the Internet and not a detriment.[9]

Community Objection

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of the United Arab Emirates filed a community objection against this application.[10] ICC panelist Bernardo M. Cremades decided on 24 October 2013 that the applicant prevailed and the objection was dismissed.[11]

References