UAE app to provide Friday sermons in English and Urdu

A survey noted that over half of UAE respondents preferred an Urdu translation of Friday sermons. (AFP)
Updated 06 September 2018
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UAE app to provide Friday sermons in English and Urdu

  • The new service will enable non-Arabic speakers to follow Friday sermons in English and Urdu initially
  • Etisalat and Du are offering free data packages for the Friday sermon translation service users
DUBAI: An initiative to translate the content of Friday sermons in UAE mosques into multiple languages will be available from The General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments’ mobile application.
The new service will enable non-Arabic speakers to follow Friday sermons in English and Urdu initially. Efforts are being made to expand the scope of the initiative to include a choice of foreign languages.
The project is aimed at catering to the needs of the non-Arabic speaking community across the UAE and help them gain a better perspective of the values and teachings of Islam.
According to a survey, 55 percent of respondents preferred the translation of the Friday sermon in Urdu. Additionally, 92 per cent of the respondents were smartphone users.
The initiative is collaboration of the Department of Community Development, the Statistics Centre – Abu Dhabi, Etisalat and Du.
Etisalat and Du are offering free data packages for the Friday sermon translation service users via the ‘AWQAF’ mobile application. Listeners will be provided with free data packages and will be exempt from payment on using the service.


Indian journalist condemns Twitter for blocking account after abuse online

Updated 19 February 2019
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Indian journalist condemns Twitter for blocking account after abuse online

  • Dutt's account was blocked after she posted details of men who allegedly stalked and threatened her
  • Dutt accused Twitter of being “vile enablers of sexual abuse and violence”

MUMBAI/NEW DELHI: One of India’s best-known women journalists, Barkha Dutt, launched a scathing attack on Twitter Inc. on Tuesday for temporarily locking her account after she posted details of men who allegedly stalked and threatened her.
Dutt said some people had posted and circulated her phone number on Twitter, enabling the harassment, which she said included threats of rape and images of genitalia being sent to her phone.
Dutt tweeted some of the threats and images on Monday, and she included phone numbers and names of the men who allegedly threatened her, after which her account was suspended.
She posted her complaint against Twitter in a tweet on Tuesday, after her account was re-activated.
“I would like to place on record my absolute horror and disgust at Twitter’s encouragement of sexual abuse and gender inequality,” said Dutt, a former managing editor at news channel NDTV and a regular columnist with the Washington Post.
Dutt accused Twitter of being “vile enablers of sexual abuse and violence.”
Twitter said it did not comment on individual accounts for privacy and security reasons and it referred to its rules that users may not publish or post other people’s private information without their express authorization and permission.
“If we identify a Tweet that violates the Twitter Rules, there are a range of enforcement options we may pursue. These include requiring a user to delete a Tweet, and/or being temporarily locked out of their account before they can Tweet again,” a spokeswoman for Twitter said in an email.
The social media platform is already facing scrutiny in India.
Its chief executive, Jack Dorsey, has been called to appear before a parliamentary panel this month to discuss initiatives being taken to safeguard citizen’s rights on social media and online news platforms.
The hearing comes soon after the conservative Youth for Social Media Democracy group accused Twitter of left-wing bias and protested outside its office in New Delhi this month.
Dorsey did not appear at a hearing earlier this month.
A person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Tuesday the parliamentary panel had written an email to Dorsey, reiterating its demand that he appear at a Feb. 25 hearing.
Twitter declined to comment on whether Dorsey would attend.
Social media giants in India are being put under greater scrutiny ahead of a general election due before May, in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his ruling party are seeking re-election.
Several social media companies are overhauling policies to curb misinformation ahead of the vote.