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JAKIM’s gay conversion app banned on Google Play for breaching the platform’s guidelines

Source: Play Store & Malaysiakini

The Islamic Development Department (JAKIM) has recently launched an app to help the LGBTQ community to return to their “normal” sexual nature. However, it was soon taken down by Google from it’s Play Store.

According to The Guardian, the app “Hijrah Diri” was removed from the online store after it was found to have breached the platform’s guidelines.

In Google’s statement to the news portal, it said the removal came after they received a complaint.

“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,” Google said.

According to Play Store’s guidelines, apps that attempt “to deceive users or enable dishonest behaviour”, including apps that are found “to be functionally impossible” are not allowed on the platform.

As of the time of writing, JAKIM has yet to respond to the incident.

It was reported that the app was first launched in July 2016, but it only gained the attention of the public after JAKIM announced its existence on social media this week.

Commenting on the matter, Rachel Chhoa-Howard a researcher from Amnesty International said the app was 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,” she said.

On the other hand, Numan Afifi, the founder of LGBTQ rights group Pelangi Campaign, echoed the same sentiment and urged the tech giants to improve the moderation of content they host on their platforms.

“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 said.

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