Apple has removed a popular Quran app from its Chinese app store at the behest of state censors, according to the company behind the app.
Quran Majeed — a reader app for the Muslim sacred text with nearly one million users in China — was removed from Apple’s Chinese app store at the request of the Cyberspace Administration of China, the app’s developer told The Post on Friday.
It’s unclear exactly why Chinese authorities allegedly asked Apple to remove the app, but the country’s government is known to discriminate against Muslims. China has demolished mosques, imprisoned Uighur Muslims in detention camps and allegedly forced Muslim women to undergo abortions in what some of the country’s critics say is a campaign of genocide.
Apple did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the app’s removal, which was first reported by the BBC.
“Quran Majeed app was removed from the China app store,” said Hasan Shafiq Ahmed, a spokesperson for the Pakistan-based developer behind the app, in an email to The Post. “Apple advised us to contact the Cyberspace Administration of China.”
“We are trying to get in touch with [cyberspace administration] and relevant Chinese authorities to move forward so Quran Majeed app can be restored,” he added.
The Cyberspace Administration of China did not immediately return a call from The Post requesting comment.
The Council on American–Islamic Relations, a Washington, DC-based civil rights group, accused Apple of enabling genocide and called on the company to reverse the decision.
“Apple is enabling China’s religious persecution, including the ongoing genocide of Uyghur Muslims,” said the group’s national deputy director, Edward Ahmed Mitchell, in a statement. “If American corporations don’t grow a spine and stand up to China right now, they risk spending the next century subservient to the whims of a fascist superpower.”
This is not the first time Apple has been accused of bowing to the Chinese government’s demands for censorship.
Earlier this year, human rights researchers found that Apple bans Chinese customers from engraving phrases like “human rights,” “freedom of the press” and references to the Dalai Lama and Tiananmen Square massacre on its devices.
And in 2019, Apple allegedly helped Hong Kong police suppress pro-democracy protesters by banning an app used to organize protests.