The social media giants are becoming Sharia-compliant with alacrity. This is akin to Twitter’s sending out of Sharia blasphemy warnings from Pakistan, and Facebook’s assuring the government of Pakistan that it would remove material critical of Islam.
Absher is an app available via Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. The app has many features such as paying parking fines, registering a birth, or renewing a driving license. But one feature has led to an outcry from human rights campaigners – the ability for men to track and either permit or deny travelling plans made by women.
On February 21, 14 representatives from Congress wrote to both Google and Apple demanding removal of the app, alleging that “women fleeing persecution in Saudi Arabia had to defeat this application to leave the country and seek asylum.” The letter gave a deadline of February 28 to respond.
According to Business Insider, Google has now confirmed to Rep. Jackie Speier that they will not be removing the app from their Play Store, while Apple have yet to answer beyond stating that they are ‘investigating’. Google said that the app “does not violate any agreements and can therefore remain on the Google Play store.”