Saudi Arabia Apparently Objects to .Catholic, .Gay, .Bible, and 28 More Proposed New Top-Level Domains

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Aug. 16 2012 6:13 PM

Saudi Arabia Apparently Objects to .Catholic, .Gay, .Bible, and 28 More Proposed New Top-Level Domains

Saudi men perform their evening prayers inside a mosque.
Saudi men perform their evening prayers inside a mosque.

Photo by HASSAN AMMAR/AFP/Getty Images

In June, ICANN, the organization that wrangles Internet addresses, announced that almost 2,000 applications for new top-level domains—like .com, .edu, and .gov—had been filed by companies (or any group or individual that wanted to pay $185,000 per proposed domain). The BBC, for instance, applied for .bbc, while Google requested scores of domains, including the expected—.youtube and .android—and the surprising—like .dad.  

Torie Bosch Torie Bosch

Torie Bosch is the editor of Future Tense, a project of Slate, the New America Foundation, and Arizona State that looks at the implications of new technologies. 

ICANN set aside a seven-month period for review and for objections to proposed domains to be filed. The kingdom of Saudi Arabia apparently decided to take advantage of that and has now argued that 31 applications should be rejected—specifically, those that are related sex, alcohol, gambling, and Islam.

Advertisement

Here are all of the domains that user Abdulmjid, who says he is affiliated with the Communication and Information Technology Commission, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has raised issue with. In some cases, multiple companies filed for the same top-level domain, so Abdulmjid filed multiple objections.

.gay
.wtf
.sucks
.wine
.vodka
.virgin
.tattoo
.sexy
.sex
.pub
.porn
.poker
.hot
.dating
.casino
.bar
.baby
.africamagic
.adult
.ummah (an Arabic word meaning “community”)
. كاثوليك (Arabic for Catholic)
.tatar
.shia
.ismaili (a Shiite sect)
.islam
.imamat (“an Arabic word used to denote that religious authority over their affairs, and succession of leadership over the community, is passed down through the generations from one “imam” (leader) to the next,” says Abdulmjid)
.halal
.bible
.persiangulf
.gcc (short for Gulf Cooperation Council)
.style (though the comment actually seems to be about .tattoo)

In some cases, Abdulmjid is joined by other Muslims who say they object to requested top-level domains.  

In others, allies come from other faiths. For instance, Abdulmjid writes that the Vatican should not be granted .catholic because “many other Christians use the term ‘Catholic’ to refer more broadly to the whole Christian Church regardless of denominational affiliation. Other Christian communions lay claim to the term ‘catholic’ such as the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Church.” Another objector to .catholic points to the fact that the Church of England uses the word as well.

The entire database is worth browsing, especially the section on objections made on the grounds of community. .art and .church are particularly controversial.


Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

TODAY IN SLATE

History

Slate Plus Early Read: The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.

Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution

Transparent Is the Fall’s Only Great New Show

The XX Factor

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada

Now, journalists can't even say her name.

Doublex

Lena Dunham, the Book

More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.

What a Juicy New Book About Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric Fails to Tell Us About the TV News Business

Does Your Child Have Sluggish Cognitive Tempo? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

  News & Politics
History
Sept. 29 2014 11:45 PM The Self-Made Man The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 29 2014 7:01 PM We May Never Know If Larry Ellison Flew a Fighter Jet Under the Golden Gate Bridge
  Life
Dear Prudence
Sept. 29 2014 3:10 PM The Lonely Teetotaler Prudie counsels a letter writer who doesn’t drink alcohol—and is constantly harassed by others for it.
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 29 2014 11:43 PM Lena Dunham, the Book More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 29 2014 8:45 AM Slate Isn’t Too Liberal, but … What readers said about the magazine’s bias and balance.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 29 2014 9:06 PM Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice Looks Like a Comic Masterpiece
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 29 2014 11:56 PM Innovation Starvation, the Next Generation Humankind has lots of great ideas for the future. We need people to carry them out.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 29 2014 11:32 PM The Daydream Disorder Is sluggish cognitive tempo a disease or disease mongering?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.