The hatred for Muslims or anti-Muslim sentiment, known has Islamophobia, has been on the rise in recent months. There has also been several campaigns in different countries, especially on social networks, speaking for Muslims and against Islamophobia. As a way to address this Islamic crisis, a UK- based Nigerian, Yusuf Hassan, teamed up with a co-founder to create the first of its kind ever done by a Nigerian, a Muslim-only social network called Tutlub.
The app is aimed at connecting Muslims worldwide through prayers; giving them an online platform to supplicate, communicate and learn together as an online Muslim family. Tutlub application was created in beta versions of its free mobile app for Android users as well. The CEO of Tutlub, Hassan, says the prevalence of anti-Muslim sentiments on mainstream social media platforms was his inspiration to create a social network where Muslims can interact with more freedom.
As Muslims, we have two major categories of social groups. The first social group is our Muslim social group. We meet up with friends and families who share the same belief with us. With this set of people it’s the religion affiliation that forms the basics of our social interactions.
On the other hand, we sometimes mingle with cross-platform of people including classmates, colleagues at work, business partners and extended families who might share or might not share the same religious belief as we do. The way, manner and amount of religious discussions with these two sets of social groups will be different. Tutlub represent the first Muslim social group whilst Facebook exemplified the second mixed social group,” said Yusuf Hassan.
Meanwhile, Hassan has been involved in similarly projects. Five years ago, he set up NextUmmah, a UK technology company which develops made–by-Muslims-for-Muslims digital products. Asides Tutlub, Hassan’s company has developed an online marketplace for Muslim fashion and is also developing a Muslim digital radio.
Tutlub allows its users to create profiles and interact, with religious affiliation forming the basis of their interaction. Users can also engage in extensive religious conversations which, according to Hassan, might be misconstrued on mainstream platforms. The app also provides a medium for Muslims who will love to post and engage with Islamic content but are unable to do so because of fear of being labelled as fundamentalist. Hassan also believes that Tutlub can solve a crucial problem such as the extremist groups, as Boko Haram, which over the years, has increased its ranks by radicalizing young Muslims across countries.
Given the popularity and widespread use of social media sites across the world, terrorist groups have targeted the sites as new grounds for spreading their propaganda and recruiting new members,” he said.
As a solution to this, Tutlub will be connecting users with verified and vetted religious leaders to request for prayers or advice. By so doing we will be helping in our own way to solve the problem of indoctrination through social networks by providing moderate, vetted and verified Muslim leaders for users to ask questions.
This will show true modern values of Islam and support Muslim individuals at risk of misinformation by extremist groups.”
Tutlub is hoping to follow the path of similar Muslim-only networks like Muslimface.com which sets up shop in the Middle East and South East Asia. Hassan says Tutlub will focus on Nigeria which is the world’s fifth largest population of Muslims, and then extend to other Muslim countries.
We believe our success in Nigeria will help us to penetrate and scale faster in other countries.” He said.
Tutlub for Android devices is available fro download on Google Play Store. Click here to download.
Sources: QUARTZ, Tutlub.com