Navigating the web while observing hijab
Currently, Tahir works in Chrome and Firefox, but the developers plan to expand to other browsers and languages. The Chrome web store lists the extension as having just short of 1,000 users. The code is free and available open source on GitHub.
Going forward, the team wants to predict harmful images. “The idea is basically to take the images on a website and use a computer vision API to detect if there is any human in the image (e.g. detect skin), and if there is, it would automatically blur it,” Ibn Adam said. “There are some APIs that claim to detect nudity or partial nudity, such as WebPurify, but it is not clear if it fully falls within Islamic standards.”
While a small sample, one review on the Chrome web store reads: “As an artist and art enthusiast, Tahir is very helpful! I can now blur images, especially artworks posted online, and guess which ones are good for me to look at by reading the picture’s description.” Another says, “Great idea to remove distractions.”
According to Mufti AbdulMannan Nizami, one of the founders of Al Firdaus Foundation, which provides Islamic education for young students, Islam encourages advancements on condition they abide by the teachings of Islam. Excessive image exposure can lead to vanity through a culture of gathering followers and garnering likes around how an image is presented.
“A key rule to bear in mind while utilizing social media and other communication tools is the use should be similar to how a person would generally execute the action in life,” Mufti Nizami said. “So if I’m texting or commenting on something, the same etiquette of manners, character and conduct should be conducted online as they are offline.”
As for myself, Tahir has had a side effect on my productivity and mindfulness online: I’m less prone to click images just because they seem interesting on the surface.
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