Tuesday, July 06, 2021
Web Desk

Muslim women in India horrified to discover website 'selling and auctioning' them

'Sulla' or 'Sulli' is a derogatory term used to refer to Muslims

Web Desk
A social media user shared an image showing her personal details on Sulli Deal app.
A social media user shared an image showing her personal details on Sulli Deal app.

Indian women were horrified to see their pictures, Twitter handles and names shared on a website which was "auctioning and selling them" Sunday.

The contact details of Muslim women shared on the website, Sulli Deals, were posted on an "auction list". Sulla or Sulli is a derogatory term used to refer to Muslims in India.

Why is the app problematic?

The issue came to light when women saw their profiles on the websites being shared on social media, by some users as their Sulli "deal of the day".

The platform had a repository of open source codes. The app 'Sulli Deals' was created and hosted by GitHub. As per Indian media reports, it had been active for the past 20 days or so. After the outrage on social media, Github pulled the website down.

Once a user would open the app, it would post a message asking him/her to 'Find your sulli deal of the day'. The photo of a Muslim woman, as your 'sulli deal of the day' would then be shared with the user. These photos were most likely shared from the social media accounts of the women.

A pilot, Hana Mohsin Khan, spoke to Indian website The Quint about her reaction when she got to know that she had been profiled.

"I was shocked to see my face being right there, displayed as the deal of the day," revealed the pilot.

Netizens lashed out at the website for violating basic norms and rules of privacy, by posting women's pictures, Twitter handles and names without their permission. The users of the website had the option of sharing the picture of the woman with titles like, "Your sulli deal of the day is..."

GitHub, after the backlash on social media, took the website down on Monday. The company spokesperson said in a statement to The Print:

"GitHub has long-standing policies against content and conduct involving harassment, discrimination and inciting violence. We suspended user accounts following the investigation of reports of such activity, all of which violate our policies," it said.

What is so special about the timing of the incident?

The misogynistic incident comes to light a few weeks before the country, and the world, marks Eid-ul-Adha. However, what's strange is that last year before Eid-ul-Fitr, a Youtube Channel "Liberal Doge" streamed Eid pictures of Muslim women and 'auctioned' women online based on these pictures.

The channel was taken down after people posted complaints with police.