Google Now Showing Suggestions for “Islam Is”

Google No Longer Censoring Islam Is Suggestions

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Update: Google is now showing suggestions for "Islam is". They can be seen in the screenshot below.

Google - Islam is...

Original Article: Every now and then, someone spots an oddity in Google’s suggestions. Some are funny. Some are disturbing, and some are just weird. Alex Wilhelm at The Next Web has discovered an interesting behavior in Google Suggest involving religion.

With most major religions, you will get suggestions from Google when you type in a query like "example is". If you type "christianity is", or "judaism is" you will get suggestions (which some will no doubt find controversial in themselves), but when you type "islam is", you get nothing.

Here are a few screenshots for different examples of such queries:


Google - Hinduism is

Google - Judaism is

Google - Buddhism is

Google - Christianity is

Google - Atheism is

Google - Islam is

To be fair, there are other religions that don’t yield suggestions, but all of the biggest ones besides Islam do.

The phenomenon has raised a few eyebrows. Wilhem himself says, "Google is systematically blocking, it seems, all search suggestions for Islam. Why? To remove the chance of an adherent of the faith from being offended by a perhaps severe search suggestion? Why not treat all search terms equally?"

He thinks that either "A: Google is horribly broken and this is evidence of that or B: They seem to be tampering with results."

Danny Sullivan, one of the most influential voices in the search industry weighed in on the conversation, saying, "Google is horribly broken. That’s my call. And they do such a piss poor job explaining why these types of things happen (sometimes not even trying at all) that it’s easier to believe B, that they’re tampering with search suggestions."

He points to a piece he wrote about Google Suggest and Climategate, "Many people are convinced that Google messed with the suggestions for that," says Sullivan. "Google was adamant they did not. I still believe they didn’t. I also can only tell you from covering Google over the years that things like this are far more likely to be because they are indeed screw ups than that they are intentionally aiming to do so."

A query for "islam is" returns about 3,140,000 results. Others have pointed out that there are no suggestions for queries like "Larry Page is" or "Sergey Brin is", although Sullivan is careful to point out that there are plenty for "Google is," and they’re not all the most positive things in the world.

What do you make of Google’s suggestions or lack thereof? Share your thoughts here.

Google Now Showing Suggestions for “Islam Is”
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  • Guest

    Yet another reason to use IntelliFetch at http://www.repubx.com. Give it a try .. think you’ll like it.

    • Guest

      Think there’s some modding going on there, too?

  • Scott B in DC

    This happens because too many @$$holes type this into Google and Google uses as top suggestions to other people who may be searching for the same concepts. It’s all automated and capable of being corrupted by corrupt and morally bankrupt people–including those who misguidedly believes this is a conspiracy!

  • Guest

    they just want to bomb AMERICANS’

  • Guest

    No suggestions for “Muslims are” neither.

  • GuestUserName

    Google wants to avoid this because Muslims are very very very hypersensitive touchy about the appearance of their religion. If they were to see the phrase “Islam is bad” on the page they would instantly go bat-dung crazy and start killing infidels at random. Even a cartoonist who doodles Allah on paper can threaten the sanctity of this supposedly mighty Allah. So weak and so vulnerable that Muslims feel threatened by ink on paper. Their anger betrays their lack of confidence in their own beliefs and culture. It’s a collective inferiority syndrome.

  • Guest

    Never thought in recent times I would come to the defence of Google. For example they are self proclaimed climate alarmists and I am a sceptic, just so you know where I am coming from. I use them for lack of better. But in all fairness type in climate… under Google news and very recently Climate gate has overtaken Climate change. I have also tried the difference between Google, Yahoo and Bing and these are the findings of my quick and dirty test:
    Google is the most relevant
    Yahoo is biased towards the climate alarmists, i.e. search for Climate gate and the most relevant and recent articles you can find on Google can not be found but there are plenty of generic climate change articles.
    Bing seems objective, but fails to find relative information.

    As for the Islamic thing, well I would do the same. Better say nothing than being at the centre of a controversy that results in 80 deaths and flag burnings in riots

    • Guest

      “As for the Islamic thing, well I would do the same. Better say nothing than being at the centre of a controversy that results in 80 deaths and flag burnings in riots

      • tiggsy

        Which would be much more impressive if you weren’t an anonymous “guest”

        If, as as has been stated, it only works in English, and since Arabic is the Islamic holy language, I suspect you need to test the query in Arabic and get the same non-response to be able to make the case for corporate cowardice.

  • http://www.tag44.com Tag44

    Thanks for the post and for sharing the news related to what Google shows for the term “Islam is”

  • Silence Dogood

    Google is just as much a coward dhimmi as the Obama administration.

  • Guest

    google now serving cowardliness !

  • Willard

    Whatever it is it’s not censorship. Try “Mohammed was a” and tell me Google cares about islam’s feelings.

  • Guest

    islam has “is” in it, so I’ll buy it being a screwup of the algorithm

    • Hoblit

      I actually came in here to write the very same thing. I figured the word ‘is’ and the beginning of the word ISlam had something to do with breaking the algorithm.

      Uh…great minds ?

      (Well, maybe YOU.)


      • Hoblit

        Also worth noting here is that you can type in Muslim Is and get suggestions.

        ALMOST the very same thing… so ..why one and not the other?

        Broken algorithm.


  • Guest

    The same thing can be seen when using many other words starting with the letters “is.” For example, “isosceles is” also has no quicksearch suggestions

    Google is not systematically blocking anything. There’s simply an inconvenient hole in the quicksearch.

    …unless you think that google is scared of triangles.

  • http://www.webstar.my Bats

    For example for Malaysian / Indonesian, you can type “Islam itu…”. Itu means “is” or equivalent in Malay language or indonesia. Malay and Indonesia speaks a similar languange. You may find something equivalent to all those search in “Islam is…” if you use “Islam itu…” but unfortunately can only be understood by those who understand the language.

  • sf

    So you really want us to believe Google’s auto-suggestion just *happened* to have a random glitch that affects ONLY the query “Islam is..”??

    Damn, that’s a hellofa coincidence, dontcha think??

    What crap–as Chris speculated, the real reason is that the pencil-necks at Google are scared sh*tless of getting their delicate widdle heads cut off if some Islamo-fanatic got offended by an *honest* list of searches for the term.

    Yeah, keep pushing that story of “Oh, gee, it just *broke aw by itself*” you cowards.

  • sf

    For the commenter who suggested it’s just a buggy algorithm because the term “Islam” contains the word “is”, then shouldn’t the query “Israel is…” also return no suggestions?

    Anybody out there wanna bet on how that experiment turned out??

    How long are people gonna keep making excuses for cowards?

  • http://www.azhariqbal.com SEO Pakistan Dubai

    That’s Surprising, As you mentioned Islam is one of four widely known religions and it is the only one not suggested by Google :)

    May be it depends on the volume of search.

  • Guest

    I think it’s because they don’t want to offend them, unlike other religions they had a massive protest just over a cartoon comic.

    • Guest

      Those who don’t want to “offend” people because of threatened “protests” is a coward. And those who threaten “protests” (which is really another word for thuggery and extortion), are exactly the kinds of people who SHOULD be offended and resisted as much as possible.
      If I had been living in the 1930s, I would not have refrained from making fun of Adolf Hitler because the Nazis would have been “offended” by it.

  • Andy

    Try this one:

  • Alann

    …submission to Allah. Nothing else.

    Yes, it’s been hijacked in some places, not least due to CIA funding of a radical and violent version in Afghanistan (to get them fighting the Russians). Didn’t work out too well in the end though, did it?

    As a Muslim myself, allow me to explain a couple of points you probably don’t know. Firstly, Islam finds you, you don’t find Islam. As such you cannot force anyone to convert, for it must come from inside. What comes? Submission to Allah, which, as well as the obvious, means leading a life of peace.

    That does not preclude self-defense though.

    As for the Google thing, I’ll go with the “is” in the name. Seems to screw up other queries as well.

    • Steve B


      It isn’t only Islam that Google shows “offensive” results for…so don’t take it personal and don’t get into some CIA funding nonsense.

      Also, the bottom line is those suggestions are showing because they are searched for so often. It’s not Google’s fault – it’s the people’s faults for searching those terms.

  • http://www.efouz.com Sulaiman Alhasawi

    I typed Islam and found many suggestions . After I clicked the word Islam, I found “104,000,000” results.

  • http://www.bigseotechniques.com abs

    As the quickest growing religion in the world and with over 91,000,000 competing sites for the keyword ‘islam is’ I find it very difficult to believe that this is an issue with googles software or programme.

    Google admits that they filter pornographic words – offensive words and even hate/violence words – The only thing that comes to my mind is that someone behind the scenes of google has also filtered this key term for their own liking. If you ask me then google must see islam as a threat to them personally or due to political reasons they have filtered this term out. Islam being a religion of peace for all mankind should not be a threat to anyone.

  • http://www.aamnagrikforum.org Sikander

    Google’s suggestions over religions showing a big madness and Google must take a quick action to rectify this error. I totally agree with Danny Sullivan about Google’s mistakes and acting like a monopolistic king.

  • Steve

    Just goes to show you how many haters there are in this world. Because these haters are unhappy with their own lives, they try to spread the unhappiness/hate towards others, so they don’t feel out of place.

    Grow up! Get a life!

    • pahalik

      The one that needs to grow up is the one that uses stupid terms like “hater”.

  • http://ukm-center.com bob ahmed

    Do you mean that google team is atheis? The search suggestion for ISlam is not all positive??

  • http://onlinenursinggraduate.com/nursing-career/ nursing career

    Oh, suggesstions for “Islam is” are some unexpected.

  • http://www.g13media.com/ g13 media

    IMO I think its an error, probably an SEO gaming their system to voice out their opinions.

  • http://www.apregoa.com/ homebroker

    Nice point of view, I

  • muhammad

    dont say any thing about isalam becoz it is the real religion

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