Sunday, February 26, 2006

FOUNTAIN CITY, Wis. (AP) — A man says his attempts to sign up for an e-mail account with Yahoo failed when he used his name, which includes the letters a-l-l-a-h — as in Allah, the Arabic word for God.

Ed Callahan said he tried to establish the e-mail account after his mother, with the same last name, could not get one.

As he tried using various words, he determined that e-mail addresses with other religious words seemed OK, but not if they included the spelling of Allah.

“The war on terror is becoming a war on Muslims,” Mr. Callahan said.

Yahoo Inc. said last week that it has changed its policy to allow use of the word. In a written statement, the company defended the previous policy as an attempt to protect users from hateful speech.

“A small number of people registered for IDs using specific terms with the sole purpose of promoting hate and then used those IDs to post content that was harmful or threatening to others, thus violating Yahoo’s terms of service,” according to the statement.

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