FOUNTAIN CITY, Wis. – 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 started trying to establish the e-mail account after his mother, with the same last name, couldn't get one.
[Another man in England, also named Callahan, reported the same problem earlier this week.]
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," Callahan said.
Yahoo Inc. said Wednesday it has changed policy to allow usage 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," the statement said.
After the policy change, Callahan said he promptly registered a new e-mail account, which includes his last name.