Virtually Islamic Blog

Researching Islam, Muslims and the Internet

September 2018

Memes and Madhabs

Faisal Ali, On Religion, Memes and Madhabs 15 September 2018
"The memes started a few weeks back by Zain Siddiqi, a young Muslim from Phoenix, Arizona.
“It began as a bit of fun” he told me. “I really enjoy making memes, but I also enjoy studying Islamic law and different aspects of the religion.”
“Initially I just thought I would tweet one out and it would get 10 likes or something, and I would just go back to making mundane political commentary on whatever was happening” he continues. “But all of a sudden people were saying how much they enjoyed them and how much they were learning from them.”
Diversity in Islam approached through memes.


Contesting identities within cultural insecurity

Currently taking a look at this interesting thesis, which draws on a number of elements associated with the study of cyber Islamic Environments. Kathleen Woodhouse-Ledermann, Contesting identities within cultural insecurity: The case of Muslim women in contemporary France (Rutgers, 2018) [PDF download]

Twitter reacts to Begum Kulsoom Nawaz’s demise

Express Tribune, Twitter reacts to Begum Kulsoom Nawaz’s demise, 11 Sep 2018

'The next billion users': Google targets India's lucrative mobile market

Guardian, 'The next billion users': Google targets India's lucrative mobile market, 11 Sep 2018

"As mobile markets in developed world near saturation, Google rolls out Neighbourly, its first Indian-inspired social network"

Women Warriors

This looks like an interesting read:

Nickolay Nickolov, Mashable, Women Warriors

"“The situation doesn’t favour women,” says Maryam Ado Haruna who works with the Center for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), a Nigerian organisation using tech to develop good governance. Religious beliefs and cultural trends can contribute to attitudes about who can and should access the internet. “The way parents deny access deliberately and husbands deny wives a— they think our religion, Islam, means that internet is not for Nigerian women,” Ado Haruna says."

Man arrested after breakfast with woman in Saudi Arabia

BBC News, Man arrested after breakfast with woman in Saudi Arabia, 10 Sep 2018 "In the 30-second video, the man and woman briefly joke about eating their breakfast together, with nobody else invited."

Contrasting views were expressed on social media from Egypt and Saudi Arabia in relation to this incident.

Virtually Islamic Blog - Regenerated

Work in progress:

My Virtually Islamic blog has been running in various formats since 2000 (2003 on Blogger). All of the entries can be found
here.

While I will continue to maintain that page, as part of my website revision in anticipation of the publication of 'Hashtag Islam', I will also be using this platform for further Virtually Islamic blog posts.

Hashtag Islam - Print Version

I'm very pleased to have received my first printed copy of 'Hashtag Islam'. It's been great to have had the chance to work again with series editors Bruce B. Lawrence and Carl W. Ernst - alongside Executive Editor Elaine Maisner and the excellent UNC Press team. The book is out in October.



Photo: Hashtag Islam covers

Saudi Arabia Seeks Death Penalty Against Prominent Cleric

Bloomberg.com, Saudi Arabia Seeks Death Penalty Against Prominent Cleric, 4 September 2018 "Salman Al-Odah was detained in September 2017. Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said at the time that the roundup of a diverse group of clerics, businessmen and intellectuals had targeted people who were “pushing an extremist agenda” with the help of foreign funding." Analysis/commentary.
I discuss Al-Odah in 'Hashtag Islam'.

Lessons From ISIS: Using the Internet for Counter-Terrorism

The Quint, Lessons From ISIS: Using the Internet for Counter-Terrorism "Bloom and Daymon in their research paper titled ‘Assessing the Future Threat: ISIS’s Virtual Caliphate’ join a chorus of other researchers such as Charlie Winter and Haroro J Ingram from the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) at The Hague in highlighting how ISIS has, by design and impeccable execution, changed the way the internet can be used for radicalisation.."

I discuss similar themes in 'Hashtag Islam'.

Also see
Mia Bloom and Chelsea Daymon, Assessing the Future Threat: ISIS's Virtual Caliphate

Saudi and Amazon Deploy Twitter bots

albawaba, Manufacturing Consent: Saudi and Amazon Deploy Twitter Bots to Insist They Are Virtuous, 26 August 2018
opinion/analysis (with a nod to Chomsky): "The contemporary media landscape is experiencing a shift: as news is increasingly shared through and understood by social media, powerful companies and countries are exploiting loopholes to create hordes of accounts tweeting along regime and corporate lines. In so doing, manufacture an image of consent and create an air of doubt whenever a damaging report surfaces."

Hajj Representation

It's been interesting to review the output of CIC Saudi Arabia on Twitter during Hajj 2018, presenting human stories within the hajj.  Some examples are below (check my @garybunt Twitter feed for more):

















The following video isn't on theYouTube channel yet, but here's a Twitter link: in contemporary times, the long distance journey to hajj on foot becomes all the more remarkable #hajj CIC Saudi Arabia, [@CICSaudi], "Hajj is over but for Othman AlShahin the journey is not over yet. The man who walked 450km to Hajj (the equivalent distance of #Paris to #Geneva) is now on his way home by foot. "



Library Journal Review - Hashtag Islam

“ … the sociological underpinnings of this work make for a touchstone for further investigation.” James Wetherbee, Library Journal, 'Spirituality and Religion', August 2018

Publishers Weekly - Review of Hashtag Islam

Publishers Weekly, Nonfiction Review, Hashtag Islam: How Cyber- Islamic Environments Are Transforming Religious Authority

" ... by investigating how Muslim communities are utilizing (and being transformed by) the ongoing worldwide digital revolution, this work proves to be an important addition to literature on contemporary Islam."
Tweet #garybunt
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