Virtually Islamic Blog

Researching Islam, Muslims and the Internet

Religious Authority

Religious Authority between Generations

Economist, Young Muslims challenge the old guard at Britain’s mosques
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True Origins of ISIS

Hassan Hassan, The Atlantic, The True Origins of ISIS: A secret biography suggests that Abu Ali al-Anbari defined the group’s radical approach more than any other person, 30 Nov 2018
Important article from Hassan Hassan.

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Afghanistan bomb blast hits religious scholars

aljazeera.com, Suicide bombing at Kabul religious gathering kills dozens
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The Fatwa Life Cycle

The Fatwa Life Cycle Read More…

Hashtag Islam

'Hashtag Islam' is officially out this week, in hardback, paperback and e-book formats (in some markets, different dates apply to some of these elements). The book is the culmination of several years research. I welcome feedback from readers via this website or through social media.

Book details

Related Research

Richard A. Nielsen, Deadly Clerics: Blocked Ambition and the Paths to Jihad (Cambridge University Press, 2017)

I was interested to see information on this book, published in 2017. I haven't read it yet (just ordered a copy). Dr Richard Nielsen is also working on issues associated with religious authority and the internet. I will update on the book once I have read it.

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.


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'.

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. "



Tweet #garybunt
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