Virtually Islamic Blog

Professor Gary R. Bunt

'Communicating Religion' Conference

Forthcoming conference activity: Read More…

Product Placement

Blackwell's have a page for 'Hashtag Islam'. Read More…

'The Unlikely Connection Between Trump and Ayatollah Khomeini'

Philip Kowalski,, The Unlikely Connection Between Trump and Ayatollah Khomeini
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Social media and the 'Arab Uprising'

Washington Post, Eight years after Egypt’s revolution, here’s what we’ve learned about social media and protest
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Updated: Leadership, Authority and Representation in British Muslim Communities

Islam UK Centre, Cardiff. Leadership, Authority and Representation in British Muslim Communities Read More…

'IS' Ideological Origins

Tore Hamming, CTC, The Hardline Stream of Global Jihad: Revisiting the Ideological Origin of the Islamic State
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Hayat Tahrir al-Sham

AFP/Rudaw, Al-Qaeda's shadow still hangs over Syria's Idlib: analysts
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Digital Piety in Bangladesh: A Psychosocial Analysis

Sayeed al-Zaman, Digital Piety in Bangladesh: A Psychosocial Analysis (ResearchGate)
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Populism, Extremism and New Media

International Conference on Populism, Extremism and New Media. January 11-12, 2019. University of Padua, Italy. Read More…

New book: 'A Critique of the Abrogation Theory'

My former student, Jasser Auda, has a new book out: Jasser Auda & Adil Salahi, A Critique of the Abrogation Theory in Islam (Goodreads page)
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Pew Research findings

Pew Research Center, Eastern and Western Europeans Differ on Importance of Religion, Views of Minorities, and Key Social Issues
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Rouzan al-Najjar: NYT profile on IDF Medic Murder

NY Times, An Israeli Soldier Killed a Medic in Gaza. We Investigated the Fatal Shot.
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Extension for Arabic & Persian

Alpheios Reading Tools Version, December 2018
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Abu Ali al-Anbari

Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, The Biography of Abu Ali al-Anbari: Full Translation and Analysis

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Gille Kepel's Analysis

Gavin Mortimer, Spectator, The link between the gilet jaunes and the Strasbourg attack, 13 Dec 2018
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Assessing Outcomes of Online Campaigns Countering Violent Extremism

Todd C. Helmus, Kurt Klein, Rand, Assessing Outcomes of Online Campaigns Countering Violent Extremism
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How Islamic is "Islamic Studies"?

YouTube, How Islamic is "Islamic Studies"? Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad, Distinguished Lecture
I haven't seen this in fully yet.
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Graeme Wood, The Atlantic, Don't Shut Down the Internet's Biggest Jihadi Archive, 10 Dec 2018 Read More…

IS 'History'

Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, The Islamic State Research Office's Self-History

Long read, with lots of interesting detail. I haven't gone through it all yet.
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Jihadology Access Concerns

David Bond,, How extremist videos are hitting UK relations with US tech groups, 2 Dec 2018
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Racial bias: report

Guardian, Revealed: the stark evidence of everyday racial bias in Britain, 2 Dec 2018

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Research on Reddit

vox-pol, Upvoting Extremism, Part I: An Assessment Of Extreme Right Discourse On Reddit
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Uighur monitoring

Scoop, One Million Chinese Move Uninvited Into Uighur Homes
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Panel on social media and information war in the Middle East

CFTNI, Social Media and Information War in the Middle East
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Matthew Hedges' Case

Matthew Hedges Case Read More…

Building Resilience to Extremism and Exploitation

I'm participating in the 'Building Resilience to Extremism and Exploitation' event in Cardiff on 28 November Read More…

Report on Fake News +

Patrik Hermansson, Hope Not Hate, Bots, Fake News and the Anti-Muslim Message on Social Media Read More…

Research on search data

'Using Internet search data to examine the relationship between anti-Muslim and pro-ISIS sentiment in U.S. counties' research paper

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UNC Press Islamic Civilization and Muslim Networks 15th Anniversary

Bruce B. Lawrence: Celebrating the Fifteenth Anniversary of the Islamic Civilization and Muslim Networks Book Series at UNC Press

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UNC Press 15th Anniversary celebration

UNC Press is celebrating the 15th anniversary of its Islamic Civilization and Muslim Networks series, which I have had the privilege of contributing to. Great team to work with.
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CFP, Sociology of Religion Study Group (SocRel) Annual Conference 2019, 'Communicating Religion', 9-11 July 2019, Cardiff University [PDF] Read More…

Asian Image, 'Criminalising thoughts': How Muslims are being targeted in new Counter-terrorism bill

Asian Image, 'Criminalising thoughts': How Muslims are being targeted in new Counter-terrorism bill Read More…

The Cost of Crying Victory: Policy Implications of the Islamic State’s Territorial Collapse

Liesbeth van der Heide, Charlie Winter and Shiraz Maher, The Cost of Crying Victory: Policy Implications of the Islamic State’s Territorial Collapse report "In light of the territorial demise of the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria, this report analyses the continued risks posed by IS. " Read More…

'Islamic State' Genocide: Report

NPR, Islamic State Dumped At Least 6,000 Bodies In Mass Graves In Iraq, U.N. Says

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Islam in Britain blog

I continue to maintain my Islam in Britain blog. Some of the materials cross-over into the themes of this blog. Read More…

UWTSD Academic focusses on Islam in cyberspace with new book release

University of Wales Trinity Saint David, UWTSD Academic focusses on Islam in cyberspace with new book release

"An international publication focussing on how cyber-Islamic environments are transforming religious authority has been released by a UWTSD Lampeter based academic."

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Trump and Far-Right

Trump and the far-right article by JM Berger Read More…

Digital Middle East

New book 'Digital Middle East' looks very promising. Read More…

Salafism in America

Salafism in America Read More…

Research Archive

J.M. Berger has provided an archive of research materials, via Check this thread for more details. His book is recommended. Part of the archive is here

Google Scholar issues

Benefits of Google scholar, and their implications Read More…

Can We Finally Stop Terrorists From Exploiting Social Media?

Kalev Leetaru,, Can We Finally Stop Terrorists From Exploiting Social Media?, 9 Oct 2018
" … for all their public discourse, the platforms have taken little concrete action, reflecting both the economic realities that they have little incentive to invest in content moderation and the real-world complication that deleting terrorist content requires understanding context, not blindly deleting any post with a given keyword."

Follow Me, Akhi.

Forthcoming in 2019


Hussein Kesvani, Follow Me, Akhi: The Online World of British Muslims, Hurst & Co
"What does it mean to be Muslim in Britain today? If the media is anything to go by, it has something to do with mosques, community leaders, whether you wear a veil, and what your views on religious extremists are. But as all our lives become increasingly entwined with our online presence, British Muslims are taking to social media to carve their own narratives and tell their own stories, challenging stereotypes along the way."
Looking forward to seeing this.

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.

Counter-Islamophobia Toolkit

Middle East Eye, Muslims in Europe facing 'hostility in everyday life', Islamophobia study finds "European academics and policy makers came together at the European Parliament in Brussels on Wednesday to launch what they describe as a "toolkit" to tackle Islamophobia across the continent." Toolkit link here: Counter-Islamophobia Toolkit – Prof. Ian Law, Dr Amina Easat-Daas and Prof. S. Sayyid


Sam Jackson, Vox-Pol, FlockWatch: Tracking Changes in Language in Text Datasets Over Time, 26 Sep 2018

Important research tool discussed by its developer, which allows for language flexibility in data capture. I haven't tried FlockWatch yet.

Prisons and Radicalisation

Independent, How British prisons became a breeding ground for Islamist extremism "Ian Acheson, a former prison governor who led the review, told The Independent that a “lethal combination of arrogance and ineptitude at the top meant that the scale of the problem was not remotely understood”."

Useful summary with links to reports.

Countering Islamist Radicalisation in Germany

New and noted: ICCT, Countering Islamist Radicalisation in Germany – A Guide to Germany’s Growing Prevention Infrastructure refers to Behnam T., Said and Hazim Fouad. “Countering Islamist Radicalisation in Germany – A Guide to Germany’s Growing Prevention Infrastructure.” The International Centre for Counter-Terrorism – The Hague 9 (2018). [Haven't read this yet]

Debunking Myths on Gender and Extremism

Rachel Bryson, Debunking Myths on Gender and Extremism, Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, "In this collection of papers, experts weigh in on assumptions about women’s roles in violent Islamist extremism that hold back informed policymaking."

Building Resilience for Terrorism Researchers

Peter King, Vox-Pol, Building Resilience for Terrorism Researchers, September 19, 2018
While this is not my immediate area, I appreciate many of the points made by Peter King in this article relating to methodology and subject related 'fatigue' and stress.

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]

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
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