Islam in the Digital Age
E-jihad, Online Fatwas and Cyber Islamic EnvironmentseBook - 2003
The Internet is an increasingly important source of information for many people in the Muslim world. Many Muslims in majority and minority contexts rely on the Internet -- including websites and e-mail -- as a primary source of news, information and communication about Islam. As a result, a new media culture is emerging which is having a significant impact on areas of global Muslim consciousness. Post-September 11th, this phenomenon has grown more rapidly than ever.
Gary R. Bunt provides a fascinating account of the issues at stake, identifying two radical new concepts:
Firstly, the emergence of e-jihad ('Electronic Jihad') originating from diverse Muslim perspectives -- this is described in its many forms relating to the different definitions of 'jihad', including on-line activism (ranging from promoting militaristic activities to hacking, to co-ordinating peaceful protests) and Muslim expression post 9/11.
Secondly, he discusses religious authority on the Internet -- including the concept of on-line fatwas and their influence in diverse settings, and the complexities of conflicting notions of religious authority.
Focusing on the warlike and authoritarian stereotype of Islam that seems to have blinded westerners, persistently for the past few decades and intermittently for the past few centuries, Bunt (U. of Wales, Lampeter) describes how Muslims do and might further their nefarious purposes through the World Wide Web and other avenues of the Internet. Hacking and cracking, mujahideen in cyberspace, and religious authority on the Internet are the main topics. He doe mention, however, the greater and lesser E-jihad, a jihad for peace, online advice, and Islamic diversity. Distributed in the US by Stylus. Annotation (c) Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)