iMuslims: Rewiring the House of Islam (Islamic Civilization by Gary R. Bunt

By Gary R. Bunt

Exploring the expanding effect of the web on Muslims worldwide, this e-book sheds new mild at the nature of up to date Islamic discourse, identification, and community.The web has profoundly formed how either Muslims and non-Muslims understand Islam and the way Islamic societies and networks are evolving and transferring within the twenty-first century, says Gary Bunt. whereas Islamic society has deep historic styles of world alternate, the net has remodeled what number Muslims perform the tasks and rituals of Islam. a spot of non secular guide might exist completely within the digital international, for instance, or a group may well assemble basically on-line. Drawing on greater than a decade of on-line study, Bunt exhibits how social-networking websites, blogs, and different "cyber-Islamic environments" have uncovered Muslims to new impacts outdoor the normal spheres of Islamic wisdom and authority. in addition, the net has dramatically motivated different types of Islamic activism and radicalization, together with jihad-oriented campaigns by way of networks akin to al-Qaeda. by way of surveying the huge spectrum of methods used to provide dimensions of Islamic social, non secular, and political lifestyles on the net, iMuslims encourages various understandings of on-line Islam and of Islam in most cases.

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For example, those who previously consulted the Sunni ‘‘orthodox’’ ’ulama’ (scholars) based in their communities, who were trained in Islamic sciences at institutions such as al-Azhar, might now approach a ‘‘scholar’’ based in cyberspace lacking in these qualifications. The backgrounds of a cyber ’alim (scholar) may be rooted in skills other than recognized training in the principles of Islamic jurisprudence, or usul ul-fiqh. This may not delegitimize that individual in the eyes of the person accessing the ’alim’s site.

The physical and virtual environments in which this is played out are also significant, especially in terms of whether they represent ‘‘public’’ or ‘‘private’’ space. David Holmes takes this point one stage further: ‘‘The question of whether interaction, once it is reduced to the electronically mediated and technologically extended kinds of access to communication which are enabled from the home, constitutes participation in a public sphere is a pivotal one to ask in relation to cmc [Computer-Mediated Communication].

The development of an Islamic netiquette is part of an ongoing process that includes the application of principles drawn from primary Islamic sources and their interpretation to meet contemporary needs and contexts. In some ways, this approach suggests a form of ijtihad, a term that links to the historical and contemporary practices of scholars in deriving interpretative and analogous meaning from Islamic sources to suit the exigency of a situation. The highlighting of the perceived dangers of the Internet and computer technology has a currency way beyond cies.

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