Islam Dot Com: Contemporary Islamic Discourses in Cyberspace

Paperback | November 15, 2011

byMohammed El-nawawy, Sahar Khamis

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This book analyzes the discourses and deliberations in the discussion forums of three of the most visited Islamic websites. In doing so, it explores the potential impact of the Islamic public sphere and the re-configuration of the "virtual umma," the Islamic community online, on the creation of multiple identities and resistances, which manifest themselves through various Islamic sites, producing varying degrees of consensus, divergence, and negotiation in multiple contexts and across different discourses. The book also investigates the extent to which these Islamic websites have provided a venue for Muslims to freely engage in vibrant deliberations and constructive discussions among themselves, as well as with "Others," i.e., non-Muslims, about various political, economic, religious and social issues.

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This book analyzes the discourses and deliberations in the discussion forums of three of the most visited Islamic websites. In doing so, it explores the potential impact of the Islamic public sphere and the re-configuration of the "virtual umma," the Islamic community online, on the creation of multiple identities and resistances, whic...

Mohammed el-Nawawy is an associate professor and Knight-Crane endowed chair in the School of Communication at Queens University of Charlotte in North Carolina. He teaches international communication, mass communication, media globalization and Middle Eastern media courses. His research interests are focused on the new media in the Mid...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.64 inPublished:November 15, 2011Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230338151

ISBN - 13:9780230338159

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Table of Contents

The Public Sphere in an Islamic Context * Religion in the Virtual Public Sphere: The Case of Islam * Is the Umma a Public Sphere? * The “Virtual Umma”: Collective Identities in Cyberspace * Islamic Websites: Divergent Identities in Cyberspace * Virtual Islamic Discourses: Platforms for Consensus or Sites of Contention?

Editorial Reviews

"Undoubtedly this book makes an important contribution to the existing literature on Islam and the Internet. Its lucid discussion of theoretical issues will be an indispensible resource for students and researchers in this field." - Eugenia Siapera, The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences "Islam Dot Com provides an account of the virtual Muslim public sphere characterized by unprecedented conceptual and empirical richness. By transcending a narrow focus on the Internet as a space of radical foment and by drawing on a unique combination of English and Arabic source sites, Nawawy and Khamis show that contestation and deliberation over religious authority and Muslim identity constitute the heart of Islam online. Compelling and vital reading." - Peter Mandaville, PhD, Associate Professor of Government & Politics, Co-Director, Center for Global Studies, George Mason University "Islamic websites have become a primary vehicle for thinking about Islam in public, and Islam Dot Com tackles the central issue of how they shape mainstream Muslim thought. Nawawy and Khamis's approach persuasively suggests how to think about 'electronic' Islam for years to come." - Dale F. Eickelman, co-editor of New Media in the Muslim World: The Emerging Public Sphere (2002) "As the use of the internet rapidly spreads in Arab and Muslim countries, the expanding Islamic discourse and changing notions of Islamic identity are increasingly important issues that have not been sufficiently captured. Professors el-Nawawy and Khamis provide an important window into this discourse as it appears on three of the most popular Islamic web sites. Both the rich description and the thoughtful analysis help fill a large gap in this emerging literature." - Shibley Telhami, Anwar Sadat professor for Peace and Development, University of Maryland, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution "Those interested in international communication, and specifically communication in the Arab world, have been blessed with a wealth of new information via academic journal articles and books in the past few years. Mohammed el-Nawawy (co-author of a well known book about Al Jazeera) and Sahar Khamis are offering new insight about Arab- and Islamic-world communication in this book by examining discourse on Islamic-oriented web sites. Several studies have examined mass media discourse in the Middle East, but this is the first study I know of that ambitiously examines discourse via new media. Indeed, the authors, both U.S.-based academics with Arab-world roots, are especially well qualified to undertake this research.This examination of what is being discussed in cyberspace among those following Islam reveals a fascinating view of how new media are being used in the Arab/Islamic world." - Douglas A. Boyd, University of Kentucky