The internet has profoundly shaped how Muslims perceive Islam, and how Islamic societies and networks are evolving and shifting within the twenty-first century. While these electronic interfaces appear new and innovative in terms of how the media is applied, much of their content has a basis in classical Islamic concepts, with an historical resonance that can be traced back to the time of the Prophet Muhammad. "I-Muslims" explores how these transformations and influences play out in diverse cyber Islamic environments, and how they are responding to shifts in technology and society. This book discusses how, in some contexts, the application of the internet has had an overarching transformational effect on how Muslims practice Islam, how forms of Islam are represented to the wider world, and how Muslim societies perceive themselves and their peers. On one level, this may be in terms of practical performance of Islamic duties and rituals, or on the interpretation and understanding of the Qur'an.
On another level, cyber Islamic environments have exposed Muslims to radical and new influences outside of traditional spheres of knowledge and authority, causing long-standing paradigmatic shifts at a grassroots level within societies. "I-Muslims" looks at how these changes are taking place, including through social networking sites and the blogosphere. This book also explores how the internet has dramatically influenced jihad-oriented campaigns by networks such as al-Qaeda, and has made a significant difference to how forms of Islamic activism and radicalization have been engendered. This book concludes by determining the way forward for the articulation of diverse understandings of Islam online, and how Muslim networks will be further shaped through their relationships with the internet.
Gary R. Bunt is Senior Lecturer in Islamic Studies, and Director of MA Islamic Studies, at the University of Wales, Lampeter. His publications include Virtually Islamic and Islam in the Digital Age. He maintains a website and blog on Islam and the internet at www.virtuallyislamic.com
1. iMuslims and Cyber Islamic Environments 2. Accessing Cyber Islamic Environments 3. De-coding the Sacred: Islamic Source Code 4. The Islamic Blogosphere 5. The Cutting-edge: Militaristic Jihad in Cyberspace 6. Digital Jihadi Battlefields: Iraq and Palestine 7. The Transformation of Cyber Islamic Environments