Fig. 1. Courtesy of Eric Drooker/drooker.com.

The OpenNet Initiative published its report In the Name of God: Faith Based Internet Censorship in Majority Muslim Countries authored by Helmi Noman. The paper "analyzes the Internet censorship policies and practices of majority Muslim countries and finds that in many of these countries online information controls are primarily based on the Islamic faith and interpretations of its instructions."

The paper provides a detailed analysis of the religious concepts, legal frameworks, and technical filtering that underlie faith-based censorship policies in majority Muslim countries. Faith-based filtering is becoming a contested issue in many of these countries. There is an ongoing struggle between state and nonstate actors who want to regulate the Internet to protect and even strengthen the Islamicity of their countries, and those who see the Internet as an alternative information tool to bypass the undesirable guardianship of the religious authorities—those who see the Internet as a potential threat to religious identity, and those who strive to bring to censored real space some of the qualities of the Internet: openness, freedom, and neutrality.

Helmi Noman is a Senior Researcher at the Citizen Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto and a Research Affiliate at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University.

The report is available for PDF download here.