Anonymous, 22 Apr 2019
Research on Middle East, Islam and digital media
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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A “Virtual Club” of Lithuanian Converts to Islam

A “Virtual Club” of Lithuanian Converts to Islam

Since its inception in the spring of 2004, the online forum at www.islamas.lt had throughout the 6 years of its existence been almost the sole source in the Lithuanian language for interactive online religious guidance and religious knowledge seeking among Lithuanian converts to Islam. In effect, the Forum had become a sort of “digital diaspora”, based on the converts’ invented exclusive “symbolic ethnicity” itself comprising two natures – a primordial Lithuanian and an acquired Muslim. As such the Forum served not only the religious needs of the members but was also a space of shared co-ethnic belonging for a particular group of people. In other words, it was both for and about Lithuanian converts to Islam. The chapter reveals, through an in-depth analysis of the by now defunct islamas.lt forum, the ways religious knowledge has been built and sought among Lithuanian converts to Islam, especially on an intra-communal basis. As sharing of knowledge inevitably involves those giving and receiving it, it is sought in the chapter to expose nascent internal authority structures and hierarchies within this “digital diaspora”. In a direct relation to this, the contents – nature and quality – of the (often “negotiated”) religious knowledge is also looked into.

anthology
31-47
ISBN 978-94-007-7247-2
eng