Anonymous, 22 Feb 2020
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Mapping the Arabic Blogosphere: Politics, Culture and Dissent

The Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University published an exhaustive report on Arabic blogosphere. The research is based on link analysis, term frequency analysis, and human coding of individual blogs. The goal for the study was to produce a baseline assessment of the networked public sphere in the Arab Middle East, and its relationship to a range of emergent issues, including politics, media, religion, culture, and international affairs.

Islam and the Media

Jan 7, 2010 – Jan 10, 2010
Colorado, US
The Center for Media, Religion and Culture School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Colorado
study of religion, social networks, gender, methodology, Islam and civil society, information and communication technology, Islam
May 15, 2009

Blogging, Networked Publics and the Politics of Communication: Another Free-Speech Panacea for the Middle East?

On December 10, the White House announced that President Bush would “commemorate the 60th anniversary of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights by meeting with activists who use Internet blogs and new-media technologies to promote freedom in countries with restricted media environments.” Two were from Iran and Egypt. Before celebration of blogging as free speech and ‘citizen journalism’ disappoints, like the Web in the 1990s or television in the 1950s, I want to consider how we might place a sounder social anthropology under media-minded constructions. And, lest yet another analysis of the Middle East fall into exceptionalism, how might such activities be grounded in what research shows about networked communication generally and specifically with globalizing media? As interest in global media turns to blogging, my concerns here are two.

Contesting the Iraqi Flag

Since the fall of the Ba’ath regime, the Iraqi flag has become a contested symbol representing both the legacy of the old regime as well as the dissatisfaction with the occupation and current political process in the country. With all the attempts to change the flag, it seems that the legacy of Saddam will ironically linger through the words Allah Akbar. Even when we remind ourselves that these words were not patented by Saddam, this raises the question of identity of the new Iraqi state. The new design of the flag has changed from a secular ideological symbol (prior to 1991) into a symbol that represents the Islamic ideology of the new state and its Islamic majority alongside neighboring states with Muslim majorities. Rather than an attempt to find a common denominator that would unify the complex mosaic population of the country, the new design has ultimately marginalized the many non-Islamic minorities, including seculars, who believe in the separation of religion and state. The Iraqi Parliament’s decision to change the flag is not only a historical process, but a process that has caused a contentious reaction amongst Iraqis. Thus, in looking at the short history and genealogy of the process of the recently changed flag, one will better understand the change.

CAMRI African and Arab Media conference

Media research to date has largely neglected the fast growing and diverse media audiences in African and Arab countries. Blogs, chatrooms, social networking sites, and the use of SMS indicate that African and Arab audiences are highly active in sending and receiving messages in innovative ways. This conference, organised by the University of Westminster's Communication and Media Research Institute (CAMRI), will explore this activity, taking in the old, the new, and processes of change and transformation. It draws on the combined resources of CAMRI's African Media Series, Arab Media Centre and Audiences Group. It focuses on media use and media users in two overlapping regions, where the culture and politics of former colonial powers have combined with internal influences to shape the audience experience in particular ways.

iMuslims: Rewiring the House of Islam - Interview with Gary R. Bunt

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.iMuslims explores how these transformations and influences play out in diverse cyber Islamic environments, and how they are responding to shifts in technology and society.
Hine, Christine M., Virtual Ethnography. London ; Thousand Oaks, Calif. : SAGE, 2000. abstract
Helland, Christopher, On-line Religion/Religion on-line and Virtual Communitas. In: Hadden J. K.; Cowan D. E. (eds.). Religion on the Internet: Research, Prospects and Promises, Amsterdam-London-New York: JAI, 2000 abstract
Sinardet, Dave; Mortelmans, Dimitri, Between Al-Jazeera and CNN: Indicators of Media Use by Belgian Ethnic Minority Youth. Communications: The European Journal of Communication Research, Vol. 31, No. 4, December 2006 abstract full text
Taggart, Will, The Digital Revolt: Resistance and Agency on the Net. Working Papers on New Media and Information Technology in the Middle East, September 2008 abstract full text
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