Anonymous, 1 Nov 2014
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Egypt to Register First Arabic Domain Name

Egypt will apply for the first Internet domain written in Arabic, its information technology minister said on Sunday. The new domain pronounced ".masr" is written in the Arabic alphabet which makes Egypt the first Arab nation to apply for a non-Latin character domain. According to The Associated Press the decision marks a key step in the Arab world, where a mixture of censorship, limited content and access have stymied efforts to boost Arabic-language content on the Web.

European Courts’ Authority Contested? The Case of Marriage and Divorce Fatwas On-line

This article explores Islamic websites providing normative content for European Muslim minorities. It focuses on four distinct Sunni websites and analyzes their fatwas, i.e. legal and religious recommendations issued in matters related to family law. Drawing from a broader research of more than 450 fatwas, this article presents the various ways, in which Muslim authorities associated with these sites deal with the conflicting areas between Islamic law and European legal systems. Essentially, it argues that the Internet and information and communication technology create new public spheres where different, and oftentimes conflicting, concepts of coexistence between Islam and the State are negotiated. Moreover this article demonstrates how these concepts are later incorporated into existing legal frameworks through the institutions of arbitration and marriage contracts. At the same time it explores the underlying rationale behind the fatwa-issuing websites, which emphasize the role of the individual and promote voluntarily adherence to Islamic law. On a more general level, this article aims to provide case studies on how technology redefines the politics of religious authority.

The Politics of Virtual Fatwa Counseling in the 21st Century

A multitude of fatwa services sprung up on the Internet during the last few years and has grown since. One finds askimam.org, islamicity.com, islamonline.net, and islamqa.com among them. Yet it is not only these private Muslim jurisconsults who maintain websites, but also government-affiliated muftis and agencies have increasingly established an online presence. At the same time the private online muftis are not a monolithic group themselves. Therefore this paper sheds some light on the different actors and their competition. Who are they? And, more importantly still, which norms do they set? This paper argues that there is a competition between these fatwa services for the conclusive authority of Islamic legal interpretations and their creators over the minds of Muslims situated in non-Muslim political discourse spheres. Within the context of the norm-setting processes these online fatwas have the potential to influence and shape Muslims’ opinions especially in predominantly non-Muslim societies. So how do the norms presented relate to existing norms there? Examples of where the Muslim authorities position themselves when it comes to contested or topical issues like migration and integration into the states of Western Europe will be provided. The research is initially based on a quantitative content analysis regarding these questions. Nonetheless it shall be supported by a theoretical framework including the notion of Peter Mandaville’s (2001) “modes of translocality”.

Making the Internet Kosher: Orthodox (Haredi) Jews and their approach to the World Wide Web

This article surveys the approach of Orthodox Judaism – especially the Haredi (Ultra-Orthodox) Judaism – to the Internet. In the introduction we compare the approach of the Abrahamic religions to the Internet. Then we focus on the Haredi community (especially in the contemporary State of Israel) and their specific approach to the Internet. This article argues that the use of the Internet, although officially banned by many Haredi Rabbis, is in fact tolerated on a pragmatic basis. We also survey which kind of “protection against secular threads” the Haredim use (filtering software, Holy Shabbat protection). In the last part of this article the role of the Internet in Israeli religious politics, and by its uses by fundamentalist and radical Jewish groups, is surveyed.
 
Sait, M. Sadiq; Al-Tawil, Khalid M.; Sanaullah, Sayed; Faheemuddin, Mohammed, Impact of Internet Usage in Saudi Arabia: A Social Perspective. International Journal of Information Technology and Web Engineering, Vol.2. No. , 2007 abstract PDF
 
Shalhoub, Zeinab Karake, Trust, privacy, and security in electronic business: the case of the GCC countries. Information Management and Computer Security, Vol.14, No. 3, 2006 abstract full text
 
Anderson, Jon W., Pensée 4: Striking New State–Society Bargains over the Internet. International Journal of Middle East Studies. Vol. 39 No. 4, 2007 abstract full text
 
Armbrust, Walter, Pensée 2: New Media and Old Agendas: The Internet in the Middle East and Middle Eastern Studies. International Journal of Middle East Studies. Vol. 39 No. 4, 2007 abstract full text
 
Hosen, N., Online Fatwa in Indonesia: from Fatwa Shopping to Googling a Kiai. In: Fealy, G.; White, S. (eds.). Expressing Islam: Religious Life and Politics in Indonesia. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2008. abstract
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