Hashtag Islam

How Cyber-Islamic Environments Are Transforming Religious Authority

By Gary R. Bunt

232 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 13 halftones, notes, index

Not for Sale in South Asia

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-4316-8
    Published: October 2018
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-4315-1
    Published: October 2018
  • eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-4317-5
    Published: September 2018

Islamic Civilization and Muslim Networks

Buy this Book

For Professors:
Free E-Exam Copies

Gary R. Bunt is a twenty-year pioneer in the study of cyber-Islamic environments (CIEs). In his new book, Bunt explores the diverse and surprising ways digital technology is shaping how Muslims across vast territories relate to religious authorities in fulfilling spiritual, mystical, and legalistic agendas. From social networks to websites, essential elements of religious practices and authority now have representation online. Muslims, embracing the immediacy and general accessibility of the internet, are increasingly turning to cyberspace for advice and answers to important religious questions. Online environments often challenge traditional models of authority, however. One result is the rise of digitally literate religious scholars and authorities whose influence and impact go beyond traditional boundaries of imams, mullahs, and shaikhs.

Bunt shows how online rhetoric and social media are being used to articulate religious faith by many different kinds of Muslim organizations and individuals, from Muslim comedians and women’s rights advocates to jihad-oriented groups, such as the “Islamic State” and al-Qaeda, which now clearly rely on strategic digital media policies to augment and justify their authority and draw recruits. This book makes clear that understanding CIEs is crucial for the holistic interpretation of authority in contemporary Islam.

About the Author

Gary R. Bunt is professor of Islamic studies at University of Wales, Trinity Saint David.
For more information about Gary R. Bunt, visit the Author Page.

Reviews

“The sociological underpinnings of this work make for a touchstone for further investigation.”--Library Journal

"Adroitly illustrates how approaches to religious authority, interpretation, power, and communication have changed over the last two decades. . . . An important addition to literature on contemporary Islam."--Publishers Weekly

Hashtag Islam--the newest work by one of the pioneers in reporting on Islam in cyberspace--reflects an incredible range of views and counterviews and provides a valuable corrective to the tendency to focus on the negative and political uses of the internet and social media by jihadists without due consideration of the more everyday uses by all kinds of Muslims.”—Daniel Varisco, Qatar University

“Provides a clear and well-written focus on the impact of cyber-technologies on issues of faith and authority, offering insights into the ways in which the internet has become integrated into the dissemination of Islamic knowledge within global and local contexts. A key contribution that will attract students from an array of disciplines, including Islamic studies, Middle Eastern studies, and political science.”—Vahideh Golzard, University of Leeds