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Dod o Hyd i Siop Lyfrau
Gwybodaeth Lyfryddol
Religion, Culture and Society: Virtually Islamic - Computer-Mediated Communication and Cyber Islamic Environments
Gary Bunt
ISBN: 9780708316122 (0708316123)Dyddiad Cyhoeddi Ebrill 2000
Cyhoeddwr: Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru / University of Wales Press, Caerdydd
Fformat: Clawr Caled, 216x138 mm, 200 tudalen Iaith: Saesneg Allan o Stoc - Ystyrir Adargraffu Ein Pris: £45.00   
Does dim Adolygiad Cwsmer i'r teitl hwn.
Ysgrifennwch Adolygiad Cwsmer
Astudiaeth ddiddorol o'r modd y defnyddir deunydd aml-gyfrwng gan y gymuned Fwslemaidd i gyrraedd a dylanwadu ar gynulleidfa ehangach, gan hybu'r grefydd sy'n tyfu gyflymaf o holl grefyddau'r byd.

An intriguing study of the way in which multimedia material is used by the Muslim community to reach and influence a wider audience, thus promoting the fastest-growing religion in the world.
Gary Bunt’s Virtually Islamic, published in 2000 by the University of Wales Press as part of their innovative Religion, Culture & Society series and reprinted in 2002, presents an awkward time lag despite its relative youth. Following the events of 9/11 the text cannot but take on the status of archive material as its discussion of the globe’s newest media form in relation to the world’s fastest growing religion is itself prey to the instability of rapid growth that could be said to characterise both.

Bunt’s project is a trawl through a vast array of Islam related web-sites or what he terms Cyber Islamic Environments, documenting their content and assessing their possible impact on the wider Muslim community. The questions that particularly exercise Bunt are how far can Islam on the Internet be regarded as the representation of a digital umma’ or the ideals of a global Muslim community? And to what extent are cyber Islamic environments to be regarded as a fulfilment of da’wa, the obligation to propagate Islam?

Naturally, the Qur’an is a central feature of Islamic computer landscapes; there is a searchable online Qur’an while Radio Al-Islam claimed to have provided the entire Qur’an online in audio format by April 1997. There is alongside this fundamental presence a notable absence apparently of sites incorporating the more subtle areas of Islamic philosophy and the work of figures such as Al-Ghazali. A more promising avenue is, unsurprisingly, political Islam, including various sites associated with the Taliban in Afghanistan circa. 2000. Bunt considers it clear that many politically active Muslim organisations now regard the web as an 'integral part of their information strategies'.

This statement seems a rather obvious one. For millions, whether Muslim or not, the Internet is an everyday technology providing users with rapid documentation, news, analysis and images. The digital umma’ is but a microcosm of the non-digital world, presenting diverse and conflicting opinions with apparently universal authority. As Bunt concludes, Web da’wa is predominantly economical in its scope but nonetheless an intriguing part of the continuing evolutionary process stretching back to Mount Hira in 610.

Rowan O'Neill

It is possible to use this review for promotional purposes, but the following acknowledgment should be included: A review from www.gwales.com, with the permission of the Welsh Books Council.

Gellir defnyddio'r adolygiad hwn at bwrpas hybu, ond gofynnir i chi gynnwys y gydnabyddiaeth ganlynol: Adolygiad oddi ar www.gwales.com, trwy ganiatâd Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru.
Gwybodaeth Bellach:
' . . . Bunt has done a great service to Islamic Studies via the Internet and will serve as a torchbearer and a guide for further research in this area.' Islam Online
'. . . extensive survey of the way Muslims around
the world are using the Internet and the effect this may have on the future of Islam.' (LPS
Weekly Newsletter).
This is the first broad-ranging academic survey to explore how Islam and the internet
combine and interact.
Information technology is now making a global impact on how Muslims approach and
interpret Islam. Given its utilization as a primary source of information, the internet
also influences how non-Muslims perceive Islam and matters relating to Muslims. Among the
issues addressed are: how multimedia applications are being integrated into websites,
enabling surfers to listen to and see ‘sermons’ delivered thousands of miles
away and to partake of new opportunities for religious experience; how Muslim
organizations are networking globally through the electronic medium, and how that impacts
upon understanding of Islam and Muslim identities; how can Muslims and non-Muslims
approach the Qu’ran in its digital form; how the internet is used to present diverse
dialogues relating to Islam, often reaching wide audiences where other forms of
communication are heavily censored.
'a pioneering work in Islamic studies, the first serious work on Islam and the Internet'—Amina Elbendary, Al-Ahram Weekly Online
Gary Bunt is Lecturer in Islamic Studies at University of Wales, Lampeter
See the
Virtually Islamic web site at www.virtuallyislamic.com
Go to al-bab.com for more related links
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