Monday, February 08, 2016

Virtually Islamic

Virtually Islamic, my main research website, has been restored after a brief technical interlude.

'Islamic State is no longer so formidable on the battlefield'

Hugh Naylor, Washington Post, Islamic State is no longer so formidable on the battlefield, 8 Feb 2016 "The Islamic State’s recent defeats on the battlefield signal that its once-vaunted militia army has been hobbled by worsening money problems, desertions and a dwindling pool of fighters, analysts and monitoring groups say." Opinion.

Two British Members of Islamic State 'Beatles' Have Been Identified

Vice News, Two British Members of Islamic State 'Beatles' Have Been Identified, 7 Feb 2016 On Sunday, a Washington Post and BuzzFeed investigation named a member of the group known as "Jihadi Ringo" as 32-year-old Londoner Alexanda Kotey, while an ITV News investigation also named Kotey as well as identifying a third member of the group as Aine Davis, a drug dealer who converted to Islam and left the UK in 2013.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Thursday, February 04, 2016

' ISIS release chilling video of English-speaking child beheading hostage and threatening America '

Daily Mirror, ISIS release chilling video of English-speaking child beheading hostage and threatening America, 4 Feb 2016

'Hijab Barbie'

Rachel Lubitz,, This "Hijab Barbie" May Be the Cutest Style Star on Instagram "Adam, who lives in Nigeria, uses her Instagram account Hijarbie to showcase "mini hijab fashion." That means photo after photo of the Barbie-style doll we know — tall, thin, long-legged, probably blonde — wearing clothes we're less used to: Instead of princess gowns or hot pants, it's all hijabs and abayas."

Qur'an teaching online

Tim Craig, Washington Post/ndtv, 'Read It Correctly!' Via Skype, Islamic Teaching Flows Out Of Pakistan, 1 Feb 2016, "With lax telecommunications laws, a large pool of potential teachers and relatively new technologies such as Skype, Pakistan has become a global hub for computerized training courses on how to become a properly observant Muslim."

'Iraq seeks to take Islamic State offline'

Reuters, To silence propaganda, Iraq seeks to take Islamic State offline " Iraq is trying to persuade satellite firms to halt Internet services in areas under Islamic State's rule, seeking to deal a major blow to the group's potent propaganda machine which relies heavily on social media to inspire its followers to wage jihad."

Islamic State's 'Radio Caliphate', Islamic State's Radio Caliphate, internet system in Afghanistan reportedly destroyed; But locals still hear broadcast

Boko Haram

Guardian, Join us or die: the birth of Boko Haram, 4 Feb 2016 extracts from Andrew Walker’s new book, Eat the Heart of the Infidel (Hurst).

China + 'Salafism'

Jonathan Kaiman, LA Times, In China, rise of Salafism fosters suspicion and division among Muslims, 1 Feb 2016 "The growth in the Salafi movement here has rattled China's officially atheist communist government, which finds any expression of religious fervor to be unnerving, especially when it carries associations with foreign extremists."


Quartz, Syrian refugees are offering Arabic lessons to students abroad through Skype "To get started, you fill out a simple questionnaire on Natakallam’s website, then specify your availability in a shared spreadsheet. Classes can be bought singly or in bundles. A Natakallam administrator looks over each prospective student’s level, goals, general interests and preferred schedule, and matches him or her with a conversation partner." This is a great idea. See

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

IS Skype

Daily Mirror, ISIS conducts online bomb-making tutorials over Skype to recruit youths " Terror leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdad is said to have personally conducted some of the online tutorials, in a bid to brainwash more young Muslims in India"

Monday, February 01, 2016

Tareena Shakil

BBC News, Tareena Shakil jailed for six years for joining IS, 1 Feb 2016 "Shakil, a former health worker from Birmingham, but formerly of Burton-upon-Trent in Staffordshire, admitted travelling to Syria but denied joining IS and encouraging acts of terrorism through messages posted on Twitter."

Instagram imams

BBC News, Instagram imams are unlikely online hit, 1 Feb 2016 " They shoot hoops with schoolgirls, pose with Christmas trees to wish seasons greetings to Christians and even make the tea. These are not images of Iranian clerics which the world is so used to seeing.

"But an Instagram account that posts pictures of Islamic scholars in everyday situations has become a social media success in Iran and has more than 12,000 followers."

This refers to TalabeToday

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Egypt 5 years on: was it ever a 'social media revolution'?

Maeve Shearlaw, Guardian, Egypt 5 years on: was it ever a 'social media revolution'?, 25 Jan 2016 "But despite western media’s love affair with the idea, the uprisings didn’t happen because of social media. Instead, the platforms provided opportunities for organisation and protest that traditional methods couldn’t."