Thursday, July 31, 2014


Round-up on Gaza/social media issues: 

It is not possible to record all developments within this catastrophic sequence of events - here are a few links relating to this blog's main theme. Also see my Facebook page for more on this.

Arab News, 100 Gazans die in maniacal strikes "Israel on Tuesday unleashed its heaviest bombardment in a 3-week-old war against Hamas, striking symbols of the group’s control in Gaza and firing tank shells that Palestinian officials said shut down the strip’s only power plant."

HP, Gaza in Social Media Images Speaks Volumes "The images from and about Gaza disseminated through social media are striking, searing, poignant and loaded with messages, proving, yet again, that a picture (or cartoon) is worth a thousand words."

Gulf News, How social media hijacked the Gaza narrative

mashable, #IStandWithPalestine vs. I 3 IDF: A War of Photos Between Supporters

aljazeera, Israeli fire kills nineteen in Gaza UN school


BBC News, #BBCtrending: The women having a laugh in Turkey  "Women should not laugh in public. So said Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc in a speech on Monday about "moral corruption" in Turkey. "Chastity is so important," he said. "She will not laugh in public."

"His comments have prompted a big backlash from women on social media in Turkey, with thousands posting photos of themselves laughing and smiling on Twitter and Instagram. There have been more than 300,000 tweets using the term "kahkaha" - the Turkish word for "laughter" - and on the hashtags "Resist Laughter" (#direnkahkaha) and "Resist Woman" (#direnkadin)."

Thursday, July 24, 2014

'Gaza and Israel: War of the hashtags', Gaza and Israel: War of the hashtags "How instant access to online images and information is helping to shape global reaction to the Israel-Gaza war."

Mehmet Görmez, Turkey's top cleric calls new Islamic ‘caliphate' illegitimate "[Mehmet] Görmez said death threats against non-Muslims made by the group, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), were hugely damaging. "The statement made against Christians is truly awful. Islamic scholars need to focus on this [because] an inability to peacefully sustain other faiths and cultures heralds the collapse of a civilization," he told Reuters in an interview."

Jihadi tours, Jihadists organise tours in their Syria, Iraq 'caliphate' "Salameh said the group's tour buses start their journey in Tal Abyad (on Syria's Turkish border) and end in Iraq's Anbar. Passengers can get off wherever they want, and they don't need a passport to cross the border."

#JewsandArabsRefuseToBeEnemies, Kiss and tell: Arab-Jewish peck goes viral "The campaign #JewsandArabsRefuseToBeEnemies was launched by Abraham Gutman and Dania Darwish, both students at Hunter College in New York, shortly after the Israeli military launched Operation Protective Edge on July 8 in a bid to stamp out rocket fire from Gaza killing at least 583 people." #JewsandArabsRefuseToBeEnemies

'Saudi cousins lashed for ‘exchanging insults’ on Whatsapp', Saudi cousins lashed for ‘exchanging insults’ on Whatsapp, 22 Jul 2014 "The Criminal Court in the city of Jeddah sentenced two Saudi women to 10 days in jail and 20 lashes each for exchanging insults via text and WhatsApp messages, Okaz daily reported Tuesday."

'Iraq cyber-war'

BBC News, Iraq conflict breeds cyber-war among rival factions, 22 Jul 2014 "A cyber-civil war is being waged alongside the armed conflict in Iraq, research by security firms suggests.

"As well as using social media to rally supporters and spread propaganda, some factions are employing hackers to gather intelligence."

Monday, July 21, 2014

#Gaza - Round-up of Reporting

For info purposes, here is a brief collection of links/images relating to the current situation in #Gaza.

, Al-Qassam Brigade: We have kidnapped an Israeli soldier #Gaza #Israel. Is this a game changer?

BBC World Service, Newshour, Lyse Doucet, Audio Postcard from Gaza

Telegraph, Gaza conflict: Broken by Israeli barrage, the people of Shejaiya flee as homes are laid waste  

IBT, #OpSaveGaza: Anonymous Takes Down 1,000 Israeli Government and Business Websites


Facebook: Palestine Solidarity Egypt:

Daily Star, NBC Pull Gaza Reporter after Massacre Report  

IBT, Hamas 'Gives Gazans Guidelines For Reporting Israeli Attacks on Social Media' "The Hamas interior ministry website statement, issued along with an instructional video, said: "The Information Department of the Ministry of the Interior and National Security has instructed activists on social media websites, particularly Facebook, to correct some of the commonly used terms as they cover the aggression taking place in the Gaza Strip.... [and] to use the proper terminology, in order to play their part in strengthening the home front and in properly conveying information worldwide.""

Sydney Morning Herald, Israeli propaganda war hits social media, 18 Jul 2014, Gaza stories that have gone viral on social media

Friday, July 18, 2014

Foreign fighters flock to ISIS

Foreign fighters flock to ISIS - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East: "Jabhat al-Nusra is still trying to pick up the pieces of its defeat to the Islamic State (IS, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS) in the northern region. This defeat resulted in the fleeing of its leaders; its groups fell into division and confusion. As a result, the general command of al-Qaeda stretched out a helping hand to its branch in al-Sham. Meanwhile, it has been noticed that the influx of foreign fighters to Syria has increased since the declaration of the Islamic caliphate."

The International Society for Media, Religion and Culture (ISMRC) conference August 4-7, 2014

Digital Religion Research Prominent Theme in Upcoming International Conference | Religion Press Release Services "The International Society for Media, Religion and Culture (ISMRC) conference held August 4-7, 2014, is the 9th in a series of events assembling an international group of interdisciplinary scholars to better understand relationships between media, society and religion and the significance of media for religion in public life. The event draws a diverse crowd of academics and students with interests ranging from media studies and religious studies to anthropology and digital humanities."

Documentary: Babar Ahmad: The godfather of internet jihad?

BBC News - Babar Ahmad: The godfather of internet jihad? "This week has seen the jailing of a man the Americans consider to be one of the most dangerous facilitators of terrorism in the West. But he is likely to be free in less than a year. He was a pioneer when it came to using the web as a tool of jihadist propaganda. So why do thousands of people think that Babar Ahmad is a victim of an injustice?"

I have discussed Babar Ahmad (and his internet activities) in my publications in the past.  The documentary can be heard via iPlayer.  It can also be downloaded.  The reporter, Dominic Casciani, can be found on Twitter @BBCDomC 

Also see BBC News, British cyber-jihadist Babar Ahmad jailed in US, 16 Jul 2014

Thursday, July 17, 2014

British ‘recruiter’ jihadist allegedly killed in Iraq

British ‘recruiter’ jihadist allegedly killed in Iraq - Al Arabiya News: "A Scottish jihadist who appeared in an Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) recruitment video last month urging young Western Muslims to perform their duty of Jihad in Iraq and Syria and to has been killed, it has been claimed."

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Jordan's Abu Qatada says caliphate declaration 'void'

Jordan's Abu Qatada says caliphate declaration 'void' - Al Arabiya News ""The announcement of a caliphate by the Islamic State (IS) is void and meaningless because it was not approved by jihadists in other parts of the world," Abu Qatada wrote in a 21-page document published on jihadist websites."

Kurd singer Helly Luv to ‘Risk it All’ for independence

Kurd singer Helly Luv to ‘Risk it All’ for independence - Al Arabiya News "Kurdish pop singer Helly Luv says she will not be put off by death threats from Iraqi Islamist militants since release of her first music video but, drawing on its title, insists she will "Risk It All" to help a push for an independent Kurdistan." 2.5m hits on YouTube.

Dabiq: ISIS issues print, electronic newspaper

ISIS issues print, electronic newspaper - Al Arabiya News:

"The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has issued an electronic and printed newspaper named Dabiq in Arabic and English, the London-based Rai al-Youm newspaper reported Tuesday, citing social media accounts close to ISIS."

Monday, July 14, 2014

Facebook page calls for release of Musa Cerantonio

Facebook page calls for release of Musa Cerantonio | Mail Online:

"Within hours of the Philippines arrest of an Australian convert to Islam who used the internet to urge people to join 'jihad', a Facebook page calling for his release hit the social media site.

"Robert Edward Cerantonio, 29, who also goes by the name Musa Cerantonio, was detained on Friday in the central Filipino city of Cebu where he is believed to have been hiding from Australian authorities, despite claiming he had arrived in the Middle East just days before."

Fatwas online

Fatwas popular these days, available even on internet - The Times of India: "Darul Ifta, the fatwa-issuing department of the UP-based Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband, launched its website in 2007. Till date, it has issued 14,581 fatwas in Urdu, and 7,045 in English. "We decided to accept queries for fatwas online to reduce the load on our staff," says Noamani. The number of queries has gone up in recent years because of the online facility. "A decade ago we used to get around 10,000 queries yearly. This number is around 25,000 today plus 5,000 via email," says a source from Darul Ifta."

hardly a 'headline', but an interesting article

Move over, smiley face: New religious emojis on the way |, Move over, smiley face: New religious emojis on the way |:


Sky News, Abdullah-X Cartoon Aims To Deter Jihadists "The creator of the online campaign featuring a disillusioned young Muslim is a former follower of Abu Hamza and Omar Bakri."


Iran Jails Facebook Users For 127 Years

Sky News, Iran Jails Facebook Users For 127 Years, 14 Jul 2014 "Eight Facebook activists in Iran been jailed for a total of 127 years for making posts critical of the ruling regime."