Thursday, July 14, 2016

BRISMES 2016: 'Networks: Connecting the Middle East through Times, Space and Cyberspace'

I am currently at the BRISMES 2016 Conference, which is being hosted in Lampeter. There's a wide range of papers, on the themes associated with 'Networks: Connecting the Middle East through Times, Space and Cyberspace'. I'm giving a paper, along with some of my postgrads.

The programme can be found here.

Updates: @OfficialBrismes, @garybunt, and religionTSD on Facebook

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

KSA residents ‘spend quarter of the day on social media’

Arab News, KSA residents ‘spend quarter of the day on social media’ "The findings, captured among over 4,000 residents in Saudi Arabia, revealed that the time spent on social media varies depending on age group. Young users (aged 18-35) spend from two to six hours per day, while older users (aged 36-55) spend 30 minutes to two hours per day."

Fashion

stuff.co.nz, If you've got it, don't flaunt it



Haaretz, Hijabs and Swim-skirts: Modest-fashion Sites Unite Jews, Muslims and Mormons

Abu Hamzah, the face of terror, is unmasked

themalaymailonline.com, Abu Hamzah, the face of terror, is unmasked " His folly proved to be when he went live over the Internet boasting his plans to launch attacks in Malaysia early this year, and now he has shown his dastardly true colours when executing the Movida attack from behind the scenes, from Syria ...

" ... Muhammad revealed that he himself had been recruited on Facebook, which had helped him to get to Syria."

Despite recent attacks, ISIS still losing social media war

globalnews.ca, Despite recent attacks, ISIS still losing social media war opinion piece "Alberto Fernandez, a former U.S. State Department official and vice-president of the Middle East Media Research Institute, believes ISIS’s most prolific days of spreading online propaganda are in the past."

Video: How eight French citizens gave up everything for IS group

Video: How eight French citizens gave up everything for IS group - France 24 "In this programme we look at what used to be a group of friends from the eastern French city of Vesoul. All of them were middle-class French citizens, aged between 20 and 30, who converted to Islam in a short space of time. They found the hardcore and sectarian views they wanted to hear in Islamic State group propaganda videos on the Internet. They soon swapped their peaceful life in France for the Syrian civil war, joining the ranks of the Islamic State group. FRANCE 24 takes a closer look."

Abim: Monitor family members' online activities for any links to IS

malaysiakini.com, Abim: Monitor family members' online activities for any links to IS "Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (Abim) has urged parents to brush up on their technological prowess so they can better monitor their children's activities online for any links to the Islamic State (IS)."

IS declares war on Malaysia and Indonesia

IS declares war on Malaysia and Indonesia - Nation | The Star Online "The man is wagging his right index finger back and forth, and talks in a mix of Bahasa Malaysia and what sounded like Arabic."

How the Islamic State Lures Women Over the Internet

The Politic, Who ISIS Really Wants: How the Islamic State Lures Women Over the Internet | "Most women who choose to join ISIS or other jihadist groups are the victims of aggressive and deliberate propaganda campaigns."

Monday, July 04, 2016

Islamic State launches first successful attack in Malaysia

CNN, Islamic State launches first successful attack in Malaysia "Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar told CNN that a grenade attack on June 28 at a nightspot near Kuala Lumpur, the country's capital, was carried out on the orders of a Malaysian Islamic State fighter in Syria, Muhammad Wanndy Mohamed Jedi."

Baghdad attack

Washington Post, The worst ISIS attack in days is the one the world probably cares least about

BBC, Iraq suicide bomb attack: Deaths in Baghdad rise to 165

"The number of people killed in Sunday's suicide bomb attack in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, has risen to 165, interior ministry officials say."

Also see #Baghdad

Here's a report from Channel 4 News:

Heartbreak, selfies and soccer: the life of a Bangladesh cafe killer

Reuters India, Heartbreak, selfies and soccer: the life of a Bangladesh cafe killer highlights the role of social media in 'radicalising' instigators of the attack in Bangladesh. "As investigators gather details about the militants, a profile is emerging of a band of educated youths from privileged backgrounds who had turned to radical Islamism only recently."

Muslim Match dating website hacked

BBC News, Muslim Match dating website hacked, 4 July 2016 "The personal details of more than 150,000 members of dating website Muslim Match have been posted online."

Jihadi 'bride-maker' is student from London

Daily Mail, Jihadi 'bride-maker' is student from London "Through her prolific output on social media, she commands a powerful influence on her following of largely young girls as she ‘grooms’ them, urging them, as she has done, to travel to Syria and marry bloodthirsty IS killers."

Saturday, July 02, 2016

There is hope in the fight against Isis in the history of Islam

Robert Fisk, Independent, There is hope in the fight against Isis in the history of Islam, 30 June 2016 "Every 100 years in Islamic history, [Tarif] Khalidi observed, a renewer of faith – a mujaddid – would arise to breathe new life into the religion. The two “great wings” of Islam began their careers as reform movements, the Sunnis emphasising the importance of the unity of the community, the Shias emphasising the integrity of government, each splintering of these wings a form of reconstruction which now appear “like two great trees with numerous branches”."

Friday, July 01, 2016

'Hajbit'

DailyMail, Pilgrims to Hajj to be given bracelets containing personal information "The bracelets are water resistant, connected to a GPS location system, and store each pilgrim's personal information including address and medical records, the Arab News and Saudi Gazette reported."Also see Arab News, 
E-bracelets a 'must' for pilgrims this Haj, 30 June 2016
and aljazeera.com, Hajj 2016: Saudi Arabia introduces bracelets for safety. It sounds like a good idea...

Muslim women face threats online

religionnews.com, Muslim women face threats online, 28 June 2016 "Muslim women like [Laila] Alawa have worked to create a vibrant space for themselves in the online world. But increasingly, many groups — from Islamophobes to conservative Muslims to feminists — are using social media’s anonymity and lack of accountability to pry that from them." Well-worth reading.

Online Fight Against Islamic State Makes Gains, U.S. Envoy Says

bloomberg.com, Online Fight Against Islamic State Makes Gains, U.S. Envoy Says, 28 June 2016 "[Brett] McGurk said he visited the year-old Sawab Center in the United Arab Emirates where "Muslims from the U.A.E. and the area who want to fight” Islamic State work around the clock. He said he met “smart, engaged, dynamic, incredible young people” at the center, which the State Department has described as “the first-ever multinational online messaging and engagement program” to counter terrorist propaganda."



Screenshot from @sawabcenter

Omar Mateen Enrolled In Online Website For Islam Lessons Run By Anti-Gay Imam

CBS News, Omar Mateen Enrolled In Online Website For Islam Lessons Run By Anti-Gay Imam, 23 June 2016 "The Orlando nightclub gunman enrolled in an online website for lessons on Islam that was run by an imam who openly preached against the gay community, sources said.



"A law enforcement source told CBS News that Omar Mateen, who killed 49 people at the gay nightclub Pulse, enrolled online in Fundamental Islamic Knowledge Seminary."

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Malaysia approaches fintech with Islamic twist

Computer Weekly, Malaysia approaches fintech with Islamic twist, 28 June 2016 "Malaysia is adapting to the financial technology (fintech) revolution by adjusting its financial regulatory guidelines with an Islamic angle."

iMulla: Tatarstan citizens were offered to invite imam by one click

realnoevremya.com, iMulla: Tatarstan citizens were offered to invite imam by one click, 29 June 2016 online access for Tatarstan imams discussed here: "In general, iMulla is very simple to use. On the home page of the website there are two big buttons — 'Invite a mullah' and 'Find a mullah'. Clicking on the 'Find a mullah', we found a list of 21 profiles, where it is specified what rites and where they are ready to hold them, their work schedule, age, place of work and place of study, additional data. In the case if a user decides to invite a mullah, he or she can order a call or fill in the form on the website with information about themselves, the rite they want, place and time of the meeting. If a person does not know whom to choose, the system can do it for him. The majority of profiles belongs to the Moscow clergy, and the project is mostly focused on the Muscovites yet."

Global terror database World-Check leaked

The Register, Global terror database World-Check leaked, 29 June 2016 "The mid-2014 version of the database contains some 2.2 million records and is used by 49 of the world's 50 largest banks, along with 300 government and intelligence agencies.



"The Thomson Reuters database is accused of falsely designating citizens and organisations as terrorists. Banks have used this data in whole or in part to shutter accounts, effectively locking people out of vast swathes of the global banking system."

Istanbul Airport Attack

BBC News, Istanbul Ataturk airport attack: 41 dead and more than 230 hurt






vocativ.com, Why ISIS Adherents Aren't Applauding The Istanbul Attack



vocative.com, Turkey Blocks News Sites, Twitter, Facebook After Deadly Attack



Mashable, Reports: Turkish government blocks social media in wake of airport attack