Thursday, October 16, 2014

New Book: Social Media and the Politics of Reportage: The 'Arab Spring', New Book: Social Media and the Politics of Reportage: The 'Arab Spring' "Palgrave Macmillan published a new book titled "Social Media and the Politics of Reportage: The 'Arab Spring'" edited by Saba Bebawi and Diana Bossio." Info here

Umm Abduh

#BBCtrending: Syria's nine-year-old YouTube storyteller "Like many children in Syria's conflict, nine-year-old Rasha's life has been changed forever by the civil war. She has witnessed the destruction of her part of Aleppo by shelling, and can no longer attend school because of the danger.
"But unlike others her age, she has a different life on YouTube. She has become the star of "Umm Abduh", a YouTube series satirising the war which was uploaded during Ramadan, and is now about to be broadcast on TV."

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

iMuslims Review

C P Slayton, iMuslims, Five years on; still not outdated, July 28, 2014 ""iDo not overlook this book merely because it was published in 2009. Bunt's research followed close enough the cutting edge of social media and internet activity in the Muslim world for this book to apply certainly five years on, if not eight." I am currently working on my next book, but this recent review was drawn to my attention on the Amazon.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Robert Fisk, on ISIS and the internet

Robert Fisk, Propaganda war of Islamic extremists is being waged on Facebook and internet message boards, not mosques "At its most basic, you have only to read the viciousness of internet chatrooms. Major newspapers – hopelessly late – have only now started to realise that chatrooms are not a new technical version of “Letters to the Editor” but a dangerous forum for people to let loose their most-disturbing characteristics. Thus a major political shift in the Middle East, transferred to the internet, takes on cataclysmic proportions. Our leaders not only can be transfixed themselves – the chairman of the US House Committee on Homeland Security, for example, last week brandishing a printed version of Dabiq, the Isis online magazine – but can use the same means to terrify us."


Independent, Isis’s teenage Austrian poster girl jihadi brides 'have changed their minds and want to come home', 12 Oct 2014 "Experts now believe that the social media accounts associated to the girls were commandeered by Isis, with images and posts doctored to encourage other girls to follow suit."

Also see, Austrian youth flocking to ISIL, 10 Oct 2014 "Mainstream Austrian media have been filled with screen shots of Facebook profiles and posts of Austrians who have gone to fight in Syria and Iraq. One newspaper even published a Facebook interview with one of Austria's foreign fighters."

There's also this quote from an imam, Mamdouh El Attar: "Those who have gone to Syria and Iraq didn't attend religious classes or prayers. They are easily manipulated because they have no idea what Islam really is."

'Rich kids' Instagram, Iran blocks Tehran ‘rich kids’ Instagram page also see, 'Poor Kids of Tehran' takes on Iran's elite

How nasheeds became the soundtrack of jihad

Euronews, How nasheeds became the soundtrack of jihad "In public meetings or online propaganda videos, Islamist hymns, known as anasheed jihadiya or simply nasheeds, have become inseparable from the image of violent groups in the Middle East. These chants are now the soundtrack of jihad."

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Saudi drive campaign, Saudi activists revive women’s right-to-drive campaign

First court date set in case to ban Facebook, Twitter in Egypt, First court date set in case to ban Facebook, Twitter in Egypt "Lawyer Mohamed Hamed Selim filed a lawsuit in late August to temporarily ban the popular social media sites until they acquired legal permission to operate in Egypt. The lawsuit cited security concerns and warned that the websites could be used as tools in intelligence plots against the state."

High-Speed Internet Is "Un-Islamic," Says A Senior Iranian Ayatollah, High-Speed Internet Is "Un-Islamic," Says A Senior Iranian Ayatollah "Iran's Ministry of Communication recently announced that it will give more mobile providers licenses for high-speed Internet services. But the Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi says authorities should first introduce measures that would prevent access to the "un-Islamic" and "negative features" of the technology."

“Cub of Baghdadi”, ISIS supporters mourn death of ‘youngest fighter’, 9 Oct 2014 "Supporters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria militant group have recently circulated pictures of the “Cub of Baghdadi,” who they say is the youngest ISIS “martyr” from the Arabian Peninsula to have been killed in Syria.

"On “The Cub of Baghdadi Channel” on YouTube, ISIS supporters on Oct. 7 published an obituary for the young boy."

Baraka Blue

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

'The jihadi hunters'

Boston Globe, The jihadi hunters "Zelin and Berger are something new in the intelligence world: part of an emerging breed of online jihadi-hunters who have done pathbreaking work, often independently of government and big media outlets, on a shoestring budget. Numbering less than a dozen, they have earned their reputations over the past four years by being the first to report key developments later confirmed by mainstream research and reporting—such as the split between the Islamic State and Al Qaeda, the burst of jihadi recruitment in the West, and the entry of Hezbollah into the Syrian battle. The meteoric rise of ISIS has been a catalyzing moment for these analysts, pushing them into the spotlight as one of the most important sources of information and context."

Ayatollah’s Twitter

Slate, A Deep Dive Into the Ayatollah’s Twitter Hate for America "The Ayatollah’s abhorrence for the United States permeates his feed, regardless of the topic. When the Ayatollah tweets about a seemingly unrelated topic, such as press freedom, he remembers how much he dislikes America."

CNN: Why are young jihadists joining ISIS?

Virtual Hajj

Slate, The Controversy Over a Virtual Hajj for Muslims " "Technology is changing how the faithful engage with the tradition, too. Preparing for hajj used to just be a course full of texts and lectures, but now YouTube videos and online forums make lessons livelier. The prototype for a new app, Mecca 3D, was released this summer, and lets users explore a true-to-scale digital rendition of the Mosque at Mecca. It has been downloaded about 80,000 times on Android, according to its creator, Bilal Chbib. He hopes to add interactive lessons and to integrate the program with Oculus Rift, a virtual reality simulator."

My chapter on this subject comes out later in the year. Details to follow

The Isis propaganda war

Steve Rose, Guardian, The Isis propaganda war: a hi-tech media jihad "Isis is using techniques plundered from movies, video games and news channels to spread its message. Who is masterminding the operation – and what is the best way to counter it?"

Monday, October 06, 2014

'Viral tweets show ISIS sweet-talking Texan blonde', Viral tweets show ISIS sweet-talking Texan blonde, 6 Oct 2014, "A blonde Texan woman found herself the center of unwanted attention after she recounted the story of her conversion to Islam on Twitter, receiving marriage proposals from suspected extremists that have since gone viral."

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Alan Henning, Prayers said for Briton killed by ISIS fighters "Prayers are being offered in churches and mosques for Alan Henning, a British aid worker murdered by ISIS militants, as another Briton is reunited with his family after being freed by captors in Libya."