Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Syria: Amnesty International report

Guardian, Syria crackdown horror catalogued in Amnesty deaths in detention report, 30 Aug 2011 refers to YouTube videos

Amnesty International, Syria: Deadly detention: Deaths in custody amid popular protest in Syria (pdf)

PTA directs ISPs to ban EVPNs

Nadir Hassan, Express Tribune, Virtual watchdog: Internet users banned from browsing privately for ‘security reasons’
"In an effort to ramp up the monitoring of internet security, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has directed all ISPs to prevent internet users from using technology that would allow them to privately browse the internet. This was stated in a PTA notice provided to The Express Tribune by a source at an Islamabad-based internet service provider (ISP)."

Islam and Science Fiction

Islam and Science Fiction I've been pointed towards this website, which looks like an interesting resource on books, comics, films, etc.

'Shooting suspect admits killing US airmen'

David McHugh, AP, Shooting suspect admits killing US airmen, 31 Aug 2011

"A 21-year-old Kosovo Albanian confessed Wednesday to killing two U.S. airmen at the Frankfurt airport, saying in emotional testimony at the opening of his trial that he had been influenced by radical Islamic propaganda online."

'How Mobile Devices Help Indonesians Return To Hometowns for Eid'

Ratri Adityarani,, How Mobile Devices Help Indonesians Return To Hometowns for Eid "We reckon Indonesia to be a mobile centric nation, thus it is not a surprise to see how apps and mobile devices in general become a crucial tool at Ramadan and Eid."

'High Internet activity over Ramadan period in Saudi Arabia'

AMEInfo, High Internet activity over Ramadan period in Saudi Arabia, says Effective Measure, 25 Aug 2011, "On 15 August 2011, the number of unique browsers in Saudi Arabia peaked between 3AM to 6AM, with the highest number of unique browsers for the day recorded at 4AM. During this time, a quarter of a million unique browsers accessed over 1.2 million pages within the hour.

"After unusually high online activity in the hours leading up to Suhoor, Saudis start getting active again only from 8pm onwards."

'Islam in the new Egypt'

H.A. Hellyer, On Faith blog,, Islam in the new Egypt, 26 Aug 2011

" ... social media, the impact of which has been so widely publicized, is unlikely to be pivotal in the elections. World Bank figures show one-fifth of Egyptians use the Internet overall, let alone access sites such as Twitter or Facebook. Despite claims to the contrary, January 25 itself was not a ”social media revolution;” only eight percent of Egyptians say they used Facebook or Twitter to get their news about the protests, according to Gallup’s data. Social media was not then, nor is it now, the core information medium for the average Egyptian. There are no shortcuts in reaching out to that ”man on the street”, and all parties must be perceived as trying to do just that."

Opinion piece

Worldwide Eid al-Fitr celebrations

Time, Worldwide Eid al-Fitr celebrations, 31 Aug 2011 great selection of photos

Libya: Eid al-Fitr, Libyans celebrate Eid in Tripoli "Thousands of Libyans have gathered in Tripoli to mark the end of Ramadan and celebrate Eid al-Fitr, kneeling in prayer in Martyrs' Square as they rejoiced in the collapse of Muammar Gaddafi's regime."

'Survey of US Muslim Attitudes Finds Little Support for Extremism'

Jerome Socolovsky, VOA, Survey of US Muslim Attitudes Finds Little Support for Extremism "Since the 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, many Americans have worried about the potential for home grown militancy among Muslims living in the United States. A new survey of American Muslims suggests that a decade after the attacks, there is very little support for extremism."

Here's the link: Pew Forum, Muslim Americans: No Signs of Growth in Alienation or Support for Extremism "Based on interviews with 1,033 Muslim Americans conducted this year (April 14-July 22) in English, Arabic, Farsi and Urdu, the wide-ranging report looks at Muslim Americans’ political and social attitudes; religious views and practices; experiences and difficulties faced after 9/11; views of Islamic extremism; views of U.S. efforts at combating terrorism; and views of national conditions. In addition to updating trends from earlier Pew Research surveys, the report includes comparisons of Muslim Americans with the general public and with Muslims in other countries, as well as detailed demographic information."

I haven't read this report yet.

"Radical Islam in Indonesia and its Middle Eastern Connections"

Merlyna Lim, Gloria Center (Israel), Radical Islam in Indonesia and its Middle Eastern Connections, 29 Aug 2011 "This article offers a three-prong approach to investigating the emergence of contemporary Indonesian radical Islamism in the post-Suharto era (from 1998 onward). First, it places it within the historical context of radical Islamism in Indonesia, its past connection to colonialism, as well as a more contemporary one to Middle Eastern Islamism. Second, it puts this resurgence within the larger context of global jihad movements; it traces the origins of the ideology of radicalism itself, which is the global jihad meta-narrative that dominates much of the discourse on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Arab countries. Third, it discusses the dissemination of radicalism in society, including how the media, particularly the internet, plays an important role in spreading the jihad meta-narrative and its stylized version of contemporary history."

Looks like a useful article. Merlyna Lim has written extensively elsewhere about internet issues in Indonesia.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Syria opened the Internet to close down rebellion

Edward Berridge, TechEye, Syria opened the Internet to close down rebellion, 24 Aug 2011 "In an attempt to calm the general populace from doing another Libya, the Syrian government promised to relax Internet restrictions. It seemed to do this by unblocking popular social networking sites.

"However it turned out that it was luring the online revolutionaries into a well prepared battleground staffed by the Syrian Electronic Army."

Libya net connection

BBC News, Libya starts to reconnect to internet, 22 Aug 2011 "Libya's internet connections appear to be slowly coming back online after a six-month blackout.

"The state-run internet service provider (ISP) carried a message on its website that said: "Libya, one tribe"."

The Syrian Revolution 2011

The Syrian Revolution 2011 الثورة السورية ضد بشار الاسد

Reminder of this Facebook page, which continues to have latest news and feeds from Syria.


UPI, Letterman jokes off jihad threat, 23 Aug 2011 "David Letterman returned to his New York show from a two-week hiatus using jokes and his Top 10 list to respond to a jihadist's Internet death threats."

Monday, August 22, 2011

Muslim Women and Digital Technology, Digital Technology "Just as the Internet reflects the plurality of Islamic traditions and interpretations, it also highlights a wide spectrum of political, social and religious activity among Muslim women."

This article refers to my own "iMuslims". There is certainly scope for more research in this area, and I would welcome enquiries from potential postgrads on this subject.

Libya News Feeds

Select news feeds:

AlJazeera, Libya Live Blog

CNN Live Blog, Libya news

France24 Libya News

BBC News, Battle for Tripoli

LibyanYouthMovement [Twitter] and Libyan Youth Movement Facebook


Arab Times, Efforts made to give bloggers ‘sense of order’, 22 Aug 2011, "To support bloggers and make blogging a more healthy and meaningful exercise in Kuwait, Khalil Al-Hamar, Founder and CEO of Edges, has undertaken a new initiative to form a sort of union of bloggers."

See for more information

"Social media between regulation, freedom"

Labeed Abdal, Arab Times, Social media between regulation, freedom, 22 Aug 2011 opinion piece "THE social media is not just a way to find your classmates in high school 20 years ago or to share summer holiday or graduation pictures; it is also a tool for staging revolutions to demand changes in regimes and public policies."

Twitter enables right to left writing

Arab Crunch, Twitter enables right to left writing, 13 Aug 2011

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Egypt photos

Guardian, Egypt: now what? - in pictures includes photos of prominent bloggers and activists.

Also see Thanassis Cambanis' related article Guardian, Egypt Now What?, 12 Aug 2011

'Iran arrests youths for playing with water'

France 24, Iran arrests youths for playing with water, 15 Aug 2011 "Ten young men and women were arrested a few days after the first fight took place, and accused of breaking Islamic law. On August 5, seventeen participants in a second water fight in the city of Bandar Abbas suffered the same fate. A local police official ruled that the "promiscuity between men and women" during these fights was unacceptable, and even more so the use of water during the Ramadan holiday, during which observant Muslims refrain from consuming food or beverages from sunrise to sunset. All of the arrested youths were eventually freed, but the chief of the country’s morality police warned that all future water fights would be severely punished. Since then, though there have been repeated calls online for new water fights, no one has dared participate."

Also see the source of the image on the left (from Facebook):

جنگ تفنگ آبپاش در تهران

Digital Islamic library inaugurated in Brunei

ABNA, Digital Islamic library inaugurated in Brunei "Digital Islamic library is being inaugurated in the Dar-ul-Islam Islamic centre of Brunei in this month, based upon the agreement between the fatwa center of the P.M’s office and Alaif technology company of Brunei. "

OpenNet Initative report

Neal Ungerleider,, Muslim-Majority Nations Stifling Online Expression: Report, 11 Aug 2011 "Majority-Muslim countries regularly engage in faith-based censorship of the Internet, according to a new report by prominent watchdog group, The OpenNet Initative. The study, written by Helmi Noman, examined 15 states and territories. Out of these, 14 blocked sites that were considered to be critical of Islam and five blocked “liberal, secular, and atheistic comment.”"

The report is here: ONI, In the Name of God: Faith Based Internet Censorship in Majority Muslim Countries [pdf] Looks interesting, but I haven't read it yet...

aQIM arrest

BBC News, Spain arrests al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb suspect, 17 Aug 2011 "Officials allege that Mr Chiba belonged to an armed group allied to AQIM and managed a website with radical Islamist content, including training manuals.

"|"Abdellatif is believed to be the general administrator of an internet site which was a jihadist forum with radical content," police said in a statement.""

Internet jihadist killed in Predator strike in Waziristan

The Long War Journal, Internet jihadist killed in Predator strike in Waziristan, 16 Aug 2011 "An Internet jihadist who traveled to Pakistan's tribal areas to fight with al Qaeda-linked terror groups is thought to have been killed in a US Predator airstrike. Also, a prominent member of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan is reported to have wounded in another Predator strike in Pakistan's tribal areas."

"Arab Revolutions" exhibition in Cardiff

Third Floor Gallery, "Arab Revolutions", 30 July - 4 September 2011

I went to see this 'Arab Uprising' exhibition in Cardiff a couple of weeks ago. It's well worth visiting (up a very steep staircase!). As well as the excellent photos, there's a wall of images drawn from net sources, and film clips from YouTube and related sources. Recommended. 

aQ use Internet Archive

Steven Stalinsky, MEMRI, Al-Qaeda, Jihadis Infest the San Francisco, California-Based 'Internet Archive' Library, 17 August 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011

Maher Zain

The Atlantic, Maher Zain's Hip but Pious Soundtrack to the Arab Spring, 10 Aug 2011 "Washington analysts have overlooked the political significance of the pop singer, who—like the Bob Dylan of the ’60s—represents a new generation of Arabs: Young people who want a new society and a new nizam (political system) in which Arabs no longer have to choose between modernity and Islam, and where neither Islam nor the West can be used to justify autocracy. The importance of a change of nizam can be seen in the chief demand of demonstrators from North Africa to the Persian Gulf: “al-sha'b yuridu isqat al-nizam,”which means, “The people want to overthrow the system.”"

Islamic extremists seek to benefit from Britain riots: intelligence group, Islamic extremists seek to benefit from Britain riots: intelligence group, 11 Aug 2011 "In a message on the Shumukh Al Islam forum posted Wednesday, one extremist says the riots could be “useful” for the jihadist cause, suggesting Britain could perhaps withdraw troops from Afghanistan and send them to London.

"He advised jihadists to “infiltrate the British forums, Facebook and Twitter” with catchy slogans such as “We are all Mark Duggan”, a reference to the man shot dead by London police -- the incident that triggered the violence."

Anti-social networking

I'm catching up after a brief period off-line:

TechCentral, UK government considers social media block to prevent riots, 15 Aug 2011

Guardian, London riots: how BlackBerry Messenger played a key role, 8 Aug 2011

BBC News, Social media's role in the riots, 9 Aug 2011

Thursday, August 11, 2011

ANI/Times of India, US Muslim pleads guilty to using Internet for soliciting terrorism, 10 Aug 2011

"A 22-year-old American Muslim from Pennsylvania pleaded guilty to using Internet to urge Muslim radicals in the US to engage in a wide range of terror attacks."

[posted retrospectively]

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

How we observe Ramadan in an always-on society | Multi-American

How we observe Ramadan in an always-on society | Multi-American "KPCC intern Yasmin Nouh rose long before dawn today to observe the start of Ramadan. As she writes, it’s not as easy to observe the Islamic holy month in the United States, with its frenetic pace of life, as it is in places like Egypt and Iran, the countries in which her parents grew up.

"But there are ways – and the Internet helps."

Mecca: Live Streaming Prayers, YouTube Starts Live Streaming Prayers from Mecca, 1 Aug 2011 "Google has its ways to greet Muslims during Ramadan, it has announced that it is launching Makkah Live a channel that is video live streaming from Al-Masjid al-Haram in Mecca during Ramadan. The live streaming is done in collaboration with Saudi culture and media ministry." [posted retrospectively] Link: