Monday, January 31, 2011

YouTube video of Egypt

as more video emerges, this 'Battle of the Brdige' is receiving substantial traffic on YouTube (via - check it out at 3'25 (where protestors attempting to pray receive water cannon)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Anonymous Mass-Faxes WikiLeaks Cables To Egypt

Andy Greenberg - The Firewall - Forbes, Amid Digital Blackout, Anonymous Mass-Faxes WikiLeaks Cables To Egypt, 28 Jan 2011: "On Friday afternoon, the loose hacker group Anonymous began a campaign to fax thousands of copies of WikiLeaks’ latest missives–a series of State Department cables revealing human rights abuses under Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and tacit U.S. backing for his administration–to Egyptian numbers."

Advice on Facebook

Fatema Yasmine, TNW, How to use Facebook status updates to track news in Egypt.

Thousands protest in Jordan

Al Jazeera English, Thousands protest in Jordan, 28 Jan 2011

Mubarak regime shuts down Internet in futile attempt to stop protests

Cam McGrath, The Electronic Intifada, Mubarak regime shuts down Internet in futile attempt to stop protests, 28 Jan 2011: "Twitter was an early casualty. Then Facebook access became spotty. But when the Internet itself went down, Egyptian pro-democracy activists knew their protests were having an effect."

"Egypt's communications 'kill switch'"

Dan Gillmor,, Egypt's communications 'kill switch', 28 Jan 2011 "The Egyptian government's move to shut down Internet access, among other communications, amid the escalating protests is nearly unprecedented—and it foretells a future, unless we work hard to prevent it, of centralized information control. And before we Americans get smug about our freedoms in the information sphere, we should recognize that what Egypt is doing is exactly what authoritarians in our own government want the ability to do here."

Photos from Egypt, The Egypt Protests

Syria, Syria Internet Down As Egypt Blackout Catches On In Middle East: Reports, 28 Jan 2011

Facebook Sudan protests

المسيرة السلمية الأولي في الخرطوم وكل مدن السودان

Use of FB in Sudan to mobilise protest:

Raw Video: Egypt Protesters Clash With Police

Raw Video Man Shot in Egypt Protest

AlJazeera - Coverage: Egypt

Gsquare86 interview

Robert Mackey, NTY, The Lede, Interview With an Egyptian Blogger, 27 Jan 2011

"Gigi Ibrahim, an Egyptian blogger and activist — known as Gsquare86 on Twitter — spoke to The Lede via Skype from an Internet cafe in Cairo on Thursday evening."

Perspective on Egypt

Jack Shenker, Guardian, Egyptian protesters are not just Facebook revolutionaries, 28 Jan 2011

"But despite the talk of a "Twitter revolution" it is worth remembering that the specific events that helped fuel this uprising happened offline."

BBC Arabic - Egypt

Egypt update

BBC, Egypt severs internet connection amid growing unrest, 28 Jan 2011 "Internet connections across Egypt appear to have been cut, as authorities gear up for a day of mass protest."

NPR, Friday Protests In Egypt Expected To Be Biggest Yet, 28 Jan 2011

Guardian, WikiLeaks: the latest developments

Guardian, Protests in Egypt - live updates

Thursday, January 27, 2011

جبهة الدفاع عن متظاهرى مصر

جبهة الدفاع عن متظاهرى مصر 'Front to Defend Egypt Protestors' are monitoring internet crackdown in Egypt

Advice on net security in Egypt

Eva Galperin, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Internet Security Savvy is Critical as Egyptian Government Blocks Websites, Arrests Activists in Response to Continued Protest, 27 Jan 2011 "Given the potential dangers, it is absolutely critical that Egyptian protesters take precautions when communicating online. To reiterate, social networking tools have given activists a powerful voice, which can be heard well beyond Egypt, but activists should also remember that the Egyptian government could use these same tools to identify and retaliate against them. We recommend that political activists look at our Surveillance Self Defense International report for information on how to use technology defensively to better protect their anonymity and freedom of expression in Egypt and other authoritarian regimes."

How Users in Egypt Are Bypassing Twitter & Facebook Blocks

Vadim Lavrusik, Mashable, How Users in Egypt Are Bypassing Twitter & Facebook Blocks, 27 Jan 2011 "Protests in Egypt are expected to intensify with opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei’s return to Cairo, and reports of Twitter and Facebook being blocked inside the country by Egyptian authorities continue to surface through the social networks themselves, and according to HerdictWeb. Users are also reporting that SMS – short message service – is being blocked as well."

Comment re Egypt

Conscious of information overload, the need to archive all of this and somehow keep up with various news feeds, Facebook pages and tweets (TweetDeck is going crazy tonight). Will be following tomorrow's events closely. Just heard Umm Kulthum pop up on my iTunes mix, while I was also listening again to the Shenker recording below ... intense.

Egypt protests: 'People are being hauled out by police and beaten'

Jack Shenker, Egypt protests: 'People are being hauled out by police and beaten' - audio, 26 Jan 2011 essential listening.

"Jack Shenker, the Guardian's reporter in Cairo, was beaten by police alongside protesters last night. He recorded the experience as they were driven in the dark through the city"

Egypt protest leaflets

Ian Black, Guardian, Egypt protest leaflets distributed in Cairo give blueprint for mass action, 27 Jan 2011: "Signed "long live Egypt", the slickly produced 26-page document calls on demonstrators to begin with peaceful protests, carrying roses but no banners, and march on official buildings while persuading policemen and soldiers to join their ranks.

"The leaflet ask recipients to redistribute it by email and photocopy, but not to use social media such as Facebook and Twitter, which are being monitored by the security forces."

Opinion and analysis

Andrew Gavin Marshall,, Are We Witnessing the Start of a Global Revolution?, 27 Jan 2011: "Part 1 of this essay focuses on the emergence of these protest movements and uprisings, placing it in the context of the Global Political Awakening. Part 2 will examine the West's strategy of 'democratic imperialism' as a method of co-opting the 'Awakening' and installing 'friendly' governments."

Haven't read this one yet, but it looks interesting.

'The dawn of a new Middle East'

Suat Kiniklioğlu,, The dawn of a new Middle East, 28 Jan 2011: "The world and the region have become smaller, more accessible, and what happens in the region is now readily available through the Internet. In this day and age it will prove increasingly difficult to stem the flow of information as well as the demand for democratic legitimacy." opinion piece, previously in Today's Zaman


Laura Kasinof,, Are Yemen's protests going to bring another revolution?, 27 Jan 2011

Amira Al Hussaini, Global Voices Online, Thousands Protesting Against Saleh Rule, 27 Jan 2011

Khaled Abdullah and Mohammed Ghobari, Reuters/MSNBC, Thousands march in Yemen to demand change of government, 27 Jan 2011

كلنا خالد سعيد

ElShaheeed on Facebook (We are all Khalid Saeed):

كلنا خالد سعيد

Photo galleries and images from the protests, together with campaigning materials. Samples below:

Twitter and Facebook Impact

Philadelphia Inquirer, Arab world shaken by power of Twitter and Facebook, 27 Jan 2011: "Behind the scenes rages a struggle for media control. Government blocks or muddles Twitter and cell-phone use; tech-savvy protesters find workarounds that get out the message. Facebook pages, Twitter tweets, and YouTube posts appear and are taken down. (Twitter confirmed it had been blocked in Egypt. Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes told CNET on Wednesday that Egypt had not blocked Facebook.)

"It would be misleading to overstress the impact of media. Mona el-Ghobashy, assistant professor of political science at Barnard College, says: 'The prospects for Tunisia-style reform in Egypt are dim. The Egyptian government is well-versed in managing and containing even large-scale protests, and has been doing so for decades.'

"On the other hand, says Entelis, 'no one saw this coming in Tunisia, either. The main thing is, the unthinkable first step has happened.'""

Similar points have been made elsewhere. Watch this space.

'Anonymous' hackers threaten Egyptian government'

AFP: 'Anonymous' hackers threaten Egyptian government, 27 Jan 2011: "The group of hackers known as 'Anonymous', which attacked Tunisian government websites this month, has warned the Egyptian government of reprisals if it blocks Internet access for protestors."

Facebook Egyptian 'traffic drop'?

The Economic Times, Facebook says has seen drop in traffic from Egypt, 28 Jan 2011 "Facebook has seen a drop in traffic to its Web site from Egypt on Thursday amid anti-government protests in that country, the company said."

Inside Egypt's Facebook Revolt

Mike Giglio, Daily Beast/Newsweek, Inside Egypt's Facebook Revolt, 27 Jan 2011: "After this week’s Friday prayers, which are always heavily attended, people will be asked to take to the streets anew. On one of the protest’s main Facebook pages, more than 43,000 people have already signed up for the event, which was posted Wednesday. “A lot of organizers are arrested,” says “ElShaheeed,” the page’s anonymous administrator. “We are hoping it will virally spread, and people will assume responsibility [by spreading the word] in their mosques and churches.”

""Post-prayer protests have been effective in Egypt for years. “It’s incredibly smart, because they can’t close off the mosques,” says Joshua Stacher, a Middle East specialist at Kent State who lived in Cairo for almost a decade. “They don’t know who’s showing up to pray and who’s showing up to protest.”""

The article refers to the following Facebook page:

جمعة الغضب للثورة على الفساد والظلم والبطالة والتعذيب

which looks like this:

Looks like Friday will be a busy day.

Egypt Net Clampdown II

Tim Lister and Emily Smith,, Social media @ the front line in Egypt, 27 Jan 2011 "Following Twitter comments with hashtags such as #Cairo, #jan25 and #Suez generates a huge flood of tweets. There is a breathless excitement about many entries, which are mainly in Arabic, English and French, but there are also scores of rumors, much invention and plenty of hyperbole.

"Sifting the wheat from the chaff, given the extraordinary volume of traffic, is a full-time job. One typically overstated entry on a Facebook page Thursday read: "Live ammunition is being fired at protesters. ... Innocent protesters who want their basic rights are being massacred." There is as much misinformation as information."

Malaysia: Tun Musa Hitam profile

Interview with, and profile of, Tun Musa Hitam, the chairman of the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) Foundation:

Gregor Stuart Hunter, The National, A bridge over troubled waters, 28 Jan 2011: "He [Tun Musa] says the Islamic world must take advantage of the internet - despite admitting he once fretted over the revolutionary potential of the fax machine.

'Most of my friends at my age don't even know how to send an SMS. They're like little children,' Tun Musa says. But he acknowledges that for many millions of citizens, technological literacy and curiosity can be rewarding.

"Now in his mid-70s, he has embraced the online world and is a tech-savvy operator. 'When you find that a blog has been closed and you cannot access it, I know how to do it through other means, through different routes. I may be an old man, but I want to know.'""

'Iranian Activists Welcome Access To Google Software'

Golnaz Esfandiari, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, Iranian Activists Welcome Access To Google Software, Call For More, 25 Jan 2011 "Amid the unrest that followed Iran's 2009 disputed presidential vote, Amir Hossein Etemadi depended on Google's Chrome browser to surf the net, update his opposition website, and spread the latest news from the streets.

"At the time, Chrome was blocked in Iran by Google in keeping with U.S. sanctions, but Etemadi -- editor of the "Bamdadkhabar" website that covers the country's beleaguered student movement -- and other Internet-savvy Iranians knew how to access it through antifiltering tools."

KSA forum: 'The use of technology urged to combat terrorism'

Saudi Gazette - Use of technology urged to combat terrorism, 27 Jan 2011: "A two-day scientific forum on “The role of the Internet in combating terrorism and extremism” was launched on behalf of Prince Muhammad Bin Naif Bin Abdul Aziz, Assistant Minister of Interior for Security Affairs, by Prince Bandar Bin Abdullah Bin Mishary, Director of the National Information Center at the Ministry of Interior, Monday."

I'd be interested to read any further reports on this...

'Revolutionary Arab Geeks' op-ed, Revolutionary Arab Geeks, 27 Jan 2011 opinion piece on Evgeny Morozov’s “The Net Delusion”. "If Clinton was serious in announcing that a U.S. priority is now to “harness the power of connection technologies and apply them to our diplomatic goals,” and if she truly sees the Arab world’s foundations “sinking into the sand,” the moment is now to back change in Cairo."

Lebanon 'Day of Rage'

Antoun Issa, Global Voices Online, Lebanon: ‘Day of Rage' Shocks Bloggers, 27 Jan 2011 "If the protests were designed to generate support for Hariri's case, they appear to have failed at least on the blogosphere. Bloggers of all political persuasions expressed dismay at the violent behaviour and openly sectarian nature of the protests."

Also see: Al Jazeera English, Lebanon protests turn violent, 25 Jan 2011

Egypt bans protests

Channel4 News, Egypt bans protests after unrest, activity continues online, 26 Jan 2011 comprehensive report.

WikiLeaks and Academic Freedom

Stephen Zunes,, ROTC, WikiLeaks, and Academic Freedom "The rationale appears to be that downloading, reading, referencing or discussing WikiLeaks material could jeopardize receiving a security clearance. This has little rational basis, however, since much of the material was apparently made available by a U.S. Army private who had access to it and -- for better or worse -- this material is now widely available publicly."

US centred issue, but raises some interesting points relating to academic use of WikiLeaks material.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Egypt slideshow - 25 Jan 2011

Amnesty/, Egypt's protests - 25 Jan 2011 remarkable photos

YouTube video of protests

YouTube, من مظاهرات يوم الغضب - شاب مصري مقابل مدرعة

Egypt Net Clampdown

AFP, Facebook reported inaccessible in Egypt, 26 Jan 2011 "A website that monitors Internet traffic was receiving reports Wednesday that Facebook was inaccessible in Egypt, a day after Twitter was blocked amid anti-government unrest.

"A Facebook spokesman, asked about the status of the social network in Egypt, referred AFP to, a project of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University."

Here's the post: qichenz, Twitter Inaccessible in Egypt Amid Ongoing Protests, 25 Jan 2011

Here's general coverage of the protests (other perspectives available):

إنـذار .. الآلاف يتظاهرون ضد الفقر والبطالة والغلاء والفساد.. ويطالبون برحيل الحكومة, (Muslim Brotherhood English language site) has a protest timeline.

Also see wsj, Digits Live Show: Social-Media Sites Blocked in Egypt, 26 Jan 2011

eWeek, Egypt Bans Twitter Amid Historic Protest, 26 Jan 2011

Tarek Amr,, Egypt: The January 25 Demonstrations in Photographs, 25 Jan 2011

Amira Al Hussaini,, Egypt: Tweeting the Day of Revolution, 25 Jan 2011 which points to the crowdmap of protests

BBC News, Egypt denies clampdown on Twitter and Facebook, 26 Jan 2011 "Egypt's government has denied that it has blocked sites such as Twitter and Facebook, which have been used to help organise protests in Cairo, despite some sites reporting to the contrary."

Newsweek, Revolution by Internet, 26 Nov 2011 "That protests so large in scale could be organized largely over the Internet and independent of Egypt’s traditional opposition, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood, should give Mubarak plenty of cause for concern, says Shadi Hamid, director of research at the Brookings Institution’s Doha Center. It shows the extent to which regular Egyptians are fed up with authoritarian rule, and how quickly that frustration can spread—lending it shades of the uprising in Tunisia. “It’s not an Islamist-organized protest. This really is unprecedented. It’s just everyday Egyptians getting angry,” he says. “If I was a regime official, I’d be pacing in my room right now.”"

BBC News, Egypt protests: Eyewitness accounts, 25 Jan 2011

Twitter Egypt block

Caroline McCarthy, CNET, Why Twitter is mum on Egypt block, 25 Jan 2011 "Twitter has confirmed that it has been blocked in Egypt. According to the @TwitterGlobalPR account: "We can confirm that Twitter was blocked in Egypt around 8am PT today. It is impacting both & applications." Also: "We believe that the open exchange of info & views benefits societies & helps governments better connect w/ their people.""

Anwar Ibrahim on Tunisia, Anwar Ibrahim: Will Tunisia Be the First Domino?, 26 Jan 2011 opinion piece

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Palestine Papers

Huffington Post, Palestine Papers: Al Jazeera, Guardian Release Documents On Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, 23 Jan 2011 "Today, Al Jazeera and the Guardian released the first of more than 1,600 documents related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

See The Guardian, The Palestine Papers "A cache of thousands of pages of confidential Palestinian records covering more than a decade of negotiations with Israel and the US has been obtained by al-Jazeera TV and shared exclusively with the Guardian. The papers provide an extraordinary and vivid insight into the disintegration of the 20-year peace process, which is now regarded as all but dead."


Asharq Alawsat, Tunisian Islamist vows to form political party, 23 Jan 2011: "Online social networks and forums are eagerly debating the future of the Islamist trend in Tunisia, in light of the latest developments following the departure of ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali."

'The Myth of Homegrown Islamic Terrorism in the U.S.'

Romesh Ratnesar, Time, The Myth of Homegrown Islamic Terrorism in the U.S., 24 Jan 2011 opinion piece "The fact that Osama bin Laden wannabes like al-Awlaki have risen to such prominence is testament to the evisceration of al-Qaeda's leadership. The U.S. faces far bigger and immediate challenges to the welfare and security of its citizens, not least from the ease with which unstable individuals can legally obtain and use deadly firearms."

Sunday, January 23, 2011

"The Green Wave"

THE GREEN WAVE teaser (ENGLISH) from Jan Krueger on Vimeo.

The Guardian, Iran's green revolution in animation, 20 Jan 2011 : "A new animated film tells the stories of the protests in Iran in 2009, assembled from tweets and blogposts by the people who were there"

Also see, Sundance Review: The Green Wave

Official film site: The Green Wave

Friday, January 21, 2011

Video: "Muslim resistance: The struggle within"

Guardian, Muslim resistance: The struggle within, 17 Jan 2011 "videoDocumentary maker Masood Khan explores the Muslim community's struggle against extremism. In the first of three videos, he goes to Luton to see how Salafi Muslims are rejecting the extreme rhetoric of al-Muhajiroun."

I've yet to see this, or others in the series:

KSA: Saudi bloggers face backlash, Saudi bloggers face backlash over Tunisia protest, 17 Jan 2011 "Saudi bloggers could face a wave of reprisals after new laws restricting online news reporting failed to prevent a wave of protest at the country's decision to accept former Tunisian president Zein al-Abidine Ben Ali."

Daniel Pearl: Pearl Project investigation

Telegraph, Daniel Pearl was beheaded by 9/11 mastermind, 20 Jan 2011 "The investigation found Sheikh [Khalid Sheikh Mohammed], who studied mathematics at the London School of Economics, orchestrated the kidnap and originally considered a ransom, but was later sidelined when Mohammed became involved.

"The conspirators were "inept, plagued by bungling plans, a failure to cover their tracks, and an inability to operate cameras and computer equipment," it said."

Egypt: sermons on “the Islamic ruling on suicide.”

Al-Masry Al-Youm, Friday sermons to discuss religious prohibition of suicide, 20 Jan 2011: "In a press statement on Thursday, Minister of Endowments Hamdi Zaqzouq said this week’s Friday sermon in all mosques nationwide will be focused on “the Islamic ruling on suicide.” Zaqzouq went on to say that the sermon will include proofs from the Quran and Sunnah that suicide is forbidden."

Juan Cole: Tunisia Uprising commentary, Juan Cole: Tunisia Uprising "Spearheaded by Labor Movements, by Internet Activists, by Rural Workers; It's a Populist Revolution" opinion and analysis, available in various formats

German Jihadists

Yassin Musharbash, Spiegel Online, German Jihadists: Al-Qaida Fighter from Bonn Believed Dead, 19 Jan 2011: "If it is confirmed, Harrach's death would not come as a major surprise. Rami M., another German radical from Hamburg who was arrested in Pakistan in 2010 and has since been extradited to Germany where he is in custody, told investigators under interrogation about rumors that Harrach had died. A number of suspected German jihadists have been killed in Waziristan in recent months by strikes against them by American drones, or in battle."

Conspiracy theories

Mohamed Elmeshad, Al-Masry Al-Youm, Egypt's Israeli conspiracy psyche, 19 Jan 2011

"From orchestrated power outages to remote-controlled killer sharks, Egyptian accusations against Israel range from the plausible to the ludicrous. The frequency and sometimes absurdity of finger pointing in the Israeli direction has left Egyptians vulnerable to ridicule in the foreign media."

Iran Web Police

AP/NPR, Iran Seeks To Boost Corps Of Web Watchers, 19 Jan 2011 ""There is no time to wait," Gen. Ismail Ahmadi Moghaddam said last week at the opening of a new police headquarters in the Shiite seminary city of Qom. "We will have cyber police all over Iran."

"The first web watchdog squads are planned in Tehran this month — another step in Iran's rapidly expanding focus on the digital world as cyber warfare and online sleuthing take greater prominence with the Pentagon's new Cyber Command and the secrets spilled to WikiLeaks."

Qur'an of Kansuh al-Ghuri digitised

The University of Manchester, Technology reunites one of world’s largest Korans, 19 Jan 2011 "Experts at the John Rylands Library are using digital technology and the internet to reunite the 470 page Rylands Koran of Kansuh al-Ghuri with two missing leaves, discovered in the 1970s at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin.

"Up to now, scholars have been unable to study the precious items - thought to be at least 500 years old – because they are too fragile.

"But now, the reunited digitised resource will be freely available for research, teaching and learning using Turning the Pages technology on a dedicated website."

The related blog is very interesting Gateway to the Koran of Kansuh al-Ghuri. It charts the project's development in detail.

I look forward to seeing this in due course.


People's Daily Online, Saudi Islamic affairs ministry goes online, 21 Jan 2011: "Saudi Arabia has moved firmly into the Internet age to fight extremism, launching a Website for the ministry of Islamic affairs to help it promote moderate Islam, state-run SPA news agency reported Thursday.

The website,, will go online on January 23, allowing Internet users to be updated on the latest publications of the ministry."

Monday, January 17, 2011

Journalism lesson from aJ?

Bassam Sebti,, Al Jazeera Delivers Lesson in Journalism to U.S., 16 Jan 2011

Tunisian 'Twitter Revolution?'

Firas Al-Atraqchi, Tunisia's Revolution was Twitterized, 16 Jan 2011 [""Firas Al-Atraqchi is an associate professor of practice at the journalism and mass communication department at the American University in Cairo"] "Had there been no tweets about police firing live ammunition on protesters in one part of Tunisia, for example, citizens elsewhere in Tunisia may have been left without a clue what was happening in their country, and would have had to resort to state-controlled media. Once information reached them - via social media such as Twitter and Facebook - about the state's violent reaction to protesters calling for economic and political reform, they too took to the streets to express their anger and dissent."

"Arab web users say Tunisia shows time up for leaders"

Dina Zayed, Reuters, Arab web users say Tunisia shows time up for leaders, 17 Jan 2011 "In a poll on the Web site of Egyptian paper al-Masry al-Youm asking if the Tunisia and Algeria riots will spread to other Arab states, 69 percent of respondents said yes, 17 percent said no and 15 percent were unsure."

Libya videos

Brian Whitaker,, Libya and the vanishing videos, 16 Jan 2011 "Yesterday, I noted that a Libyan opposition website, Almanara, had posted videos showing disturbances in Libya during the last few days. After that, something odd happened: the website disappeared. Trying to access Almanara this morning, I simply got an error message."

"A Twitter Snapshot Of The Tunisian Revolution"

Alexia Tsotsis, TechCrunch, A Twitter Snapshot Of The Tunisian Revolution: Over 196K Mentions Of Tunisia, Tweeted By Over 50K Users, 17 Jan 2011 " ... while the jury is still out on just how much tweets can influence something as monumental as the fall of a government, it is worth noting that the critical mass of Tunisia related activity on Twitter happened after Ben Ali fled."

BBC Tunisia live feed

BBC News, Live: Tunisia turmoil after government falls, 17 Jan 2011

also see this on BBC Arabic:

Tunisian 'Twitter Revolution?'

Ethan Zuckerman, Foreign Policy, The First Twitter Revolution?, 14 Jan 2011 "Not so fast. The Internet can take some credit for toppling Tunisia's government, but not all of it."

Yes, I would tend to agree with that. Certainly, it would seem to have made an impact, but there are numerous other factors. I'm keen to read some further analysis from those on the ground about this.


Mona Eltahawy, Guardian, Comment is Free, Tunisia: the first Arab revolution, 16 Jan 2011 "Interestingly, both western observers and Gaddafi have been crediting WikiLeaks, but for different reasons. By buying into the idea that leaked US embassy cables about corruption "fuelled" the revolution, commentators smear Tunisians with ignorance of facts and perpetuate the myth that Arabs are incapable of rising up against dictators. Gaddafi railed against WikiLeaks because he, too, wants to blame something other than the power of the people – and cables from Tripoli portray him as a Botox-using neurotic inseparable from a "voluptuous" Ukrainian nurse."

Article: "Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's Growing War with North Yemen's Houthist Movement"

Rafid Fadhil Ali, Terrorism Monitor Volume: 9 Issue: 2, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's Growing War with North Yemen's Houthist Movement, Jan 14 2011 "Relations between the Zaydi Shi’a Houthi rebels in Yemen and al-Qaeda have never been friendly, despite government claims to the contrary. The two movements have not yet had direct confrontation, focusing rather on their own conflicts with the Yemeni government. However, two al-Qaeda-claimed attacks in late November that targeted Houthi gatherings in northern Yemen have changed the situation between the two groups."

Interesting article, one of several in the latest edition of Terrorism Monitor. It refers to commentaries in the aQAP Sada al-Malahim online magazine.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Stuxnet, US-Israel tested computer worm on Iran: report, 16 Jan 2011 "U.S. and Israeli intelligence services collaborated to develop a destructive computer worm to sabotage Iran's efforts to make a nuclear bomb, The New York Times reported Saturday."

Tunisia: Jasmine Revolution - commentary

Updates on Tunisia:

BBC News, Mid-East bloggers hail change in Tunisia, 15 Jan 2011: "Tunisians used Facebook and YouTube to keep each other abreast of developments, including looting and prison break-outs on the day after Mr Ben Ali went into exile.

"In neighbouring countries, especially Egypt, web users hailed the ''Tunisian uprising'' and said they hoped that 'the same happens at home'.

"The popular Facebook page ''We Are All Khalid Sa'id'' (named after an Egyptian allegedly beaten to death by police) created an online, Tunisia-related event, attended by 7,000 people by early on Saturday.", Ben Ali gets refuge in Saudi Arabia, 16 Jan 2011 "In a post on Saudi news website, one reader wrote: "Only now does the dictator who fought religion and the religious get to know the land of the two holy shrines (Mecca and Medina) ... You and your wife are not welcome."

""We hope the kingdom will help us bring this man [Ben Ali] to justice, if needed," said another post under the name of "citizen" on the Dubai-based and Saudi-owned news website."

Nate Anderson Ars Technica, Wired, Tweeting Tyrants Out of Tunisia: Global Internet at Its Best, 14 Jan 2011 "Even yesterday, it would have been too much to say that blogger, tweeters, Facebook users, Anonymous and Wikileaks had “brought down” the Tunisian government, but with today’s news that the country’s president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali has fled the country, it becomes a more plausible claim to make."

Robert Mackey, The Lede, Arab Bloggers Cheer on Tunisia’s Revolution, 14 Jan 2011 "On the subject of Iran, Mr. Weddady points to a key difference between the Iranian revolution in 1979 and what has transpired in Tunisia over the past month — Islamists have not taken a prominent role in the uprising. In Mr. Weddady’s words:

"Before anyone starts lying to you: the REVOLUTION in #tunisia was a popular uprising, no islamists, no armed struggle.#sidibouzid"

Zafer Yörük, Rudaw in English....The Happening: The “WikiLeaks Revolution” in Tunisia: From Political Islam to Class Politics, 15 Jan 2011: "Three specific features of the “Jasmine revolution” could therefore be identified as heralding the future political dynamics of Middle Eastern societies: Firstly, the rising import of the communication networks, particularly the new media, in political events is becoming more and more evident. Secondly, the age of the ”revolutions from above” seems to be over: the fate of Middle Eastern politics is likely to be determined increasingly by popular movements from below. Thirdly, and most significantly, social problems – such as unemployment, poverty, inflation and corruption – are likely to reclaim their primary status in political dynamics after two decades of the reign of identity politics led by the discourses of political Islam."

aQ "internet generation"

Abdulsattar Hatitah, Asharq Alawsat, Is Al Qaeda's "internet generation" their most dangerous?, 15 Jan 2011: "The chief theorist of the Egyptian al-Jama'ah al-Islamiyah (Egyptian Islamic Group or EIG), Dr. Najih Ibrahim, informed Asharq Al-Awsat that Al Qaeda's "internet generation" who draw on jihadist ideology via websites affiliated to the Al Qaeda organization are more dangerous than the previous generation of jihadists who are affiliated to Islamist groups and armed movements. He stressed that while the previous generation of jihadists could be controlled and guided, the new generation who draw on jihadist ideology from the internet cannot be controlled or guided in the same way."

Virtual universities

University World News - Islamic World: New network of virtual universities, 16 Jan 2011: "Ministers of higher education, science and technology from member countries of Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) last week announced that they will set up a network of virtual universities, based in Iran and financially supported by the Islamabad-based OIC and the Islamic Development Bank in Jeddah."

Thursday, January 13, 2011

South Sudan - Twitter reaction

Amira Al Hussaini, Global Voices, Arab World: Tears Spilled on the Break Up of Sudan, 9 Jan 2011: "South Sudan's independence referendum and the likelihood of its separation today has hit a raw nerve with some Arab netizens. Many worry this could be the first step towards carving up the Middle East. Here's a snapshot of their reactions on microblogging site, Twitter."

'Tunisian protests fueled by social media networks'

Tim Lister,, Tunisian protests fueled by social media networks, 13 Jan 2011: "he protests that have gripped Tunisia in recent weeks are, to say the least, unusual. Organized dissent in the streets is rarely tolerated in Arab states, and human rights groups say the Tunisian government has had a short fuse when dealing with opponents. But what's going on in Tunisia is all the more unusual because the protests are being organized and supported through online networks centered on Twitter and Facebook."


'Tunisia: An Eyewitness Account from Tala' ·

Amira Al Hussaini, Global Voices, Tunisia: An Eyewitness Account from Tala, 10 Jan 2011: "Tunisian blog Khayl wa Layl (Horses and Nights) posted a letter from a woman (Ar) from Tala, detailing some of the horrors they have been witnessing over the last few days."

Lebanon - monitoring net

Jillian C. York, Global Voices, Lebanon: Eleven Cabinet Members Resign, Toppling Government, 12 Jan 2011: "Bloggers and Twitter users picked up on the news quickly, announcing it just after the first news reports from inside Lebanon broke."

'New English-Language Jihad Forum'

The Investigative Project on Terrorism, New English-Language Jihad Forum, 12 Jan 2011: "A new English-language jihadi forum offers sections dedicated to military preparations and speeches by Anwar al-Awlaki. Al Mojahden English Network, founded by the Iraq-centered Al Mojahden Electronic Network, is another addition to the proliferation of English sections on major jihadi websites."

'A New Role for Jihadi Media'

The Investigative Project on Terrorism, A New Role for Jihadi Media, 11 Jan 2011: "Aspiring jihadis need to improve their media skills, such as operating websites and developing their own video sites that resemble YouTube, to be more effective in their fight against the West, according to a new article circulating on a variety of Islamist Internet forums. Improved media, author Abu Sa'd al-'Amili writes, will help increase recruitment of American and Western jihadis, and conduct 'continuous psychological media war' against the West."

[Tip: Spectator, Psy-war against the west, 12 Jan 2011]

Pakistan: 'Our Facebook generation'

Zirgham Nabi Afridi, op-ed. The News International, Our Facebook generation, 12 Jan 2011: "It seems to me that 62 years after the death of our Founding Father, there has not been a greater stem in the realisation of that sense of duty among the privileged lot as there is today, particularly the young. This trend makes itself most obvious in the discussions of the Facebook Generation of Pakistanis, each with his or her own take on the latest political happenings in the country. The views exchanged, at least among those on my “friends” list, included wave upon wave of comments on the assassination of Governor Salmaan Taseer."

Discussion and opinion on recent Facebook issues in Pakistan

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

KSA regulations

Neal Ungerleider, Saudi Arabia Now Forcing News Bloggers to Obtain Licenses, Promote Islam, 12 Jan 2011 "Saudi Arabia has enacted stringent new regulations forcing some bloggers to obtain government licenses and to strongarm others into registering."

Refers to this post from Saudi Jeans, Saudi Gov Releases New Law for Online Media, 12 Jan 2011 "To register, a Saudi citizen must be at least 20 years old with a high school degree or above, and if you plan to launch a so-called “electronic newspaper,” the ministry must approve of your editor-in-chief, just like they do for dead tree newspapers. The law says the editor is held accountable for all content published on the website, but says nothing readers’ comments. Is the editor also held accountable for those?"

'Jihadi media'

Ali K Chishti, Daily Times, Jihadi media is booming, 12 Jan 2011 [part 1 of 2] "The media is viewed by terrorist organisations as one of the fronts of jihad against their enemies. The media platform most favoured by activists and supporters of jihadis is both the print and the electronic media with a large presence on the Internet as well. These jehadis disseminate their message via various websites, magazines and disks in different languages targeting diverse audiences worldwide. While such organisations also utilise the media for military and operative purposes for services of jihadi fighters in the field, their primary use of this medium is for indoctrination and propaganda."

Research on aQ

Matthew Reisz, Times Higher, Contravene or intervene?, 6 Jan 2011 "Mina Al-Lami, visiting Fellow in the department of media and communications at the London School of Economics, studies the Arabic-language "media and propaganda of the Islamic extremist groups affiliated or sympathetic to Al-Qaeda, the websites calling for jihad and inciting violence as the only means to achieve their goals and sometimes as an end in itself".

"Although such websites are vicious about Israelis, Americans and Britons, she notes, "increasingly Shias have become the number one enemy. They legitimise the killing of Shias, both combatants and civilians, anywhere and at any time. They see the West as the biggest target but Islamic regimes and those who work for them as easier targets and more reachable.""

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Facebook privacy issues

Hiroko Tabuchi,, Facebook Wins Relatively Few Friends in Japan, 9 Jan 2011 "Japanese, until now, have flocked to various well-entrenched social networking sites and game portals — like Mixi, Gree and Mobage-town. Each has more than 20 million users, and each offers its own approach to connecting people online.

"One trait those sites have in common is crucial to Japan’s fiercely private Internet users. The Japanese sites let members mask their identities, in distinct contrast to the real-name, oversharing hypothetical user on which Facebook’s business model is based."

The privacy issues have implications in other contexts, hence the inclusion of this article here.

Tip: John Moe,, Tech Report Blog, Japan hates Facebook, 10 Jan 2011

"An open, digital professoriat"

Scott Jaschik, Times Higher Education - Inside Higher Ed: An open, digital professoriat, 10 Jan 2011 discusses blogging and tweeting academic activity (which relates to some of the things I do here!).

AQIM, Droukdel releases new AQIM audiotapes, 10 Jan 2011: "After months of silence, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) chief Abdelmalek Droukdel (aka Abou Moussaab Abdelouadoud) released two audiotapes on Sunday (January 9th), Tout sur l'Algerie reported"

Amr Khaled campaign

Meedan | Egyptian televangelist launches campaign to counter Muslim-Christian strife on the internet "After only a few days, the web-based campaign “An Internet Free of Sectarian Strife” has managed to garner over seven thousand supporters. The campaign was launched by the well-known Muslim preacher Amr Khaled, who has called upon both Muslims and Christians to desist from “campaigns of digital incitement” against each other."

Details: اهتمام إعلامي بحملة "إنترنت بلا فتنة", 9 Jan 2011

ISNA conference, ISNA conference draws hundreds of Muslims, 8 Jan 2011: "The conference, which began Friday, has been host to conversations about Islamic higher education, empowering women, interfaith dialogue and Islam on the Internet, among other topics."

CAIR domain name issues

Detroit Free Press, CAIR wins partial court victory vs. Schlussel, 10 Jan 2011 "The Council on American-Islamic Relations won a partial victory today in its trademark infringement lawsuit against conservative blogger Debbie Schlussel."

elan: The Guide to Global Muslim Culture, HOD: Revolutionizing Matchmaking for Muslims, 9 Jan 2011: "A decade ago, “finding someone online” may have raised eyebrows in many Muslim circles, but with the growing role the Internet and the advancements it has made within our social lives, it almost seems natural that finding an appropriate match online was just another development in our ‘e-lives.’

"And just like every other product and service provided online, the quality provided by Muslim matrimonial sites run the entire range from complicated and over-priced to secure, up-front and affordable."

Profile of

Monday, January 10, 2011

Swiss Islamic Shura media workshop, Swiss Islamic Shura council launches first European workshop dealing with media, 10 Jan 2011

"Tunisia: The uprising has a hashtag"

Mona Eltahawy, The Star, Tunisia: The uprising has a hashtag, 8 Jan 2011 "Twitter taught me everything about the momentous events in Tunisia: the uprising has been hashtagged.

"A stream of tweets, all including #Sidibouzid (Bouazizi’s hometown), flows through my Twitter feed every day in Arabic, English and French, carrying links to Tunisian blogs, video filmed by protestors (which provided much of Al Jazeera’s coverage) and live updates from solidarity demonstrations in other Arab cities."

Human Rights Watch on KSA

Human Rights Watch, Saudi Arabia: Rescind New Online Restrictions, 7 Jan 2011: "Saudi Arabia's minister of culture and information, Dr. Abd al-‘Aziz Khuja, should rescind the regulation issued on January 1, 2011, that restricts expression online and through other electronic means, Human Rights Watch said today."

Iraqi Youth survey

Deborah Amos, NPR, All Things Considered, Wide Gulf Divides Iraqi Youth From Older Generation, 3 Jan 2011

Reflects the research of Eric Davis, a political scientist at Rutgers University, which includes discussion of the internet:

"The youth survey shows a generational divide that extends to other aspects of life, says Davis. Older Iraqis grew up in a closed society under Saddam. For the young, the Internet has opened the door to the world outside.

'What we are seeing here is not just a generational split in the normal sense of the word, but really the opportunity for the younger generation to have access to information that their parents never dreamed of,' Davis says."

Hear the report here:

Also includes heavy metal music.

Tunisia net crackdown - opinion piece

Jillian York,, Activist crackdown: Tunisia vs Iran - Opinion, 9 Jan 2011 "The mainstream media denounces crackdowns on Iranian bloggers, yet ignores attacks on activists in Tunisia."

'Tunisia's bitter cyberwar'

Yasmine Ryan,, Tunisia's bitter cyberwar, 6 Jan 2011 "Tunisian web activists found an ally in Anonymous, whose international activists have turned their attention to overthrowing the Tunisian regime of web censorship."

Detailed article, well worth reading on an under-reported issue.

Egyptian Blogger's Video of Rally in Cairo -

Robert Mackey, The Lede, Egyptian Blogger's Video of Rally in Cairo, 7 Jan 2011

Digital Shahid

Gianluca Iazzolino, Arab Media & Society, Digital Shahid - From Broadcast Media to Citizen Journalism in Palestine: "This article focuses on the emergence of Palestinian citizen journalism and its impact on the Palestinian national narrative and on the perception of the conflict since the First Intifada, arguing that new and more democratic practices of communication are creating space for exploring peaceful forms of resistance against the occupation."

Faith and religion op-ed

Humayun Gauhar, Saudi Gazette - Faith and religion Humayun Gauhar's op-ed commentary on the recent Blair-Hitchens debate on religion. Gauhar raises some interesting points/digressions on approaches towards religious authority. "Ideally, there should be one central Dar ul-Ifta for the entire Muslim Ummah; without it every two bit cleric can arrogate to himself the right to issue fatwas and his semi-literate flock will take it as the gospel truth, which has done Islam great damage." Obviously open to discussion, but relevant when considering analysis of religious authority online (and elsewhere).

To digress further: I happened to hear some of the Hitchens-Blair debate on - of all places - Jarvis Cocker's (excellent) 6Music show. The full debate can be found at

Hamada Ben-Amor, Tunisia rapper critical of government freed amid riots, 10 Jan 2011: "Tunisian authorities, facing a wave of unrest, have released a rap singer who was detained last week after recording a song critical of the government, the rapper's family told Reuters late on Sunday."

Here's 'The General' [Hamada Ben-Amor] in action:

Blackberry 'will filter porn', Blackberry maker says will filter porn to meet Indonesia rules, 10 Jan 2011 "Research In Motion said on Monday it will filter pornographic internet content for its Blackberry smartphone users in Indonesia, following government pressure to stop access to porn sites or face its browsing service being shut down."

The Future of Islam In the Age of New Media

The Future of Islam In the Age of New Media promoting itself as 'The World's Shortest Conference on Islam Ever'. Launching soon, there'll be 60 speakers speaking for 60 seconds each. Great idea.

Call For Papers: Society, Cyber Media And Social Transformation In The Arab Gulf

H-Net, Call For Papers: Society, Cyber Media And Social Transformation In The Arab Gulf, 7 Jan 2011 "Zayed University Press invites scholars to submit papers for an interdisciplinary edited book that deals with the impact of cyber media on socio-cultural transformations, and the impact of social factors on the use of cyber media in the Gulf."

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Reading List 1: 'The Net Delusion'

I'm setting up a Reading List for 2011. All those books I say I'm going to read (in the sphere of this blog), reports received, etc. Not sure how many I'll get through, but here's the start.

Tom Chatfield, The Net Delusion: How Not to Liberate the World by Evgeny Morozov – review | Books | The Observer interesting review of Evgeny Morozov's new book. Morozov writes for Foreign Policy, and I've linked to several of his pieces in the past. Tom Chatfield's notes: "Morozov longs for the sacred light of reason to shine into the web's dark corners. But, as his own diagnosis suggests, politics has always been a matter for the passions. And if it's naive to think that the internet can save us, it's naive to think that it can damn us too."

It's also reviewed in the Telegraph, Independent and Economist (to name but three). I haven't read all the reviews yet.

I'm looking forward to making my own mind up about the book. Here are the details: Evgeny Morozov, The Net Delusion: How Not to Liberate The World (London, Allen Lane, 2011)

Saturday, January 08, 2011


Ahram Online, Egypt's Muslims attend Coptic Christmas mass, serving as "human shields", 7 Jan 2011: "In the days following the brutal attack on Saints Church in Alexandria, which left 21 dead on New Year’ eve, solidarity between Muslims and Copts has seen an unprecedented peak. Millions of Egyptians changed their Facebook profile pictures to the image of a cross within a crescent – the symbol of an “Egypt for All”. Around the city, banners went up calling for unity, and depicting mosques and churches, crosses and crescents, together as one."

Friday, January 07, 2011

Refugees United

Wired UK 02.11 print edition has an interesting article on Refugees United. I don't think the article is online yet.

See Refugees United for more info. and associated links.

Salmaan Taseer: commentary

Mohammed Hanif, Guardian, How Pakistan responded to Salmaan Taseer's assassination, 6 Jan 2011 "So who are these people who lionise the cold-blooded murderer? Your regular kids, really. Some Pakistani bloggers have tried to get these fan pages banned for inciting hate. But as soon as one shuts down, another five crop up. Those who have trawled the profiles of these supporters have said that they have MBA degrees, they follow Premier League football, they love the Pirates of the Caribbean films. Miley Cyrus figures on lots of these pages. And as the Pakistani blogger who blogs under the name Kala Kawa pointed out: "If you go through the profiles of Qadri supporters on Facebook, you'd think Justin Bieber was the cause of extremism in Pakistan.""

Published in the print edition under the headline 'Modern martyr'.

Kala Kawa also comments: "Look at the Facebook warriors that have set up pages in support of the murderer Mumtaz Hussain Qadri. These people are doctors, lawyers, engineers, businessmen, students. A group of 200 lawyers of the Islamabad bar have offered their services free of cost to the assassin and showered him with flowers when he arrived for his arraignment.

"All these people would have been considered moderate in the great myth of the ‘silent moderate majority’ that we have perpetuated for so long.

"I’m afraid these people still are moderate. When society veers so far rightwards, those that only support murder in the name of religion without committing it themselves surely are moderate."

Check out the comments on the Kala Kawa piece too

Digital Disruption & Pathway to Medina

Tasmin Lucia Khan, Daily Mirror, We MUST challenge our Muslim youths who are exposed to hate and lies, 30 Dec 2010: "One of the schemes I have worked with is Pathway to Medina based in Bolton, where we look at extremist material together and analyse it. I ask the boys to point out the spin, the exaggeration and the complete untruths.

"Another brilliant scheme is Digital Disruption based in East London. Here the boys themselves produce educational videos for other youngsters, highlighting what propaganda looks like in extremist material online. Typically, the hate-videos are circulated on websites such as YouTube."

Just picked this up, it has some interesting points... I have referred to Digital Disruption before. Here's their URL: Digital Disruption [couldn't locate Pathway to Medina - pointers appreciated]

Digital Disruption; Workshop 05 from Bold Creative Work-in-Progress on Vimeo.

KSA 'Twitter Use Skyrockets'

Badr Al-Qahtani, Asharq Alawsat, Saudi Arabia: Twitter Use Skyrockets in 2010, 3 Jan 2011: "Twitter estimates that the rate of increase in the daily circulation of so-called ‘Tweets’, specifically messages shared by users in Saudi Arabia, has reached 440 percent, whilst pointing out that the global average is at a 95 percent increase."

Imam Muda season 2

Beh Lih Yi, AFP: Encore for Malaysia's hit Islamic talent show, 6 Jan 2011 "During the 10-week season which will run from late April, 10 finalists -- all of them male, confined to a mosque dormitory and banned from using phones, the Internet and television -- will face written and practical tests."


WTAE Pittsburgh, FBI: Man Known Online As 'Alshishani' Bites Agents Trying To Serve Warrants, 6 Jan 2011: "A hearing was held Thursday in federal court for a Harrison Township man who the FBI said posted extremist views online under an alias and bit two agents while in possession of a loaded gun.

"Channel 4 Action News' Sheldon Ingram reported that the FBI laid out Emerson Begolly's profile in court, and they want to know if he's a dangerous sympathizer for Islamic extremists or someone in need of psychiatric care."

Coverage of this case (and back story) in Jawa Report, including Jawa Report, Asadullah Alshishani Singing Tribute To OBL, 1 June 2010

Copts celebrate

Al Jazeera English, Copts celebrate amid tight security - Middle East, 7 Jan 2011 "Thousands of Coptic Christians have packed churches across Europe and the Middle East to celebrate Christmas Eve mass amid security fears following a recent deadly bombing at a Coptic church in Egypt.

"Security was stepped up across Egypt as threats against specific churches were posted on the internet, days after the New Year's Day bombing of the al-Qiddissin Church in Alexandria that killed 23 people."

Alrawdha Alkadhimiya 3-D -- The World / Asia / Middle East / Iraq / Baghdad, Alrawdha Alkadhimiya 3-D image

Alrawdha Alkadhimiya in Baghdad

Take a look at this: don't forget to look upwards!

Thanks to Daniel Varisco on the ISLAMAAR list for this tip.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Publication: 'Self-Inflicted Wounds Debates and Divisions within al-Qa’ida and its Periphery'

Edited from email release from FFI (Forsvarets forskningsinstitutt) Norway:

“Arab and non-Arab Jihadis”

"FFI research associate Anne Stenersen has authored a chapter in a recently published report by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. See Assaf Moghadam and Brian Fishman (eds.) Self-Inflicted Wounds Debates and Divisions within al-Qa’ida and its Periphery (West Point, NY : Combating Terrorism Center, 2010), pp. 131-154.

"Read the chapter: (go to page 131)


"“Jihadi Strategists and Doctrinarians

"FFI senior research fellow Brynjar Lia has also written a chapter in this report. See Moghadam and Fishman (eds.), pp.100-131.

"Read the chapter: (go to page 100)"

I haven't read this publication yet.

'Cyber war breaks out in Tunisia'

Brian Whitaker,, Cyber war breaks out in Tunisia, 4 Jan 2011 "As the Tunisian uprising continues on the ground with no sign of abating, the battle over information is intensifying on the internet."

YouTube reunites daughter

Julia O'Malley, McClatchy Newspapers,, A daughter's YouTube plea from Yemen, a mother found in Alaska, 29 Dec 2010 "In 2007, a Malaysian woman made a YouTube video to ask for help solving a personal mystery."

Arabcrunch on Assange, ArabCrunch Select WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange as Person of the Year 2010, 1 Jan 2011

'Online De-Radicalization?'

Omar Ashour,, Online De-Radicalization? Countering Violent Extremist Narratives: Message, Messenger and Media Strategy, Perspectives on Terrorism, Volume IV, Issue 6

"With the rise of violent incidents related to online radicalization, outlining a global action plan for producing counter-narratives and promoting online de-radicalization becomes an essential task. In-depth research on counter-narratives, covering its multiple dimensions, constitutes an excellent foundation for guiding an action plan."

Salman Taseer murder - online reaction

Declan Walsh, Guardian, Salman Taseer murder throws Pakistan into fresh crisis, 4 Jan 2011 "On the internet, Taseer's death provoked a deluge of shared grief on sites such as Twitter and Facebook. But it also highlighted the number of Pakistanis who celebrated the death as a victory for efforts to defend the blasphemy law. Within hours a Facebook page appeared in support of Qadri; by mid-evening it had over 1,000 followers."

Taseer was a frequent user of Twitter: Salmaan Taseer.

Also see this piece from AFP/, Facebook praise for Pakistan assassination, 5 Jan 2011 "Nearly 2,000 Facebook users joined one group on the social networking site praising Qadri, and dozens of 'fans' joined other pages set up in Qadri's honour in the hours after the shooting.

"All the pages had been removed by Wednesday. Facebook was not immediately reachable for comment."

Other pages are still available.


Mohammad El-Ashab, Morocco and the terrorist threat, Asharq Alawsat/, 30 Dec 2010 "When technology and violence come together, this simply leads to the formation of a cell of a kind officially described as “cyberterrorist” in Morocco. And although the advanced communication media revolution was meant to be at the service of civil society, as it shortens distances between worlds and brings closer the branches of knowledge and the features of civilized interaction between nations, what has been termed cybercrime today keeps sleepless all the societies that have been scorched by the transcontinental fire of terrorism."

YouTube issues

Abraham Rabinovich ,The Australian, Reforming voices in the Middle East, 1 Jan 2011

"Following protests in the past few months from several US congressmen, YouTube has pledged to remove content inciting violence.

"The battle between fundamentalists and reformers in the Arab world is nearer the beginning than the end. It is one that will engage the attention of the West as if its future depended on the outcome."

Hamza Yusuf on Wikileaks (opinion piece)

Hamza Yusuf, The American Muslim, God’s Wikileaks: Ready or not, all secrets will be revealed 2 Jan 2011, "We need more whistleblowers, not less. And we need to exalt the ones who, with honor and courage, risk everything so the truth can be known." (opinion piece)

'Muslim Batman of Paris'

Andy Khouri,, Racists Totally Freak Out Over Muslim 'Batman of Paris', 28 Dec 2010 reflects ongong online opinions and discussion relating to the new 'Muslim Batman of Paris':

"Introduced in this month's Detective Comics Annual #12 and Batman Annual #28, Nightrunner is a 22-year-old Algerian Muslim who's lived in Paris his entire life (it seems reasonable to assume he was born in France, but at the very least he was raised there). Born Billai Asseiah, the character is uncommonly adept at the highly YouTubeable gymnastic form known as parkour. That and Asseiah's sense of justice make him an ideal recruit for Bruce Wayne's new Batman, Inc. initiative, whereby he franchises Batmen to cities all over the world."

Muslim Brotherhood, Meet Radical Islam's Tech Guru, 26 Dec 2010"Despite getting trounced in the most recent election, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Web geeks are transforming Egypt’s Islamist group from a shadowy organization with power bases in mosques and charities into a media-savvy machine."

Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly

Duncan Gardham, Telegraph, Stockholm bomber's video was posted online after his death, 4 Jan 2011 "Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly blew himself up in a street surrounded by Christmas shoppers in the Swedish capital on December 11. "

'The Explosives Course'

Duncan Gardham, Telegraph, Al-Qaeda bomb manual published on internet, 31 Dec 2010 "The 102-page manual, seen by the Daily Telegraph and available on the internet, explains how to find ingredients from everyday sources and how to mix explosives, including those used in the July 7 bombings and the recent ink cartridge bomb found at East Midlands airport."

'Of Madness and Muslim Martyrdom' opinion piece

opinion piece: Qanta Ahmed,, Of Madness and Muslim Martyrdom: The Ideal Age of Indoctrination, 4 Jan 2011

"Explicit accounts, videotapes, cassettes, internet uploaded movie files all seek to ignite the collective guilt and repentance for being less worthy, less pure, less valiant than the martyr. Repeated recitation, canonization, rote ritualization, all are deployed to sear the martyrdom act into societal memory for maximal impact and manipulation. Modern day Islamist terrorists know this and apply it with an almost unparalleled mastery. They add scripture to support their evil rationale."

KSA internet ethics

Diana al-Jassem,, Separating grains of truth from today’s communication chaff, 4 Jan 2011 "Saud Kateb, professor of mass communication and media at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, said urban legends spread due to an absence of a clear criteria about how people should behave when using modern media, such as the Internet."

Gaza Youth's Manifesto for Change

Observer, Gazan youth issue manifesto to vent their anger with all sides in the conflict, 2 Jan 2011 "Gaza Youth's Manifesto for Change is an extraordinary, impassioned cyber-scream in which young men and women from Gaza – where more than half the 1.5 million population is under 18 – make it clear that they've had enough."

The full statement can be found posted here: Guerrilla News, Gaza Youth Breaks Out (GYBO) Gaza’s Youth Manifesto for Change!

A Facebook page is here: Gaza Youth Breaks Out (GYBO)

'From Mosque to YouTube: UK Muslims Go Online'

Postcolonial Media Culture in Britain, Edited by Rinella Cere and Rosalind Brunt, Palgrave Macmillan includes a chapter 'From Mosque to YouTube: UK Muslims Go Online' by myself. There's also a chapter on 'The Politics of Hip-Hop and Cultural Resistance' by Amir Saeed, which I'm looking forward to reading, and several other chapters which will be of interest to readers of this blog.