Thursday, July 28, 2011

As7ab to close Yahoo! Maktoob to Shutdown its Arabic Social Network As7ab in September 2011, 26 Jul 2011

Egypt's Media Ecology in a Time of Revolution

Mark Allen Peterson,, Egypt's Media Ecology in a Time of Revolution, Kuwait to create a communication and internet authority, 20 Jul 2011

Asad al-Jihad2′s New Book Release, Asad al-Jihad2′s New Book Release, 25 Jul 2011

Anders Behring Breivik, Anders Behring Breivik's scary internet world26 Jul 2011

"The political blogs Breivik read included Jihad Watch, The Brussels Journal, TheReligionofPeace and Atlas Shrugs, each of which advocates a harsh, polemicist view of Muslims. An example from TheReligionofPeace, "we see no use in pretending that Islam is just another religion ... . In fact, Islam is dreadfully unique."

"Each of the blogs in one form or another has condemned and distanced itself from Breivik. But Goodwin said that the anti-Islam blogs and websites fed into Breivik’s world view, detailed in a 1,500-page manifesto attributed to him, of a great conflict between Europe and the Islamic world."

'Iran fully monitors cyberspace'

Press TV, 'Iran fully monitors cyberspace', 28 Jul 2011 "Iran's Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi says Iran fully monitors the cyberspace in order to counter soft war attacks against the Islamic Republic.

"Iran is well prepared, from a technical point of view, to confront the enemy's soft warfare against the Islamic Republic in the cyberspace, Moslehi told reporters, IRIB reported Thursday."

Syria updates

Guardian, Syrian protesters seized at rate of one every hour, say activists, 28 Jul 2011

"The group, Avaaz, claims 2,918 people have been "forcibly disappeared" since anti-government demonstrations began in Syria on 15 March. Most are accused of being involved in the rebellion that continues to undermine a regime long renowned as the Middle East's most formidable police state."

Avaaz, Save Syria's Disappeared

Zawahiri hails Syrian protestors

AFP, Al-Qaeda leader Zawahiri hails Syrian protestors, 27 Jul 2011 "Calling the pro-democracy activists "mujahideen," or holy warriors, Zawahiri hailed their efforts in "teaching lessons to the aggressor, the oppressor, the traitor, the disloyal, and standing up against his oppression" in a video the SITE Intelligence Group said was posted on extremist online forums."

Arabic translation of 'i-Muslims'

Carro: Sutour Press, 2011, (Arabic translation by Aladdin Mahmoud)
المسلمون الافتراضيون  دار سطور الجديدة

Facebook: دار سطور

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Opinion piece: "Anders Breivik's Christian Terrorism in Norway: are Pamela Geller and other anti-Islamist bloggers responsible?"

Opinion piece:

William Saletan, Slate, Anders Breivik's Christian Terrorism in Norway: are Pamela Geller and other anti-Islamist bloggers responsible, 25 Jul 2011 "On Friday, anti-Islamist blogger Pamela Geller pounced on news of a massacre in Oslo. "Jihad in Norway?" she asked. She posted a second item—"You cannot avoid the consequences of ignoring jihad"—and linked to a previous one: "Norway: ALL Rapes in Past 5 Years Committed by Muslims." As the Oslo body count grew, she piled on: "if I hear another television or radio reporter refer to muhammad as 'the Prophet Muhammad,' I think I am going to puke. He's not your prophet, assclowns."

"Then things went horribly wrong. It turned out that the suspected terrorist in Norway wasn't a Muslim. He hated Muslims. And he admired Geller."

Shia cleric enters record book for longest sermon

Deccan Herald, Shia cleric enters record book for longest sermon

"Maulana Athar, who retired as principal of Shia College here a decade ago, is popular among the Shias and it was one of their organisations-- Anjuman-e-Imamia which had approached the Limca Books for inclusion of his name. Athar said that he was surprised by his own popularity.

""I was not aware about it till I travelled to Europe, the US and the Middle East... People tell me there that they saw me at my Mumbai congregation on TV, radio and Internet", says the Maulana."

Opinion piece on Gaza

C. Jacob, MEMRI, Hamas's Gaza – Four Years Later Chapter 5: Islamization in Gaza "One of the outcomes of the 2007 Hamas coup has been increased Islamization in the Gaza Strip. Hamas has turned a blind eye to the activity of extremist Islamist groups, and in many cases has taken steps of its own to impose an Islamic lifestyle upon the populace. Hamas's actions and statements reflect its desire to impose a religious way of life in Gaza. However, Hamas is aware that its ability to instate shari'a law and establish an Islamic emirate is limited, since this is likely to meet with strong opposition from both Palestinian society and the international community. Therefore, Hamas has introduced Islamization measures gradually, pulling back whenever public reaction has been too severe." Opinion and analysis, with reference to internet cafes.

Khamenei opinion

PressTV, Leader: West propaganda targets Islam, 24 Jul 2011 "Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says Western powers try to tarnish the image of Muslims through propaganda and distortion of realities."

Pakistan escalates its internet censorship

Jillian C. York,, Pakistan escalates its internet censorship, 26 Jul 2011 "The latest incident involves the blocking, by at least 13 of the country's ISPs, of the website of popular American music magazine Rolling Stone. The block comes shortly after the magazine published an article highlighting Pakistan's "insane military spending". The article, by Rolling Stone blogger Matt Taibbi, linked to a New York Times article for background information, a fact that some have used to argue that Rolling Stone may have been blocked for other reasons, such as the fact that the site hosts myriad images of scantily-clad women. But as Pakistani free expression group Bytes For All has pointed out, most major pornography websites are not censored in the country."

See Bytes for All

aQ in Iraq fundraising appeal

Telegraph, Al-Qaeda in Iraq looks for fundraising ideas, "Al-Qaeda militants in Iraq have made an online appeal for new fundraising ideas, saying they are in dire need of money to help thousands of widows and children of slain fighters."


Reuters, Norway Muslims share nation's grief and hope for unity, 26 Jul 2011 "Norway's Muslim leaders were hopeful for the future, seeing Breivik's violent call for Europe to shun Muslims as actually more likely to bring Muslims and Christians together."

Reuters, Traumatized Norway tries to return to normality, 27 Jul 2011

Telegraph,Norway : Anders Behring Breivik used online war games as 'training', 26 Jul 2011 "Anders Behring Breivik emailed his extremist manifesto to a Dutchman he had met while playing an online computer war game that included scenes where players kill unarmed civilians."

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Internet and the 'Arab Spring'

William Saletan, Slate, Springtime for Twitter: Is the Internet driving the revolutions of the Arab Spring?, 18 Jul 2011 "Dictators are toppling across the Arab world. What role has the Internet played in their demise? Last week, at a Future Tense forum sponsored by Slate, Arizona State University, and the New America Foundation, bloggers and activists from countries in turmoil, particularly in the Middle East, gathered to talk about how interactive media and social networks are influencing events on the ground. It was an instructive exchange."

Opinion on 'Arab spring' ...

Syria updates

CNN, In Syria's Homs, another day of mourning, 21 Jul 2011 "The restive Syrian city of Homs was in a state of mourning on Wednesday, as citizens flocked to funerals for people slain in the streets the day before, an activist told CNN." videos have emerged of this

Committee to Document the 25th January Revolution

This is a really important issue. I have been writing (briefly) on the so-called 'Arab spring' for a couple of forthcoming chapters, drawing on my own very limited archive - building a proper archive is essential, especially as so much digital content goes missing.

Jack Shenker, Guardian, The struggle to document Egypt's revolution, 15 Jul 2011 " ... And so the Committee to Document the 25th January Revolution was born. Staffed by volunteers and drawing on everything from official records and insurrectionary pamphlets to multimedia footage and updates on Twitter and Facebook, the project aims, in Fahmy's words, "to gather as much primary data on the revolution as possible and deposit it in the archives so that Egyptians now and in the future can construct their own narratives about this pivotal period.""

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Craze for Pooches in Iran Dogs the Morality Police

Farnaz Fassihi,, A Craze for Pooches in Iran Dogs the Morality Police, 18 Jul 2011 "Iranians have turned to the Internet to organize antigovernment protests. Now they're flocking online to defy another Islamic Republic edict: buying and selling dogs.

"Pooch lovers in Iran are clicking on popular websites like Woof Woof Iran Digital Pets and Persianpet to pick their favorite canine, study dog grooming or swap pet tales."

GIMF prosecutions, German court sentences 3 for promoting terrorist groups, 19 Jul 2011

Iran tightens online censorship

Guardian, Iran tightens online censorship to counter US 'shadow internet', 13 Jul 2011: "Iran has stepped up online censorship by upgrading the filtering system that enables the Islamic regime to block access to thousands of websites it deems inappropriate for Iranian users."

The Life of a Jihadist Internet Post

Steven Emerson, The Life of a Jihadist Internet Post, 19 Jul 2011 "“[M]ilitary training is an obligation in Islam upon every sane, male, mature Muslim, whether rich or poor, whether studying or working and whether living in a Muslim or non-Muslim country,” stated a recent article on jihadist website Islam Policy. What’s unusual about the post is that it first appeared as post on an al-Qaeda media site in 2000."

Al-Qaeda cartoon

Damien McElroy, Telegraph, Al-Qaeda plans cartoon to fight the West, 20 Jul 2011 "Fundamentalists in Yemen have drawn up cartoon sequences for a film designed to inspire children to take up acts of terrorism."

Also see Reuters Africa, Militants plan al Qaeda cartoon for kids, monitors say, 20 Jul 2011 "The British counter-extremism thinktank Quilliam said news of the planned movie was announced by a contributor calling himself Abu al-Laith al-Yemen on the password-protected Arabic-language al-Shumukh online discussion forum on Sunday."

Taliban video incident

The Express Tribune, Cycle of death, 19 Jul 2011 "The Taliban have proven by their acts and misdeeds that there is not much of a difference between them and animals. What else is one to make of a video of the execution of over a dozen captured policemen in a remote part of Dir, allegedly by Taliban operatives, following fierce clashes in the area."

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

aQ Encryption Technology

Steven Stalinsky, MEMRI, Al-Qaeda's Embrace of Encryption Technology: 2007-2011 "This report traces the development of Al-Qaeda's encryption development efforts – from basic software first used by a few high ranking members to mass online distribution available to major Al-Qaeda-affiliated websites and chat rooms."

Monday, July 11, 2011

Syria updates, Syria's cyber war against dissidents "Demonstrators use social networking sites, notably Facebook and YouTube, to whip up support for protests against President Bashar al-Assad's rule, and also to broadcast footage they say is of the authorities' ensuing crackdown.

"But the regime is also using the Internet to strike back, and the government has deployed a special unit — the Syrian Electronic Army — to post pro-Assad comments on anti-regime websites.", Syrian protesters, backed by US, hunker down for long battle to oust Assad, 10 Jul 2011 "The United States and Europe, unable to convince China and Russia to join them in taking a firm stand against Mr. Assad’s brutality, have so far confined themselves to imposing economic sanctions, condemning regime brutality, calling on the president to create space for dialogue and protests, and enhancing the capability of Syrians to communicate with the outside world through the Internet."

Amnesty International, Risky Business: Getting information out of Syria, 10 Jul 2011
"Using a growing army of plain-clothed intelligence officers, the Mukhabarat, and internet and phone hackers, the Syrian government has sought to monitor all who disseminate information that might be deemed anti-government.

"“When I leave my house to go out, I never know if I’ll make it to where I’m going,” Noor, a Syrian journalist and human rights activist,told me at her cramped Damascene apartment in early June."

Egypt's 'Friday of Determination'

Ahram Online, Live updates: A blow by blow account of Egypt's 'Friday of Determination', 8 Jul 2011

Betim Kaziu case

AFP, American who plotted against US troops convicted, 8 Jul 2011

"According to court testimony, the defendant, who grew up in the United States, had been radicalized in part by propaganda videos produced by Al-Qaeda and Al-Shebab.

"He also was inspired by Internet speeches by terror mastermind Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born radical Muslim cleric and leader of Al-Qaeda in Yemen, according to testimony during his trial."


Reuters, Russia concerned about militants' use of Internet, 6 Jul 2011 "Federal Security Service (FSB) director Alexander Bortnikov emphasised the importance of countering the use of the Internet to lure people into extremist groups, remarks that could deepen concerns of a possible crackdown on the Internet in Russia."

Opinion piece: Radical Islam in Germany

Opinion piece: Veli Sirin, Hudson New York, Radical Islam in Germany: The Convert as Missionary "Critics of Vogel describe his method as brainwashing. A young Pakistani studying in Germany comments, "There is currently no alternative for young people who want to learn about moderate Islam in Germany." The Wahhabi "Salafis" have the best web sites and publish the most translations of Islamic literature. Unfortunately, Muslim university students are typically afraid to say anything about the situation. Whoever speaks against Pierre Vogel will be abused by his supporters, in online chat forums."

Call for Papers: Religion in Cyberspace

Just picked up this - please respond directly to the organisers:

Call for Papers

"We cordially invite you to participate in the workshop 'Religion in Cyberspace 2011' which will take place at the 9th international conference Cyberspace 2011 held in Brno, Czech Republic, 25-26 November 2011.

Illustrative topics

religious normative frameworks in cyberspace, networking diasporas, religious collaborative environments, on-line counseling, on-line fatwas and cyber muftis, new religious movements, religious discourses in cyberspace, methodology of online-religion research, rituals in cyberspace etc.

Note: Authors of accepted papers will be invited to submit their papers for peer review to Masaryk University Journal of Law and Technology (MUJLT -

Important dates

Abstract submission deadline: 31 July 2011 Notice on acceptance deadline: 31 August 2011 Full papers deadline: 31 December 2011

Abstract formal requirements

Range: max. 1.500 characters incl. spaces
Submission: on-line at

Reading List: The Arab Revolution: Ten Lessons From the Democratic Uprising

Jean-Pierre Filiu, The Arab Revolution: Ten Lessons From the Democratic Uprising (Hurst & Co) "The democratic uprising throughout the Arab world is proving how wrong we were to accept either dictatorship or Islamism as the only political alternatives. Lessons are already being learnt from this grassroots process, even while it is in the making. Above all, when it comes to freedom and justice, there is definitely no Arab exceptionalism. Social networks have been crucial in empowering a leaderless movement, where the generational factor is striking. The Facebook-savvy globalised youngsters from the urban middle class are key, but it is from the wrong side of town that disenfranchised youths spearheaded the Tunisian revolution."

Haven't seen this one yet, but it looks interesting

Politics of Information, The Internet and Islamist Politics in Jordan, Morocco and Egypt

Currently looking at Politics of Information, The Internet and Islamist Politics in Jordan, Morocco and Egypt
by Andrew Helms, Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown University

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Facebook campaign, Hanan Turk ignores campaign to take off Hijab, 3 Jul 2011 "Egyptian actress Hanan Turk refused comment on the campaign launched by a group of people on the social network "Facebook" requesting her to take off the Hijab, Islamic headdress."

Turkey and technology

Ashley Perks, Today's Zaman, What if?, 3 Jul 2011

"To some extent, modern technology has changed the paradigm as the Internet has now provided Arabs with the tools to motivate and mobilize the masses in favor of democratic reform, as we are currently witnessing from Tunisia to Syria. That Turkey stands out as an example in the 21st century of an increasingly democratic Muslim country is something of a major achievement."

Turkey: 1000+ websites hacked

Alastair Stevenson,, Hacking Boom: On the anniversary of the Sivas Katliamı Anonymous and allies RedHack deface 1000 websites, 5 Jul 2011 "As a part of Anonymous Operation Anti-Security and to mourn the anniversary of the Sivas Katliamı, the RedHack hacker Group has claimed responsibility for a slew of hacks defacing 1000 websites."

"Iran keeps snooping online"

Jason Ukman,, Iran keeps snooping online; U.S. struggles to intervene, 1 Jul 2011
"U.S. officials know that Tehran is using communications equipment — some perhaps acquired from American firms — to monitor and, in some cases, interfere with Iranians’ use of the Internet and mobile phones. And yet it’s proven difficult to do anything about it."

Declaration on Media and Information Literacy adopted by Fez International Forum, Declaration on Media and Information Literacy adopted by Fez International Forum, 4 Jul 2011 "The First International Forum on Media and Information Literacy (MIL) was organized through partnership among UNESCO, the Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University (Morocco), the Islamic Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (ISESCO), the Arab Bureau of Education for the Golf States (ABEGS) and the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and other partners. It was held from 15 to 17 June 2011 in Fez, Morocco, under the auspices of His Majesty King Mohammed the Sixth."