Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Online ventures target global Muslim consumer market

alarabiya, Online ventures target global Muslim consumer market "From travel guides to shopping portals, new Internet ventures aim to capitalise on the growing "Muslim lifestyle" market, which is expanding beyond food to include areas such as tourism, fashion and credit cards."

How Qatar uses social media

yourmiddleeast.com, How Qatar uses social media "For the first time, a study of Internet users in Qatar has explored the usage of emerging social media channels, alongside more established networks, thereby providing a holistic view of the country's social media population."

Friday, December 19, 2014

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014

Theology and Religious Studies - University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Some of the research associated with this blog contributed to the School of Theology, Religious Studies and Islamic Studies' REF result.

Why do internet companies have one rule for paedophilia and another for terrorism?

Why do internet companies have one rule for paedophilia and another for terrorism? - Spectator Blogs

Islamic State could be behind botched cyberattack on Syrian dissidents

Mashable, Islamic State could be behind botched cyberattack on Syrian dissidents "nternet watchdog Citizen Lab says an attempt to hack into systems operated by dissidents within the self-styled caliphate could be the work of hackers affiliated with the Islamic State group."

US backed talks between jihadi clerics and Isis in effort to save hostage’s life

Guardian, US backed talks between jihadi clerics and Isis in effort to save hostage’s life

Pakistani school attackers ‘were told to kill soldiers’ after massacre of pupils

Guardian, Pakistani school attackers ‘were told to kill soldiers’ after massacre of pupils

‘Mullah Radio’

Independent, Peshawar attack: ‘Mullah Radio’ grew to be a cult figure and was also behind Malala Yousafzai assassination attempt

One of the teens who ran away to join ISIS has been killed, UN says 

Daily Mail, One of the teens who ran away to join ISIS has been killed, UN says 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Nowhere to hide?: "The FBI Used the Web's Favorite Hacking Tool to Unmask Tor Users"

The FBI Used the Web's Favorite Hacking Tool to Unmask Tor Users | WIRED "Since Operation Torpedo, though, there’s evidence the FBI’s anti-Tor capabilities have been rapidly advancing. Torpedo was in November 2012. In late July 2013, computer security experts detected a similar attack through Dark Net websites hosted by a shady ISP called Freedom Hosting—court records have since confirmed it was another FBI operation. For this one, the bureau used custom attack code that exploited a relatively fresh Firefox vulnerability—the hacking equivalent of moving from a bow-and-arrow to a 9-mm pistol. In addition to the IP address, which identifies a household, this code collected the MAC address of the particular computer that infected by the malware."

7 held in Spain, Morocco over female Islamic State recruits

middleeasteye.net, 7 held in Spain, Morocco over female Islamic State recruits "Spain's interior ministry said four women, one of them a minor, and three men were arrested in Barcelona, Spain's North African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, and in the nearby Moroccan town of Castillejos."

More than 120 people killed in Pakistan Taliban school siege, says official - live updates

Guardian, More than 120 people killed in Pakistan Taliban school siege, says official - live updates more social media reaction here

Taliban Gunmen Kill More Than 100 At Pakistani Military School

Huffington Post, Taliban Gunmen Kill More Than 100 At Pakistani Military School "Taliban militants have stormed a military-run school in Pakistan, killing 126 people, including 84 children."



article contains social media reaction

Monday, December 15, 2014

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Second Wives Club

NewYorkObserver, The Second Wives Club: New Matchmaking Site for Muslim Polygamists "Yusuf Khan, a web developer and entrepreneur, launched the UK-based polygamy site three months ago. The site already has over 3,000 users, he said.



“SecondWife.com wasn’t planned,” Mr. Khan said by email. Originally, he had hoped to create a more traditional matchmaking site, but found that the market was already saturated. “There [were] plenty of fish (excuse the pun) to compete with,” he said.



Screenshot here:



Net radicalisation issues

Muslims in Britain against extremists | All media content | DW.DE | 10.12.2014 "Young British Muslims are appearing in videos to show their solidarity against IS, and to send the message that IS does not represent them or their values. The videos enjoy tens of thousands of supporters, while President Barack Obama has praised the campaign for its courage. But other Muslim groups have criticized the campaign. They say Muslims aren't responsible for the actions of extremists and shouldn't have to publicly distance themselves from extremists."

Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State: Gaging Failure and Success in Online Jihad

Rita Katz, Site Intelligence, Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State: Gaging Failure and Success in Online Jihad
"We always hear about the overwhelming social media campaigns by the Islamic State (IS), and how they flood the internet with gruesome images of beheadings, threats, military achievements, and victories. But what about al-Qaeda (AQ) fighters and supporters? After all, geographically speaking, they include a much larger array of areas and groups, from AQ in Afghanistan, Shabaab al-Mujahideen in Somalia, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in Algeria, and al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS).

"With these questions in mind, a comparison of a recent social media campaign by AQ/AQAP supporters following the failed U.S. rescue mission (and consequential execution) of Luke Somers, to those more successful ones launched by IS supporters, provides a better scope of success (or lack thereof) in today’s jihadist social media campaigns."

Opinion/analysis

Inside the battle for Ask.fm

washingtonpost.com, Inside the battle for Ask.fm, the site where Islamic State recruited three American teens "When three teenage girls from Denver left their homes for an Islamic State camp in Syria two months ago, their parents — and the FBI — were quick to search social media for clues to their escape. And in the weeks since the girls were intercepted in Frankfurt and returned home, it’s become pretty clear that they were indeed radicalized and recruited online.



"But while accounts of similar Western recruits have fingered major social networks like Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr, or popular messaging platforms like Kik, a report out from NPR claims another social network, Ask.fm, was actually the major force at play."

Afghan students find inspiration in Islamic State's success

Afghan students find inspiration in Islamic State's success - World | The Star Online

Converting the preachers

The Economist, Converting the preachers "Now Saudi preachers face a new constraint: starting next year authorities will install centrally monitored cameras in every mosque to record what goes on inside. The move is ostensibly meant to prevent theft and regulate energy use, but few doubt the real intention is to tighten the state’s grip on Islam, part of a trend across the Middle East."

Islamic State orders wifi cut during prayers

Reuters, Yahoo, Islamic State orders wifi cut during prayers: Syria monitor, 11 Dec 2014 " Islamic State militants have ordered shopkeepers to shut down their wireless Internet during prayer times in the eastern Syrian city of Deir al-Zor, a group monitoring the Syrian conflict said on Thursday."

Thursday, December 11, 2014

'Mum jailed for Facebook terror post'

BBC News, Mum jailed for Facebook terror posts "A mother-of-six has been jailed for five years and three months for promoting terrorism on Facebook."

Zaid to launch online space for ‘progressive’ Malays to air views

Zaid to launch online space for ‘progressive’ Malays to air views - The Malaysian Insider

ISIS sex slaves guide mars international Human Rights Day

ara.tv, ISIS sex slaves guide mars international Human Rights Day "The pamphlet is titled Su'al wa-Jawab fi al-Sabi wa-Riqab - “Questions and Answers on Taking Captives and Slaves” and in it ISIS justifies capturing the women due to their status as non-Muslims."

Matchmaking online

Lydia Green, BBC News, Why millions of Muslims are signing up for online dating, 10 Dec 2014 "Arranged marriages are standard practice in many societies, but the introductions and screening process can be an ordeal for the young people involved - even if they are pleased with the eventual outcome. Some Western Muslims have concluded that online matchmaking can help reduce embarrassment."

Also see: 

alarabiya.net, Online dating gains traction among Muslims in West "Adeem Younis, founder of matchmaking site Single Muslim, which boasts of having over one million members, told the BBC that he set up the service after to avoid the pain of family-orchestrated matchmaking – and as an alternative to the more casual hook-up culture prevalent with many secular dating sites."

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

iReligion: Religious Elements of the Apple Phenomenon

iReligion: Religious Elements of the Apple Phenomenon - Journal of Religion and Popular Culture - Volume 26, Number 3 /2014 - University of Toronto Press I haven't read the entire article, due to the pay wall, but it looks interesting. Not sure if the tribulations some experienced with Yosemite and Mavericks form part of the 'religious experience'.

Defusing Taliban publicity

Massoumeh Torfeh, aljazeera.com, Defusing Taliban publicity "Journalists in Afghanistan have decided for the second time this year to curtail their reporting on Taliban attacks as a means of reducing the impact of their message. The first such collective action was taken during the presidential elections when the Taliban were completely boycotted. This is a strategic decision according to Fahim Dashty, the chief executive of Afghanistan's National Journalists Union (ANJU). The decision follows the recent heavy escalation of attacks in Kabul."

CIA torture program

Guardian, CIA torture program: Senate report details abuse of detainees – as it happened



Mother Jones, The Senate Just Released the CIA Torture Report. Read the Full Document

Aussie Imam Claims Islam 'Allows Wine'

OnIslam, Aussie Imam Claims Islam 'Allows Wine' "Muslim scholars have criticized claims by a Sydney mosque imam that Islam does not ban wine, seeing his comments as contradicting with the consensus of Muslim scholars."

ISIS's brutal beheading video: Search for clues

CNN, ISIS's brutal beheading video: Search for clues "The US-based terrorism research organization TRAC (Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium) and UK-based counter-extremism think tank Quilliam have analyzed the footage frame-by-frame to understand the video's production techniques, the identity of the hostages and their killers, and the visual significance of such calculated brutality."

Monday, December 08, 2014

Heavy Censorship in Pakistan

Heavy Censorship in Pakistan Shows Why the Next Arab Spring Won't Be on Facebook | Motherboard " During the second half of 2013, Facebook censored or removed 162 posts from Pakistan, according to Facebook’s official transpa​rency report, which outlines government requests for censorship and user data around the world.



"What’s even more interesting is that, in the first six ​months of this year, Facebook removed 1,773 posts—roughly a 1,000 percent increase.

The Criminalisation of Islam in The British Media

huffingtonpost.co.uk, The Criminalisation of Islam in The British Media "Professor Paul Baker of Lancaster University carried out a unique research entitled, 'The Representation of Islam and Muslims in the UK Press 1998-2009'. Along with three other academics, Professor Baker embarked on a rigorous study that involved the analysis of more than 200,000 articles, equating to over 147million words of journalism. The use of "corpus linguistic methods" in creating an "acceptable bias" was amongst other objectives of their endeavour."

Serial

Guardian, Serial: The Syed family on their pain and the ‘five million detectives trying to work out if Adnan is a psychopath’

It's complicated: Iran's 'sinful' relationship with the internet

albawaba.com, It's complicated: Iran's 'sinful' relationship with the internet

Iran: Telecommunications minister says every Internet user will be 'identified'

ibtimes, Iran: Telecommunications minister says every Internet user will be 'identified' "Vaezi announced last month that the country would have "smart filtering" within six months that would enable the authorities to filter out offensive and criminal content from being accessed online in the Islamic Republic." Also see AFP/Gulf News, Iran minister says all web surfers to be ‘identified’

Islamic State group support grows in Jordan town

AP/Daily Mail, Islamic State group support grows in Jordan town

Woman who stabbed U.S. teacher in UAE was lone terrorist - agency

Reuters, Woman who stabbed U.S. teacher in UAE was lone terrorist - agency "A United Arab Emirates woman who killed an American teacher last week has been inspired by "terrorist ideology" acquired through the Internet but investigators have found no links to militant groups, the state news agency WAM reported on Sunday."

Ottawa man threatens Canada in purported Islamic State video

theglobeandmail.com, Ottawa man threatens Canada in purported Islamic State video

Qaradawi 'wanted'

INTERPOL, Qaradawi Notice 

How To Stop Being a Celebrity Shaykh Fanboy or Fangirl and Build Real Relationships With Them Instead

Omar Usman, muslimmatters.org, How To Stop Being a Celebrity Shaykh Fanboy or Fangirl and Build Real Relationships With Them Instead "Random Muslim Person sees inspirational Islamic video on YouTube. Random brother or sister now feels speaker in said YouTube video is the solution to all of their life problems."

Wireless in Gaza

Guardian, Wireless in Gaza: the young entrepreneurs beating the blockades "With few goods, or people, allowed to cross the border, the pool of customers and employees in Gaza is small. Web-based startups are giving those with bright ideas a chance to expand their horizons and their businesses."

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Indian IS recruit 'goes home after having to clean toilets'

Daily Mail, Indian IS recruit 'goes home after having to clean toilets' + iPod didn't work

'ISIS Destroying Mosques In Iraq'

[tip: Alan Godlas]

Lebanon detains ‘wife and son’ of ISIS leader Baghdadi

alarabiya.net, Lebanon detains ‘wife and son’ of ISIS leader Baghdadi "The wife of the elusive Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdad, has been reportedly detained at the Lebanese-Syrian border, Lebanese security officials said on Tuesday."

Online - Heidelberg Journal of Religions on the Internet Vol. 6 out

Online - Heidelberg Journal of Religions on the Internet  Vol.6 (2014)



Possible highlights (in relation to this blog) include:



Claudia Carvalho 
 
 

Baby boom? ISIS bans contraceptive pills in Mosul

alarabiya.net, Baby boom? ISIS bans contraceptive pills in Mosul "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants in the city of Mosul have shut down family planning departments at public hospitals in order to prevent women from using contraceptive pills, the Iraqi Human Rights Ministry said on Monday."

Egyptian ‘hipster’ ISIS fighter Islam Yaken killed in Kobane

alarabiya.net, Egyptian ‘hipster’ ISIS fighter Islam Yaken killed in Kobane "Yaken - who according to friends had lived a cosmopolitan lifestyle back home in Egypt - bewildered many when he joined the extremist militants. A photo of him published on social media networks in August showed him brandishing a sword while mounted on a horse in Syria."

Monday, December 01, 2014

Tajik Islamic Party Labels Sex Video An 'Attack' Ahead Of Elections

RFE/RL, Tajik Islamic Party Labels Sex Video An 'Attack' Ahead Of Elections

Opinion piece: Nadhim Zahawi MP: The internet giants act on child abuse. So why won’t they act over terror?

Nadhim Zahawi MP: The internet giants act on child abuse. So why won’t they act over terror?  opinion piece

Russia blocks Vimeo video hosting access for Islamic State video

TASS, Russia blocks Vimeo video hosting access for Islamic State video "At the request from Russian telecommunications watchdog communications providers have blocked access to Vimeo video hosting which posted a video of extremist grouping Islamic State."

India: net as ISIS recruitment tool

NDTV, Instead of Jihadi, Was Used as Labour, Alleged IS Fighter Areeb Majeed Says net as recruitment tool "Majeed, according to investigators, says he was surfing the Internet to learn more about the conflict between Palestine and Israel when he began to watch orthodox Islamic preachers online.

""I was studying engineering but lost interest and began thinking about Islamic countries that followed the Shariat," he has reportedly said.

"With the other three men from his neighbourhood, he contacted a woman named Tahira Bhatt on Facebook who claimed to be a recruiter for IS. She asked the men to head to Iraq and gave them contact information for representatives who would meet them there."

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Istanbul’s Friday sermon focuses on lies, gossip via technological devices

hurriyetdailynews.com - Istanbul’s Friday sermon focuses on lies, gossip via technological devices "The sermon stated that people could forget about upholding their “holy watch” while seated before a computer and could act irresponsibly towards others’ dignities. People who make their tongues into a poisonous arrow through the use of gossip, lies and allegations should remember they will be held accountable for their acts, the sermon added."

Jihadelicious? ISIS shares new pancake recipe

alarabiya, Jihadelicious? ISIS shares new pancake recipe

Hostility in the air after Boko Haram attack

BBC News, Hostility in the air after Boko Haram attack

Support for Isis stronger in Arabic social media in Europe than in Syria

Guardian, Support for Isis stronger in Arabic social media in Europe than in Syria "In Syria, Isis appears to be dramatically losing the battle for hearts and minds with more than 92% of tweets, blogs and forum comments hostile to the militants who have rampaged through the east of the country and western Iraq, seizing large tracts of territory and declaring the establishment of a religious state."

A Jordanian Spins Comic Book Tales to Counter Terrorist Ideologies

NYT, A Jordanian Spins Comic Book Tales to Counter Terrorist Ideologies "Mr. Bakhit, 36, is a Jordanian comic book author and entrepreneur who creates Middle Eastern stories that are an alternative to terrorist ideologies. His field research has included surveys of children in poor neighborhoods in and around the Jordanian capital of Amman and in Syrian refugee camps."

The Jihad Cult: Why Young Germans Are Answering Call to Holy War

The Jihad Cult: Why Young Germans Are Answering Call to Holy War - Spiegel Online

Tens of thousands of Muslims flee Christian militias in Central African Republic

Washington Post, Tens of thousands of Muslims flee Christian militias in Central African Republic

Hackers use defaced sites to build a botnet

Hackers use defaced sites to build a botnet - Cyberwarzone "Hackers and hacktivists are using defaced websites to infect unaware
visitors with malware. The malware allows the hackers to control the
infected device. The AnonGhost hackers are using their defaced websites
to build a botnet by infecting unaware visitors. In a earlier report we
reported that the AnonGhost hackers will be able to hit targets fasters
because Mauritania Attacker has gone active again."

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Caliph, The Fat Sheikh And Their Goats: The Keyboard Warriors Taking Social Media Back From Iraq's Extremists

Niqash - society - The Caliph, The Fat Sheikh And Their Goats: The Keyboard Warriors Taking Social Media Back From Iraq's Extremists  "“There are a large number of actual ISIS sympathisers who
follow me and even retweet many of the jokes,” al-Fatassi says. “Because
the first thing they do when making a Twitter account is search for
“ISIS”. So they end up following me and ISIS Media not knowing we are
both parody accounts.”"

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Syrian electronic army 'hacks' Independent, OK Magazine and NHL

Guardian, Syrian electronic army 'hacks' Independent, OK Magazine and NHL "The Syrian Electronic Army has “hacked” a number of high profile sites, after the group apparently exploited a fault with a content delivery network (CDN)."

'Blood Jihad 2'

IB Times, ISIS Child Training Camp In Iraq Shown In New Video 'Blood Jihad 2' "Training in Raqqa has two tracks: A 45-day “legitimacy training” and three months of “war course,” or a combined 45-day program during times of intense battles, a spokesperson for the anti-militant activist group Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently, recently told IBTimes."

Purple Rain blog: UKIP Mistake Cathedral For Mosque

hopenothate, Purple Rain blog: UKIP Mistake Cathedral For Mosque "South Thanet UKIP branch have been left with egg on their face after making a huge mistake on the social network Twitter."

Terror suspect posts image of baby

BBC, Terror suspect posts image of baby "A terrorism suspect [Abu Rumaysah] who skipped bail in London has apparently released an image he claims shows him with his newborn son in the Islamic State (IS)."

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Britons jailed over Syria terror camp

BBC News, Britons jailed over Syria terror camp, 26 Nov 2014 "Mohommod Nawaz, 30, and Hamza Nawaz, 24, both from Stratford, east London, were sentenced to four-and-a-half years and three years respectively."

Swing Sets and Death in Syria: A Visit to an Aleppo Playground

Spiegel Online, Swing Sets and Death in Syria: A Visit to an Aleppo Playground

Western Media Is Obsessed With Kurdish Female Fighters Battling ISIS

Ruwayda Mustafah Rabar, Global Voices, Western Media Is Obsessed With Kurdish Female Fighters Battling ISIS, 19 Nov 2014 "International media agencies and activists alike have pushed images of female Peshmerga in their coverage and on social networking sites. The idea of women in uniform, heavily armed, fearless and fighting alongside men seems to be enticing, perhaps even captivating because it is perceived to be one of the strongest messages of defiance in the face of ISIS — a notoriously brutal Al Qaeda offshoot responsible for mass killing of Iraqi soldiers, Syrian soldiers, aid workers, journalists and the kidnapping, rape and forced marriage of women. In the group's Mosul manifesto, ISIS requires the confinement of women to their homes, unless absolutely necessary."

Why journalists should approach #ISIS tweets with caution

CJR, Why journalists should approach #ISIS tweets with caution "ISIS’ social media presence is also a massive phenomenon that warrants careful research and reporting beyond its instrumental use as a primary source. The tweets are more than a megaphone—they are a sign of ISIS’ ambition, part of what set the group’s declared state-building project apart from the sect-like secrecy of its forerunner, Al-Qaeda." The same applies to academics.

The Origins of ISIS (Islamic State)


from Brookings Institution

Why ISIS supporters can't stop tweeting about Ferguson

vox.com, Why ISIS supporters can't stop tweeting about Ferguson "Since the news of Darren Wilson's non-indictment broke last night, some Arabic language journalists noticed something curious: pro-ISIS Twitter users were all over the Ferguson discussion. "It's horrible," Joyce Karam, the Washington Bureau chief for Al-Hayat, writes. "Most of the tweets when you look up "فيرغسون" ([Arabic] for Ferguson) are ISIS driven.""

Soldiers, Spies, Cyberwarriors: '@War' In The Internet Age

Discussion of a new book: NPR, Soldiers, Spies, Cyberwarriors: '@War' In The Internet Age "The book looks cyberspace as war's "fifth domain" (after land, sea, air and space). [Shane] Harris covers topics like the NSA, the role of cyber warfare in the Iraq troop surge of 2007, China's "rampant" espionage on American corporations — and the U.S. government's strategy of playing the victim."

Patronato Postcard: A Visit To Chile's Little Palestine

worldcrunch, Patronato Postcard: A Visit To Chile's Little Palestine non-tech, but interesting

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Egyptian Cyber Army: The hacker group attacking ISIS propaganda online

Mashable, Egyptian Cyber Army: The hacker group attacking ISIS propaganda online "Last week, less than 24 hours after ISIS social media accounts posted a threatening message from the group's leader, the audio recording was replaced with a song and its transcript with a logo resembling that of the Egyptian military, accompanied by a writing in Arabic that read "Egyptian Cyber Army.""

Hunting the Taliban, Crossing Continents

Hunting the Taliban, Crossing Continents - BBC Radio 4



"Mobeen Azhar reports from Karachi, Pakistan's biggest city, where police are at war with the Taliban. Given rare access to the work of the police by a Senior Superintendent in Karachi's Criminal Investigation Department, Mobeen joins officers on a night time raid in search of the men who train suicide bombers. He meets a suspect in custody who brags about planting bombs and describes how he urges teenage boys to sacrifice their lives in violent jihad. Mobeen also talks to a businessman who was kidnapped for ransom and meets the families of police officers who have been killed by the militants.



"Assassinations linked to political parties have blighted the city for over a decade but today, more than 70 groups representing the militant Taliban are also fighting for control. This guerrilla war, once confined to the tribal belt of Waziristan has moved into Karachi with devastating results."

Friday, November 21, 2014

French jihadis

Zee, Jihad lures teens from unsuspected corners of France ""Religion is very much an accessory. It`s an Islamist community, but it could just as easily have been anarchist, or anti-fascist," [Marc] Sageman told a news agency.

"It was a point underlined recently when it emerged that would-be jihadists bought the books "Islam for Dummies" and "The Koran for Dummies" over Amazon before leaving Britain last year."

'Report Jihad'

Mirror, 'Report Jihad' button promised by UK internet providers to help tackle online extremism "Internet service providers in the UK including BT, Virgin, TalkTalk and Sky have pledged to introduce a 'report Jihad' button to make it easier for customers to flag extremist materials."

Jihad + poetry

RFE/RL, 'What Rhymes With Islamic State?' Militants Express Ideology Through Poetry "In one recent poem about Syria, published on the khilafa.org website, which is run by Chechens in the Latakia-based Khalifat Jamaat faction, the Daghestani author criticizes such "armchair warriors," who he says post pictures of food on social media instead of defending hungry children in Syria."

Monday, November 17, 2014

Kenya arrests

alarabiya.net, 200 arrested as Kenya police raid suspected Al-Qaeda linked mosques "One man was killed Monday as Kenyan security forces arrested more than 200 people and seized weapons in raids on mosques accused of links with Somalia's Al-Qaeda affiliated Shebab militants, police said."

Iran to have Internet ‘smart filtering’ within months

alarabiya.net, Iran to have Internet ‘smart filtering’ within months, 14 Nov 2014 "Iran will have “smart filtering” within six months to weed out Internet content the authorities deem offensive or criminal, the telecommunications minister said on Friday."

Doha-based Qardawi rejects UAE blacklisting

alarabiya.net, Doha-based Qardawi rejects UAE blacklisting, 17 Nov 2014 "The International Union of Muslim Scholars and its chairman, Qatar-based Egyptian cleric Youssef al-Qaradawi, expressed “astonishment” on Monday at being designated a terrorist body by the United Arab Emirates."

Say hello to Zilzar.com, the Islamic answer to Amazon

just picked this up from a couple of weeks ago: Guardian, Say hello to Zilzar.com, the Islamic answer to Amazon see zilzar.com (screenshot left)

Boko Haram - opinion piece

Jacob Zenn, Washington Post, Boko Haram is acting increasingly like the Islamic State. Why don’t we treat it that way?, 13 Nov 2014 "The United States may have “insurgency fatigue” as a result of unsettled scores in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, let alone the enduring conflicts in Libya, Mali, Somalia and elsewhere. But Nigeria is a longtime ally of the United States, and effective global leadership in West Africa is needed to halt Boko Haram’s momentum. Only then can students like those in Yobe State, Chibok and elsewhere have the opportunity to craft a future for themselves and their country."

ISIS at RISK

tabsir.net » ISIS at RISK "The more the media spreads news about ISIS or ISIL or IS or Da’ish, the crazier it gets. The current Wikipedia entry is one of the longest I have ever seen. But let’s take a reality check here. ISIS is a digital creation as much as a successful terrorist operation that feeds the current media frenzy with Islam and terrorism."

ISIS/Kassig

Independent, A new Isis video – but a different ending. What could it mean? "The video that appeared on Sunday confirmed to show the head of the American aid worker Peter Kassig at the feet of a hooded killer of Isis is at once similar and dissimilar to the tapes we have seen before announcing the killing of Western hostages. Common to all of them is their savagery."

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Islamic State sets sights on Saudis

BBC News, Islamic State sets sights on Saudis "In a 17-minute audio message, purportedly from its elusive leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the group sets its sights firmly on Saudi Arabia, birthplace of Islam and the world's largest oil producer and exporter."

Friday, November 14, 2014

KSA

Malay Mail, Free Saudi cyber activists, demands media watchdog, 14 Nov 2014 "Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urged Saudi authorities today to drop charges against dissidents jailed in recent months over their Internet activity."

Jordan

Yahoo News, Jordan takes Islamic State battle to Internet, mosques ""Jordan is waging a war against jihadist ideology and amended the anti-terrorism law... because the Internet has become the main tool for mobilising and recruiting" militants, said analyst Hasan Abu Haniya." Also listen to Radio 4, The World Tonight from last night on Jordanian issues

Jihadis who travel to Syria could be barred from UK return for two years

Guardian, Jihadis who travel to Syria could be barred from UK return for two years "Suspected jihadis, including teenagers, who travel to Syria will be prevented from returning to Britain for two years and only allowed to re-enter if they consent to face trial, home detention, regular police monitoring or go on a deradicalisation course."

The Journal of Arab & Muslim Media Research

digitalislam.eu, The Journal of Arab & Muslim Media Research "The Journal of Arab & Muslim Media Research released its new issue (Vol. 7, Issue 1, 2014), edited by Noureddine Miladi from the Qatar University. The issue focuses on representation of Muslims in the British media and the future of traditional media in the Middle East region."

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

IS Mosul Net Hit

Coalition Airstrikes Demolish IS Internet Network in Mosul | BAS NEWS " The Iraqi authorities also revealed that during the airstrikes, the internet network of Islamic State in Mosul has become the target and coalition jets has destroyed the network."

Opinion re IS

How social media is helping Islamic State to spread its poison - Telegraph " In the post-Snowden world, this has become immeasurably more difficult – not least because the whistle-blower’s revelations prompted many of the world’s leading social media companies to tighten up their security arrangements, primarily to reassure customers that their private activities were safe from the activities of intelligence-seeking eavesdroppers."

IS Iceland

washingtonpost.com, Why the Islamic State is interested in Iceland, 14 Oct 2014 I just picked up on this, although it came out a few weeks ago

Tech groups aid terror, says UK spy chief

Tech groups aid terror, says UK spy chief - FT.com  also see Robert Hannigan, FT.com, The web is a terrorist’s command-and-control network of choice. Radio 4 also had a piece on this yesterday [4 November] on PM (about 15 minutes in): Themes discussed would be familiar/obvious to many readers of this blog, I expect.

Monday, November 03, 2014

British-Iranian woman jailed for a year for trying to watch volleyball game





Guardian, British-Iranian woman jailed for a year for trying to watch volleyball game "Ghoncheh Ghavami, 25, a law graduate from London, was found guilty of spreading “propaganda against the regime” following a secret hearing at Tehran’s revolutionary court." Here's a related Amnesty International page

Reading list: Media Evolution on the Eve of the Arab Spring

palgrave.com, Media Evolution on the Eve of the Arab Spring, Edited by Leila Hudson, Adel Iskandar, Mimi Kirk, "Leading scholars of Arab media come together to offer unparalleled insight into the communication environment that preceded the political and societal ruptures that shook the Arab world 2010-2011. Examining the role of competing publics, the state's ability to construct meaning, and social and political change in the region, they unsettle oversimplifications of much of the existing literature and examine numerous precipitating conditions, including, political stagnation, civil engagement, new media, rural and urban divides, Islamist blogospheres, video games, Turkish and Syrian dramas, mediated diplomacy, and diaspora." Looks interesting. Out at the end of the year. Expensive!!

'15 Progressive Islamic Facebook Pages'

patheos.com, 15 Progressive Islamic Facebook Pages That You Should Really Check Out! "When was the last time you came across a very enlightening post from a mainstream Islamic page that completely changed your paradigm, or at least made you think differently? If you only follow mainstream Islamic pages, chances are that it may very well have been a long time ago (if ever). I don’t know about you, but I’ve had some pretty terrible experiences with popular Islamic pages. And, let me tell you why." Opinion ... define 'progressive'.

Who is the 'Angel of Kobane'?

BBC News, Who is the 'Angel of Kobane'?, 3 Nov 2014 "Thousands around the world on social media have shared the image of the "Angel of Kobane" or "Rehana", a Kurdish fighter who has become a symbol of resistance against Islamic State. According to the stories, she's slain as many as 100 Islamic State fighters. Only one hitch: she's probably not who people think she is."

Whose side is Turkey on?

LRB · Patrick Cockburn · Whose side is Turkey on?

Uprising could trigger Isis undoing, says study

Guardian, Uprising could trigger Isis undoing, says study "A large-scale uprising from people living under the totalitarian regime of Islamic State (Isis) is the most likely trigger that will lead to the undoing of the self-declared caliphate, according to an authoritative report into the jihadi group by the former head of counter-terrorism at MI6."

Friday, October 31, 2014

Zora Foundation

RFE/RL, How To Be A Good Islamic State Wife "The Zora Foundation says it aims to prepare potential female IS recruits for jihad in several ways. Among the "useful skills" taught by the group will include practical competencies such as first aid (to be used to help militants injured in battles), how to work with design and editing programs (to help spread IS propaganda), how to use weapons, and how to cook and sew for militants."

Czech Intelligence: Al-Qaeda using social networking in EU

praguepost.com, Czech Intelligence: Al-Qaeda using social networking in EU "Al-Qaeda tends to focus on spreading its ideology among young Muslims in Europe and the Czech Republic via the Internet, for which it mainly used its website and social networks, the Czech Military Intelligence Service (VZ) says in its annual report for 2013."

Colorado teen radicalisation

Denver Post, Analyst group: Colorado teens spoke with top Islamic State terrorists, 29 Oct 2014 "Two of the three girls had secondary Twitter accounts — one of which included "SlaveOfAllah" in the handle — that they used to express their Islamic views. When the three left on their trip, their travels created international chatter on social media as supporters and detractors offered words of support and criticism." Features work of SITE

Thursday, October 30, 2014

'Isis wants to spread Ebola: security chief'

thelocal.es, Isis wants to spread Ebola: security chief, 30 Oct 2014 "Spain’s state secretary for security, Francisco Martínez, has told Congress that jihadists with connections to the extremist force Isis have discussed on internet forums how they could use Ebola as a weapon against the United States and the West in general."

Hyderabad techie arrested for allegedly trying to join the Islamic State

firstpost.com, Hyderabad techie arrested for allegedly trying to join the Islamic State, 29 Oct 2014 "Software engineer Munawad Salman, hailing from Tamil Nadu, got attracted to jihadist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) through social media networks and had planned to join its forces, a senior police officer said today."

Opinion: 'A Beginner's Guide to Dressing Like the Islamic State for Halloween'

Laila Alawa, mic.com, A Beginner's Guide to Dressing Like the Islamic State for Halloween "Pretending to be a member of IS is not unique or trendy. Rather, it plays right into what these types of terrorist organizations want: public recognition of their existence and tacit permission to be a part of American culture. Considering that IS regularly recruits soldiers on social media, it's not too far-fetched to wonder if some of these social media posts of people dressing up "like them" may one day serve as recruitment tools. Ultimately, these types of costumes whitewash a violent criminal organization while simultaneously insulting Muslims, a diverse, mostly peaceful community of 1.6 billion people. "

Portsmouth recruits to ISIS

BBC News, Portsmouth men killed in Syria were 'radicalised online', 26 Oct 2014 "A faith equality leader in Portsmouth has blamed social media and the internet for "radicalising" young men fighting in Syria for Islamic State."

Child recruitment to ISIS

Bloomberg, Mosul’s Children Lured to Islamic State to Swell Ranks "The 13-year-old encountered fighters on his street who told him he should visit their new centers in the neighborhood. He then watched a video of Islamic State battles in a nearby house, which had been converted into a makeshift Internet cafe and cinema.

"One of the fighters “said we can be heroes just like the men in these videos and we can have a salary and a gun,” Abdullah, who registered his name, said in a phone interview conducted with his family’s consent. “I thought I will be a hero and help my family with money but my father told me this is a bad idea and I will have a job one day if I study and finish my school.”"

Russia Bans Wayback Machine

Moscow Times, Russia Bans Wayback Machine Internet Archive Over Islamic State Video "The Russian government has blacklisted the California-based Wayback Machine, a comprehensive archive of the Internet, over an Islamist video available on the website.

"The video, called "The Clang of Swords," by the notorious terrorist group Islamic State, was declared extremist by a court in Russia's southern Stavropol region in July."

US urges online fight against Islamic State group

France24, US urges online fight against Islamic State group "As US-led airstrikes continue to target the Islamic State (IS) group in Iraq and Syria, Washington has called for the battle against the jihadist group be taken to the internet amid mounting concern over its aggressive recruitment efforts."

Iranian vampire movie

io9, Iranian Vampire Movie A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night Is A Must-Watch Official site here

Civil Defense Chief Discloses Iran's Tough Response to US Cyberattack on Natanz

farsnews.com, Civil Defense Chief Discloses Iran's Tough Response to US Cyberattack on Natanz "Head of Iran's Civil Defense Organization Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jalali revealed on Tuesday that a US cyberattack on Iran's nuclear enrichment facility in Natanz failed due to his organization's tough defensive measures."

"And now for something completely different ..."

Dean Obeidallah, Daily Beast, Middle East Goes Monty Python on ISIS It's an interesting article, which points to this video (among others):

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

UK Muslim leaders condemn IS

RT, 'Violent and terrible’: UK Muslim leaders condemn ISIS "Leaders of Portsmouth’s Muslim community have condemned the Islamic State (IS formerly ISIS/ISIL) as a “violent and terrible regime” in an attempt to stop more young people travelling to join the fight in Syria."

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Egyptian woman gives birth on hospital doorstep after being refused treatment

MEMO, Egyptian woman gives birth on hospital doorstep after being refused treatment "A video showing a woman giving birth on the doorstep on an Egyptian hospital has gone viral on Facebook and Twitter leading to the suspension of the hospital's director."

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Twitter ‘source of all evil,’ says Saudi Grand Mufti

alarabiya.net, Twitter ‘source of all evil,’ says Saudi Grand Mufti "The micro blogging site Twitter popular among both men and women in ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia is nothing more than “a source of lies” and evil, the kingdom’s Grand Mufti said."

Video shows ISIS stoning woman in front of her father

alarabiya.net, Video shows ISIS stoning woman in front of her father 'The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported Tuesday that it received a video showing fighters believed to be ISIS militants stoning a woman to death in the presence of her father after accusing her of adultery."

Malaysia - net recruitment

asianews.it, Malaysia Islamic state "recruiters" arrested: They include Internet experts and politicians "The group of 14 people arrested earlier this week include personalities active in the recruitment campaign for the militias of the Islamic State (IS). Police sources explain that they were organizing the movement in Syria and used the internet to attract new (and increasingly younger) supporters. In particular, three of them played a very personal and individual role to promote, organize and finance trips to Syria."

#daeshbags

Channel 4, Islamic State: just a bunch of #daeshbags? "A new hashtag is taking off on Twitter, and for once it is not One Direction related. It is #daeshbags - and it fits into an online movement ridiculing the #IslamicState group."

Taliban and Google Earth

BBC News, Panorama: Inside Taliban stronghold - included a Taliban commander, discussing strategic use of Google Earth

Thursday, October 16, 2014

New Book: Social Media and the Politics of Reportage: The 'Arab Spring'

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

Umm Abduh

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

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

iMuslims Review

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

Monday, October 13, 2014

Robert Fisk, on ISIS and the internet

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

ISIS/Austria

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

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

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

'Rich kids' Instagram

alarabiya.net, Iran blocks Tehran ‘rich kids’ Instagram page also see aljazeera.com, 'Poor Kids of Tehran' takes on Iran's elite

How nasheeds became the soundtrack of jihad

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

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Saudi drive campaign

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

First court date set in case to ban Facebook, Twitter in Egypt

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

High-Speed Internet Is "Un-Islamic," Says A Senior Iranian Ayatollah

io9.com, High-Speed Internet Is "Un-Islamic," Says A Senior Iranian Ayatollah "Iran's Ministry of Communication recently announced that it will give more mobile providers licenses for high-speed Internet services. But the Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi says authorities should first introduce measures that would prevent access to the "un-Islamic" and "negative features" of the technology."

“Cub of Baghdadi”

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

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

Baraka Blue

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

'The jihadi hunters'

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

Ayatollah’s Twitter

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

CNN: Why are young jihadists joining ISIS?


Virtual Hajj

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

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

The Isis propaganda war

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

Monday, October 06, 2014

'Viral tweets show ISIS sweet-talking Texan blonde'

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

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Alan Henning

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

Saturday, October 04, 2014

British IS fighter

Guardian, British Isis fighter calls David Cameron a ‘despicable swine’ in online video, 3 Oct 2014 "An apparent British Islamic State (Isis) fighter has appeared unmasked in a video posted online in which he calls the prime minister, David Cameron, a “despicable swine”."

Friday, October 03, 2014

Haj app offers information on infectious diseases

arabnews.com, Haj app offers information on infectious diseases "The Ministry of Health has launched a smartphone application that provides Haj pilgrims access to important health-related information and resources."

Kuwaiti man files complaint against wife for disturbing him on WhatApp

alarabiya.net, Kuwaiti man files complaint against wife for disturbing him on WhatApp "A Kuwaiti man filed a police complaint against his wife, accusing her of disturbing him on WhatsApp when he is out hanging with friends, according to local media reports. The police reportedly questioned the wife and charged her for “misusing the phone.""

Boko Haram leader rejects claims of his death in new video

alarabiya.net, Boko Haram leader rejects claims of his death in new video

ISIS Is Putin’s Problem, Too, and This Chechen Is One Reason Why.

thedailybeast.com, ISIS Is Putin’s Problem, Too, and This Chechen Is One Reason Why.

Tabaski (Eid al-Adha): Senegal's expats go online to buy rams

BBC News, Senegal's expats go online to buy rams e-commerce (or eid-commerce) in Senegal. "The company [Niokobok] lets the Senegalese diaspora around the world shop online for food, electronics and solar systems sourced in Senegal to be delivered to family and friends there.



 "They also deliver rams and goats for Tabaski - as well as all the traditional trimmings: potatoes, onions, and sauces. Customers can go to the website and view videos of the animals for sale, before making their selection."

Young and old Muslims challenge Islamic scholars as "Hajj selfies" go viral

yourmiddleeast.com, Young and old Muslims challenge Islamic scholars as "Hajj selfies" go viral more on hajj selfies

Mobily network registers tangible success on ‘Tarwiya’ Day

arabnews.com, Mobily network registers tangible success on ‘Tarwiya’ Day "Mobily confirmed that more than 70 percent growth in data traffic in comparison with last year rate during the “Tarwiya” day before the pilgrims move to Arafat." infomercial, but interesting

John Cantlie

Independent, John Cantlie: Father of British Isis hostage appeals for his release, 3 Oct 2014

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Another battle with Islam’s ‘true believers’ - opinion piece

Another battle with Islam’s ‘true believers’ - The Globe and Mail: "Like the Khawarij, Islamic State members believe they are the only “true Muslims” while the rest are disbelievers, worthy of death. It has threatened all opponents, including Muslim theologians warning against its fanatical ways. Their self-professed piety is built on a foundation of arrogance." opinion piece

Anti-Islam, but pro-gay?

Anti-Islam, but pro-gay? How mosque opponents tie themselves in knots | Connor Tomas O'Brien | Comment is free | theguardian.com:


Anti-Islam ads

Anti-Islam ads showing James Foley just before beheading pulled from New York City subway after complaint from victim's family | Daily Mail Online

Lewthwaite 'training Islamic State suicide bombers'

White Widow Samantha Lewthwaite 'training Islamic State suicide bombers' | UK | News | Daily Express: "The 30-year-old widow of Jermaine Lindsay - who killed 26 people when he blew himself up in the July 7 terrorist attacks in London in 2005 - is also thought to be helping the militants with their propaganda campaign."

Schoolgirl jihadis

Schoolgirl jihadis: the female Islamists leaving home to join Isis fighters | World news | The Guardian:

social media cited as a significant recruitment factor here.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Islamic State and Rotherham abuse 'fuelling far right'

BBC News - Islamic State and Rotherham abuse 'fuelling far right': "Islamic State extremism and the Rotherham abuse scandal are fuelling a far-right backlash in the UK, one of the Home Office's most senior advisers on right-wing extremism has said.

"


Being Muslim: How Local Islam Overturns Narratives of Exceptionalism | Department of Religious Studies | Vanderbilt University

Being Muslim: How Local Islam Overturns Narratives of Exceptionalism | Department of Religious Studies | Vanderbilt University:  I am giving a paper for this workshop (poster screen grab below)






In search of a digital caliphate

Iason Athanasiadis, In search of a digital caliphate | Al Jazeera America: "This summer, when advances by the Islamic State (IS) through northwestern Iraq were beginning to earn the extremist Sunni group unprecedented notoriety, a large number of social media users switched their profile pictures to the Arabic letter nuun, for Nasrani (Nazarene, that is, Christian), in an echo of the symbol scrawled by IS fighters on the doors of Christian families in the cities they capture. IS supporters adopted the black flag of Islamic conquest, featuring the stamp of the Prophet Muhammad and the statement “There is no God but Allah.”"

'Flames of War'

Islamic State video threatens to target White House and US troops | World news | theguardian.com:




‘Daesh’

Middle East - France switches to Arabic ‘Daesh’ acronym for Islamic State - France 24: "The French government has come up with an answer to a point of persistent journalistic confusion – how exactly does one refer to the Islamic State organisation brutally carving out a self-declared "caliphate" in Syria and northern Iraq?"

Saudi Arabia's top clerics speak out against militancy

Saudi Arabia's top clerics speak out against militancy - Zawya: "Saudi Arabia's top clerical council, the only body in the country authorised to issue fatwas or Islamic legal opinions, declared on Wednesday that "terrorism is a heinous crime" under Sharia, and perpetrators should be made an example of."

iOS 8 review

iOS 8 review: the iPhone and iPad get customised, extended and deepened | Technology | theguardian.com:



new security adjustments in iOS 8 - although phones don't get any simpler ...

#NotInMyName

#NotInMyName: ISIS Do Not Represent British Muslims - YouTube:

Iran's 'Happy' dancers sentenced to 91 lashes

Iran's 'Happy' dancers sentenced to 91 lashes | SBS News "The group were arrested in May for their part in a YouTube video, which showed three men and three unveiled women dancing on the streets and rooftops of Tehran to the soundtrack of Pharrell Williams' song, 'Happy'."

Friday, September 12, 2014

Reading List - Reclaiming Jihad: A Qur'anic Critique of Terrorism

ISSUU - Reclaiming Jihad: A Qur'anic Critique of Terrorism by ElSayed Amin by Kube Publishing:



 new and noted (haven't read it yet)

What the ISIS Flag Says About the Militant Group

What the ISIS Flag Says About the Militant Group | TIME


Female ‘jihadist’ vows to raise ISIS flag over Britain

Female ‘jihadist’ vows to raise ISIS flag over Britain - Al Arabiya News:

"A 20-year-old Scotswoman who abandoned her family to join the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has rejected pleas from her parents to return home, saying she would only come back to raise the ISIS flag over Britain."

UK female jihadists run ISIS sex-slave brothels

UK female jihadists run ISIS sex-slave brothels - Al Arabiya News, 12 Sept 2014:

"Startling details have surfaced of British female jihadists forcing captured Iraqi women into sexual slavery at brothels run by militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), British media reported Thursday."

Infographic: 5 things that make the Islamic State different from Al-Qaeda

Infographic: 5 things that make the Islamic State different from Al-Qaeda - Your Middle East:


Spy software helps wife prove hubby’s infidelity

Spy software helps wife prove hubby’s infidelity | Arab News: "Although spying is unlawful, it has become the newest way to catch a cheating spouse. Women these days claim it is their right to spy on their husbands so that they can have solid evidence of infidelity, including intercepting cell phone and e-mail messages and monitoring their activities.
"


Thieves caught on video stealing from pilgrims at Prophet’s Mosque

Thieves caught on video stealing from pilgrims at Prophet’s Mosque | Arab News "Despite the installation of CCTVs in many corners of the Prophet’s Mosque and the Grand Mosque in Makkah, as well as the often-publicized arrest of thieves caught in the act of stealing inside the two holy mosques, incidents of pilgrims losing their personal belongings to pickpockets continue."

Report: Citizen Engagement and Public Services in the Arab World

Report: Citizen Engagement and Public Services in the Arab World: The Potential of Social Media | Digital Islam 

"The Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government released the 6th edition of its Arab Social Media Report titled Citizen Engagement and Public Services in the Arab World: The Potential of Social Media, co-authored by Racha Mourtada, Fadi Salem and Sarah Alshaer."

Monday, September 08, 2014

Flooding tweet wars

Jammu and Kashmir floods: How Twitter started a Hindu vs Muslim war over them - Firstpost "As the hashtag #KashmirFloods continued to trend on Twitter India, it was hijacked by trolls, and eventually degenerated into familiar social media religious bickering."

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Dar al-Ifta in Egypt issues fatwas against "selfies" and online mixing

Dar al-Ifta in Egypt issues fatwas against "selfies" and online mixing | MuslimVillage.com: "Dar al-Ifta, which itself has 760,000 followers on Facebook, regularly uploads fatwas clarifying dietary and lifestyle queries from Muslims around the world, based on Qu’ranic and other religious literature, and the decisions of experts in Islamic law. Other recent edicts include guidance on searching for a husband online, petting cats and writing poetry."

60,000 Pro-IS Twitter Accounts Set Up Since May

Sky News, 60,000 Pro-IS Twitter Accounts Set Up Since May: "Some 60,000 Twitter accounts have been set up by IS sympathisers since May, a Sky News investigation has found.

And despite the site vowing to stamp them out in the wake of the murder of James Foley, 27,000 continue to express pro-jihadi views."
Also see the accompanying report 'Armchair Jihad'

Friday, September 05, 2014

#BurnISISFlagChallenge

Your Middle East, #BurnISISFlagChallenge trending, but controversial   "The Minister of Justice Ashraf Rifi has called for the “sternest punishments” of the people burning the ISIS flag, considering it an “insult” to Islam as the flag has the Muslim Shahada (the declaration of belief), “There is no god but God and Muhammad is his Prophet,” printed on it, reports Asharq al-Aswat. Rifi also warned that the act could stir sectarian violence."

Also see

IBT, 'Burn Isis Flag Challenge' Goes Viral in Arab World

Twitter - #BurnISISFlagChallenge

IS v aQ

J.M. Berger, Foreign Policy, The Islamic State vs. al Qaeda - Who’s winning the war to become the jihadi superpower? "The Islamic State has thrown down the gauntlet to al Qaeda and seeks to supplant its former ally as the symbol and leader of a global movement acting out a twisted definition of jihad. Its sweeping military campaign has captured a huge swath of Iraq, even as it fights both Bashar al-Assad's regime and rival jihadi groups in Syria, while its proclamation in June of an Islamic caliphate has sparked a furious debate about its legitimacy among global terrorists."

Jihadi Rap

The combination of jihad and rap do not represent a new combination - but this is a useful article: politico.com, Al Qaeda’s New Front: Jihadi Rap - The suspected killer of James Foley represents a new, dangerous merger of gangsta hip-hop and Islamism. "Abdel Majed Abdel Bary, the rapper suspected of murdering American journalist James Foley somewhere between Syria and Iraq, is the product of a British youth culture that has managed to merge two seemingly contradictory lifestyles: gangsta rap and jihad. Like Douglas McAuthur McCain—an American hip-hop fan who was recently killed fighting for the Islamic State—Abdel Bary represents a new and very scary evolution in modern jihadi history."

'Love jihad'

Reetu Sharma, OneIndia, Will love jihad be checked by banning mobile phones for girls? "It seems that now the idea of Love jihad is creating more and more fear amongst the people in Uttar Pradesh as a committee in the state has asked school girls from its community to stop using cell phones.

"As per a TOI report, "An influential committee of vaishyas (trader) in Uttar Pradesh has asked school girls from the community to stop using cell phones to save themselves from falling prey to love jihad."

I understand why Westerners are joining jihadi movements like ISIS

Michael Muhammad Knight, Washington Post, I understand why Westerners are joining jihadi movements like ISIS. I was almost one of them.

'Iran's Leaders Fight Over 'Immoral' Mobile Internet'

IB Times, Iran's Leaders Fight Over 'Immoral' Mobile Internet "Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has refuted claims from a prominent cleric that high-speed mobile internet is immoral and un-Islamic, urging religious leaders not to "close the gates to the world"."

Steven Sotloff video

Telegraph, Jihadists appear caught offguard by release of Steven Sotloff video, 2 Sep 2014 " The Twitter account @JihadWitness, which tweets in English in support of the IS and other jihadist groups, expressed surprise when the video began to appear online.

""How did this leak out to news before the publication?" one tweet read."

‘They can fly!’

alarabiya.net, ‘They can fly!’ Saudis mock religious police after attack on Briton "Saudis took to Twitter to mock the latest controversy clouding the kingdom’s religious police, after members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice attacked a British man outside a crowded Riyadh mall earlier this week."

ISIS Sends a Message

Nathaniel Zelinsky, Foreign Policy, ISIS Sends a Message: What Gestures Say About Today’s Middle East "The curious thing was not the head [Abdel Majed Abdel] Bary held in his left hand -- however ghoulish the trophy -- but the gesture he made with his right. For followers of ISIS, a single raised index finger has become a sign of their cause, and it is increasingly common in photographs of militants. Some have even gone so far as to call the symbol “the jihadi equivalent of a gang sign.”"

Sotloff murder

Dan Murphy, CSM, Sotloff murder sparks outrage and condemnation, but should it drive policy? (+video) "A man with a British accent, hiding behind a mask, threatens his audience as he waves his knife around over the bound and defenseless hostage. The murderer is practically preening as he runs through his exhortations. In his mind, he's elevated himself to the level of the world's great powers. And then he beheads his victim."

ISIS vs. mainstream Muslims: The media war

Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Editor, ISIS vs. mainstream Muslims: The media war "Quoting Islam's holiest text to make that point was smart, said Hussein Rashid, a religion scholar at Hofstra University in New York. "ISIS violates every single tenet of this verse, so Barfi shows them to be ignorant," he said."

Saudi court upholds 10-year term for blogger who insulted Islam

alarabiya.net, Saudi court upholds 10-year term for blogger who insulted Islam "Raef Badawi had been convicted of creating an anti-Islam website, criticizing senior scholars and mocking national symbols, Al-Madinah newspaper reported.

"He was accused of insulting Muslims as well as casting doubt on the existence of houris, the virgin companions of the faithful in Paradise, and the concept of torment in the grave."

Thursday, August 28, 2014

ISIS video

alarabiya.net, Video: ISIS parades half-naked Syrian soldiers "Militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) released a video on Thursday showing the capture of dozens of Syrian regime fighters."

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Isis threatens second journalist after 'beheading' of James Foley

Steven Sotloff: Isis threatens second journalist after 'beheading' of James Foley - Middle East - World - The Independent:


British imams say Isis 'is not what Muslims stand for'

British imams say Isis 'is not what Muslims stand for' - ITV News:


"Leading British imams and clerics have released a video rejecting the Islamic State's ideology following the apparent beheading of American journalist James Foley."

And here is the video:

James Foley

ISIS beheading U.S. journalist James Foley, posts video - CNN.com
"The militant in the video, who speaks English with what sounds like a British accent, says the other American's life hangs in the balance, depending on what Obama does next."


BBC News, James Foley 'beheading': West condemns 'barbaric' murder, 20 Aug 2014


Global Voices Online, ISIS Beheads Kidnapped Photojournalist James Wright Foley in Horrific Video Message to the US


Sam Thielman, Adweek, Islamic State Militants Exploit Digital Services to Disseminate Video of Apparent Murder Journos promote photos of victim in happier times to counter

alarabiya, British media reacts to James Foley alleged executioner’s accent

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

From Syria to Ukraine, social media opens up warfare

Peter Apps, Reuters, From Syria to Ukraine, social media opens up warfare | 6 Aug 2014 "As conflict flares in the Middle East and Ukraine, the number of images posted on social media is increasing exponentially, giving observers half a world away unprecedented visibility of events on the ground."

#Gaza Social Media Visual Narrative by VJ Um Amel, a cyborg's voice

#Gaza Social Media Visual Narrative by VJ Um Amel, a cyborg's voice "Data set includes over 6,000 tweets collected over one hour on July 26, 2014 courtesy of R-Shief."

ISIS slideshow

ISIS, ISIS baby! 13 facts about the baddest boys of religious fundamentalism | Al Bawaba:

slideshow (not sure about the headline)