Author: Gary Bunt
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN/UPC (if available): 978-0-19-579784-8
The title Virtually Islamic could refer to an abstract world in which the illusory virtual contents are simply bits of data. Are the creators of this transcendent electronic space casting Islam in an idealized light? To what extent do Cyber Islamic environments contain an edge of reality, which impact upon and represent actual people and issues? This book seeks to explore this issue.
Virtually Islamic can also refer to notions of identity. Is it possible to be digital and Islamic, or is this, as some commentators would believe, an inherent contradiction? The intention of this book is to assess the impact of the many Islam-related sites on the Internet, and to explore how material on these sites represents and (potentially) influences Muslim and non-Muslim perspectives on Islam and Islamic issues.
The Internet is a global provider of information, becoming more accessible to an increasing number of users. The process by which Islam-related material is filtered and presented has become a significant area of concern for many, including: those promoting specific under-standings of Islam; those seeking to target and inform a young, educated audience; and academics and others seeking to monitor contemporary Islamic developments.
The Internet can provide users with documentation, news, analysis an images that are conveyed rapidly, avoiding previously conventional channels.
Gary Bunt’s Virtually Islamic: Computer-mediated communication and Cyber Islamic Environments constitutes an important resource for scholars in the field who want to do further research on virtual Islam. It provides clear, well presented, interesting information of students in the filed of Islamic and /or religious studies, and for those interested in the identity effects of the Net.
-Resource Center for Cyberculture Studies
Bunt has done a great service to Islamic Studies via the Internet and will serve as a torchbearer and a guide for further research in this area.
Gary Bunt’s Virtually Islamic is a pioneering work in Islamic studies, the first serious work on Islam and the Internet.
It’s not every day that a book about the internet emanates from a university’s theology department. Virtually Islamic is the first wide-ranging study of the way Muslims around the world are using the net, and the impact this may have on Islam.
Original and highly fascinating work…Clear and accessible, as well as authoritative, this is recommended to students, specialists and non-specialists alike.
Notes on the system of transliteration
Note on internet references
Primary forms of Islamic expression online
Muslim diversity online
Politics, Islam and the Net
Digital minbar: Islamic obligations and authority online
Cyber Islamic futures