Digitally Researching Islam

Mohammed Ibahrine*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


The chapter provides an overview of the current research issues, major trends, and future challenges to the Internet research in the Arab region. There is a striking lack of social science based-Internet research literature that has systematically examined the Internet’ impacts and implications to culture, politics, and religion. However, in the context of the Arab Spring, there is a burgeoning interest among social scientists to examine the role of social media in triggering political change. The source materials include secondary information from previous studies and existing statistics. This chapter brings in new perspectives in the debate about the recent trends and that the Internet research is somewhat lacking an empirical focus and theoretical foundation. Understanding the relationship between Islam and digital platforms will increase the understanding of the larger cultural shifts at work within traditionally opaque societies. The core argument of this chapter is that digital technologies have the potential to change people’s religiosity and practices of piety. Disruptive technologies will challenge and change the future of Internet research in the region. Change and control will arguably control the future of Internet research; change of technology and control of the political and religious powers. A prominent challenge is the imminently emerging technologies including virtual reality, augmented reality, the Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSecond International Handbook of Internet Research
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9789402415551
ISBN (Print)9789402415537
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Arab spring
  • Digitalization of Islam
  • Facebook fatwas
  • Islamization of the digital
  • Personalization of fatwas
  • Virtual umma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Computer Science


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