The Islam-Online Crisis: A Battle of Wasatiyya vs. Salafi Ideologies?
||Mona Abdel-Fadil, University of Oslo, Postboks 1010 Blindern, 0315 Oslo, Norway. E-mail: email@example.com
||CyberOrient, Vol. 5, Iss. 1, 2011, pp. 4-36
||May 10, 2011
||Islam Online has been one of the most prominent and stable Islamic websites since it was founded in 1997. However, in March 2010 Islam Online suffered a major crisis, which has come to be known as 'the IOL-Crisis'. This is a suitable case for exploring whether multiple layers of authority are at play in online religious communities(Campbell 2007). At the time of the crisis, I was conducting fieldwork with the social team of IOL-Arabic. This article provides rich ethnographic detail about the time before, during, and after the crisis – as experienced by the social team. I outline how the social team made sense of the crisis through producing crisis-narratives that draw on Islam Online's institutional narrative. Moreover, I illustrate how narratives about the crisis gradually shift to alternate explanations, in tact with new developments of the crisis. I conclude with reflections on what types of authority were drawn on during the IOL-Crisis.
Islam, social aspects, websites, dawah, conflict, authority