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Construction of Islamic Knowledge in Cyberspace Vít Šisler Charles University in Prague

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1 Construction of Islamic Knowledge in Cyberspace Vít Šisler Charles University in Prague




5 Islam Online URL: Operates from: Cairo, Egypt Registered: Doha, Qatar Mufti(s): Yusuf al-Qaradawi, European Council for Fatwa and Research, Fiqh Council of North America, al-Azhar graduates, etc. Construction of Islamic Knowledge in Cyberspace


7 Title of Fatwa:Having a Second Wife in Western Countries Date of Reply:08/May/2005 Topic Of Fatwa:Polygamy It is known that polygamy—more correctly, polygyny—is allowed in Islam. I would like to know the point of view of Islam if a Muslim living in a Western country, where polygamy is regarded unlawful, has to have a second wife due to some reasons. In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger. Dear questioner! Thank you for your question and the confidence you place in our service and we pray to Allah to enable us render this service purely for His Sake. Islam is a way of life consonant with nature, providing human solutions to complex situations and avoiding extremes.

8 The prominent Muslim scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Hulail, imam of Tariq ibn Ziad Mosque in Frankfurt, Germany, states: The Muslim who has a second wife has to follow the channels of law in order to legalize his second marriage in the country he lives in. There are some Muslim brothers who did so through the legitimate channels. They submitted documents to the European countries they reside in to the effect that they have second wives according to the Islamic Law and that the first wife agrees to that. If the attempts to legalize the second marriage fail, the person could document his (second) marriage in one of the Islamic centers, yet, his marriage then would not be regarded legitimate under the law of the country concerned. There are some flexible European laws concerning registering names of the children born even from illegitimate relationships.

9 The prominent Muslim scholar Dr. Jamal Badawi, professor at Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada and member of the Fiqh Council of North America, adds: A Muslim living in a non-Muslim society is obligated to follow the laws. We cannot say that their laws are contrary to the Shari`ah, so we have to follow the Shari`ah. Taking a second wife is not a necessary requirement; there is no mandatory duty on the Muslim to have a second wife. If a person has become a resident or a citizen in a European country, it is a condition for him to abide by its laws. When a Muslim man in a European country sticks to not having a second wife, it is like giving up a particular right according to his own Shari`ah. Allah Almighty knows best.

10 Fatwa Online URL: Operates from: Saudi Arabia Registered: Medina, Saudi Arabia Mufti(s): Saudi Arabian Permanent Committee for Research and Fatawa Construction of Islamic Knowledge in Cyberspace


12 Divorce procedures in non-Muslim countries Question: If a man living within a Muslim minority community in a non-Muslim country wants to divorce his wife, should he follow the divorce procedures of that country, which controls and enforces its own law or should he follow divorce proceedings laid down by Islaamic law? Response: It is not permissible for a Muslim to follow, either in his worship or in his dealings with others, other than what is laid down in Islaamic law. It is not permitted for the Muslims to request a legal decision from anyone who does not judge according to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam).

13 Ask the Imam URL: Operates from: Campertown, South Africa Registered: El Segundo, California, US Mufti: Ebrahim Desai Construction of Islamic Knowledge in Cyberspace



16 Al-Azhar URL: Operates from: Cairo, Egypt Registered: Cairo, Egypt Mufti(s): - Construction of Islamic Knowledge in Cyberspace



19 Ijtihad URL: Operates from: Falls Church, US Registered: Newark, US Author: Muqtedar Khan Construction of Islamic Knowledge in Cyberspace



22 INTERNET USERS IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND IN THE WORLD MIDDLE EAST REGION Population ( 2006 Est. ) Pop. % of World Internet Users, Latest Data % Populat ion (Penetr ation) Usage % of World Use Growth (2000- 2005) Total in Middle East 190,084,1612.9 %18,203,5009.6 %2.9 %454.2 % Rest of the World 6,309,612,89997.1 %1,003,859,78215.9 %98.2 %180.6 % WORLD TOTAL 6,499,697,060100.0 %1,022,063,28215.7 %100.0 %183.1 % NOTES: (1) Internet Usage and Population Statistics for the Middle East were updated on March 31, 2006. (2) Population numbers are based on data contained in (3) The most recent usage stats come mainly from data published by Nielsen//NetRatings, ITU, Computer Industry Almanac and other trustworthy sources. (4) Data on this site may be cited, giving due credit and establishing an active link back to ©Copyright 2006, Miniwatts Marketing Group. All rights Industry

23 Middle East Internet Usage and Population Statistics MIDDLE EAST Population ( 2006 Est. ) Usage, in Dec/2000 Internet Usage, Latest Data % Population (Penetration) (%) of M.E. Use Growth (2000-2005) Bahrain723,03940,000152,70021.1 %0.8 %281.8 % Iran69,442,905250,0007,500,00010.8 % 41.2 % 2,900.0 % Iraq26,628,18712,50036,0000.1 %0.2 %188.0 % Israel7,109,9291,270,0003,200,00045.0 % 17.6 % 152.0 % Jordan5,282,558127,300600,00011.4 %3.3 %371.3 % Kuwait2,630,775150,000600,00022.8 %3.3 %300.0 % Lebanon4,509,678300,000600,00013.3 %3.3 %100.0 % Oman2,424,42290,000245,00010.1 %1.3 %172.2 % PalestinePalestine(West Bk.)3,259,36335,000160,0004.9 %0.9 %357.1 % Qatar795,58530,000165,00020.7 %0.9 %450.0 % Saudi Arabia23,595,634200,0002,540,00010.8 % 14.0 % 1,170.0 % Syria19,046,52030,000800,0004.2 %4.4 %2,566.7 % United Arab Emirates 3,870,936735,0001,384.80035.8 %7.6 %88.4 % Yemen20,764,63015,000220,0001.1 %1.2 %1,366.7 % TOTAL Middle East Middle East190,084,1613,284,80018,203,5009.6 % 100.0 % 454.2 %

24 INTERNET USERS AND POPULATION STATISTICS FOR AFRICA AFRICA REGION Population ( 2006 Est. ) Pop. % in World Internet Users, Latest Data Penetration (% Population) % Users in World UseGrowth(2000-2005)UseGrowth(2000-2005) Total for Africa915,210,92814.1 %23,649,0002.6 %2.3 % 423.9%423.9% Rest of World5,584,486,13285.9 %999,214,30717.9 %97.7 % 180.3%180.3% WORLD TOTAL 6,499,697,060 100.0 % 1,022,863,30715.7 % 100.0 % 183.4%183.4%

25 INTERNET USAGE STATISTICS FOR AFRICA 1 Population ( 2006 Est.) Internet Users Dec/2000 Internet Users, Latest Data % Population (Penetration) (%) Users in Africa Use Growth ( 2000- 2005 ) Algeria33,033,54650,000845,0002.6 %3.7 %1,590.0 % Angola13,115,60630,000172,0001.3 %0.8 %473.3 % Benin7,513,94615,000100,0001.3 %0.4 %566.7 % Botswana1,856,80015,00060,0003.2 %0.3 %300.0 % Burkina Faso12,113,52310,00053,2000.4 %0.2 %432.0 % Burundi7,909,3953,00025,0000.3 %0.1 %733.3 % Cameroon17,378,38620,000167,0001.0 %0.7 %735.0 % Cape Verde485,3558,00025,0005.2 %0.1 %212.5 % Central African Rep.3,268,1821,5009,0000.3 %0.0 %500.0 % Chad8,720,1101,00060,0000.7 %0.3 %5,900.0 % Comoros666,0441,5008,0001.2 %0.0 %433.3 % Congo3,672,44150036,0001.0 %0.2 %7,100.0 % Congo, Dem. Rep.58,731,65650050,0000.1 %0.2 %9,900.0 % Cote d'Ivoire19,617,71440,000300,0001.5 %1.3 %650.0 % Djibouti779,6841,4009,0001.2 %0.0 %542.9 % Egypt71,236,631450,0005,000,0007.0 %21.1 %1,011.1 % Equatorial Guinea1,102,7485005,0000.5 %0.0 %900.0 % Eritrea4,189,9345,00050,0001.2 %0.2 %900.0 % Ethiopia72,238,01410,000113,0000.2 %0.5 %1,030.0 % Gabon1,430,45315,00040,0002.8 %0.2 %166.7 % Gambia1,471,8634,00049,0003.3 %0.2 %1,125.0 % Ghana21,355,64930,000368,0001.7 %1.6 %1,126.7 % Guinea8,080,2118,00046,0000.6 %0.2 %475.0 % Guinea-Bissau1,460,2531,50026,0001.8 %0.1 %1,633.3 % Kenya34,222,866200,0001,500,0004.4 %6.6 %650.0 %

26 Conclusions Challenge for the ‘traditional’ authority Muslim minorities – non-Islamic legal framework Exposing to debate Individualization and privatization Selective interpretation Transcending virtual borders – downloading of Khutbas ‘Imam shopping’ Canonization of information – Digital Islamic Library Project Construction of Islamic Knowledge in Cyberspace

27 Resources ABDO, G. Cyberspace frees Iran’s rebel cleric. Guardian, 5th Aug. 2000.,4273,4047913,00.html,4273,4047913,00.html ANDERSON, J.W. Cybernauts of the Arab Diaspora: Electronic Mediation in Transnational Cultural Identities. Postmodern Culture, University of Maryland, 1997. BRÜCKNER, M. Der Mufti im Netz. in LOHLKER, R., Islam im Internet, Neue Formen der Religion im Cyberspace. Hamburg, Deutches Orient-Institut, 2001. (CD-ROM) BUNT, Gary R. Islam in the Digital Age: E-jihad, Online Fatwas and Cyber Islamic Environments. London, Pluto Press, 2003. BUNT, Gary R. Virtually Islamic. Cardiff, University of Wales Press, 2000. CAEIRO, A. Debating Fatwas in the Cyberspace. Sacred Media — Transforming Traditions in the Interplay of Religion and the Media, Jul. 2003. Construction of Islamic Knowledge in Cyberspace

28 Resources II CAEIRO, A. The European Council for Fatwa and Research. Fourth Mediterranean Social and Political Research Meeting, Florence, 2003. DAWSON, L. Cyberspace and Religious Life: Conceptualizing the Concerns and Consequences. 2001. GLENN, D. Who Owns Islamic Law? The Chronicle of Higher Education, 25th Feb. 2005. JOHNSON, I. Islam and Europe: A Volatile Mix; Conflicting Advice: Islamic Justice Finds a Foothold in Hearth of Europe. Wall Street Journal (Eastern Edition), Aug. 2005: A.1. KARAFLOGKA, A. CyberReligious Norms: Breaking Old Codes – Creating New Patterns. in Cyberspace 2003: Normative Framework, Brno, Masaryk University, 2004. Construction of Islamic Knowledge in Cyberspace

29 Resources III KHAN, Muqtedar. The Priority of Politics: The Tyranny of Legalism. 2003. MAMOUN, F. CyberResistance: Saudi opposition between globalization and localization. Comparative Studies in Society and History, 41 (1): Jan. 1999: 124 – 147. MANDAVILLE, P. Information technology and the changing boundaries of European Islam. in DASSETTO, F., Paroles d'islam; Individus, sociétés et discours dans l'islam européen contemporain. Paris, Maisonneuve-Larose, 2000. SCHROEDER, R., HEATHER, N., LEE, R. The Sacred and the Virtual: Religion in Multi-User Virtual Reality. 1998. SISLER, V. Islamic Jurisprudence in Cyberspace: Construction of Interpretative Authority in Muslim Diaspora. In Cyberspace 2005 conference proceedings, Brno, Masaryk University, 2006. Construction of Islamic Knowledge in Cyberspace

30 Resources IV TEITELBAUM, J. Dueling for Da’wa: State vs. Society on the Saudi Internet. The Middle East Journal, 56 (6): Spring 2002: 222-239. VAN BRUINESSEN, M. Making and unmaking Muslim religious authority in Western Europe. Fourth Mediterranean Social and Political Research Meeting, Florence, 2003. ority.htm ority.htm WAX, E. The Mufti in the Chat Room. The Washington Post, 31st Jul. 1999. Construction of Islamic Knowledge in Cyberspace

31 Thank you for your attention.

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