Digital Islam across Europe: Understanding Muslims’ Participation in Online Islamic Environments

Project Details


Contemporary social, religious, and political hierarchies within Muslim communities are transformed by theeroding monopolization of knowledge by elites. The digital revolution intensified transnational diasporic tiesand widened inter-generational differences within Muslim populations throughout Europe. Yet, our generalcomprehension of the creation, use, and influence of Online Islamic Environments (OIEs) is highly limited.This project investigates the characteristics of contemporary OIEs, and their consequences for the social andreligious practices of different Muslim populations within and across distinct European contexts. Focusing onthe interactions between producers and users of OIEs, it examines how, when and why individuals andgroups seek advice on the internet about a range of social and religious issues, as well as how their onlineand offline experiences and practices shape one another. The project entails in-depth research on theproduction and use of OIEs in in five European countries: Lithuania, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the UnitedKingdom. At its core, the project will provide an examination of how diverse Muslim populations engage withthe online ecosystem providing formal or informal advice on issues related to Islam. It will show how theseinteractions shape, and are shaped, by the success of specific online producers. It will also analyse on howthese usages of OIE can induce revisions of individual behaviour and belief in different national settings. Theresearch for the project combines qualitative and quantitative methods. These include semi-structuredinterviews of producers and users of OIEs, a netnographic tracing of online habits, and a transnational surveyof producers of online Islamic guidance and their followers. The research will provide concise explanations ofthe dynamics and social implications of OIEs to specific stakeholders, including Muslim organisations andnetworks, national policy makers, and third sector organisations.
Effective start/end date30/05/2230/05/22

Collaborative partners

  • University of Edinburgh (lead)
  • SGH Warsaw School Of Economics
  • Vytauto Didziojo Universitetas - VDU (Vytautas Magnus University)
  • University of Gothenburg


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