Virtually Islamic Blog

Gary R. Bunt

Religious Authority

Iran's Anti-Dog Laws

Salam Bustanji,, 'It is a Sin to Walk Your Dog!' Iran's Anti-Dog Laws are Treating Pet Owners as Criminals
Discover More…

Aceh Punishment

Guardian, Indonesian man flogged after breaking adultery law he helped draw up
Discover More…

AI Virtual Ifta Initiative

The 'Virtual Ifta' service launched in Dubai. I've collected some of the coverage, and made a few observations. I took a quick look, but didn't try the WhatsApp element. Android/Apple apps are planned for this service, which is still in the early stages, which will improve ease of use. Question options are restricted at the moment. At this point, it is very much in launch mode. I will continue to monitor developments. Discover More…

Internet and Muslim Women

Just been reading this useful paper, which came out earlier in the year: Eva F. Nisa (2019), Internet and Muslim Women. In: Woodward M., Lukens-Bull R. (eds) Handbook of Contemporary Islam and Muslim Lives. Springer, Cham Discover More…

Aceh and Religious Authority

Ana Salvá, The Diplomat, Aceh, Indonesia: When Dating Meets Sharia Law
Discover More…

'Wahhabism Confronted'

Reuters, Wahhabism confronted: Sri Lanka curbs Saudi influence after bombings
Discover More…

MENA Survey

BBC News, The Arab world in seven charts: Are Arabs turning their backs on religion?

Discover More…

Religious Authority and the net

New and noted: Hira Amin, 'British Muslims Navigating between Individualism and Traditional Authority', 'Religions' Journal (haven't read it all yet!) Discover More…

El Fadl on KSA Scholars

Usuli Institute, Khaled Abou El Fadl Speaks at Protest for Saudi Scholars, 2 June 2019 [published 7 June 2019 on YouTube]
Discover More…

'WhatsApp Alim'

Quartz, Haleem or Daleem? WhatsApp university fuels debate over Ramzan delicacy Discover More…

Muslim Millennials Online

Hussein Kesvani, Times Magazine, Inside the online world of Muslim millennials, 18 May 2019
Discover More…

Islam in Japan

Just found this, which came out last year about Islam in Japan from #MURAKAMIRAMLAHI #DOPStv

Discover More…

Tajikstan Internet

Fighting Fire With Firefox: Imam Uses Internet To Urge Tajiks Not To Use Internet
Discover More…

Ongoing Australia Case

ABC Australia, Man searched online for Islamic punishments for wife's infidelity before murder, court told
Discover More…

Muslim Celebrity Culture & 'Trauma Tourism'

Vanessa Taylor, Al Jazeera, Opinion piece, The problem with Muslim Celebrity Culture
Discover More…

Megaphones in Mosques

Stepfeed, Saudi cleric says megaphones should only be used for 'adhan' in mosques
Discover More…

Qatar preacher opinion

Stepfeed, Muslim preacher thinks there is a 'right' way for men to beat their wives Discover More…

Indonesian Instagram Preachers

PRI, Indonesia’s Muslim youth find new heroes in Instagram preachers Discover More…


Alexandre Caeiro, Daily Sabah, Cyber-muftis, digital fatwas - the ongoing transformation of religious authority
Discover More…

Religious Authority Online

Alexandre Caeiro, Daily Sabah, Cyber-muftis, digital fatwas - the ongoing transformation of religious authority Discover More…

Pakistan book

New book on Pakistan's Shi'a population: Discover More…

Religious Opinion

Stepfeed, Saudi cleric says bribery is OK sometimes, but Muslims don't agree
Discover More…

Saudi Show Stopped

al-Jazeera, Saudi Arabia suspends TV show that aired critical views, 5 Mar 2019 Discover More…

Iran Net Influencers

NHK, Changes in Iran 40 years after the revolution
Discover More…

Fuadh Naim K-Pop Claim

Jakarta Post/Straits Times, K-pop promotes LGBT lifestyles and free sex, famous Indonesian preacher tells Muslim fans
Discover More…

Snapchat filters interpreted

stepfeed, Snapchat filters are apparently 'haram in Islam' according to this Saudi cleric
Discover More…

Prominent Saudi scholar Ahmed al-Amari dies in prison: Activists

Al Jazeera, Prominent Saudi scholar Ahmed al-Amari dies in prison: Activists

Discover More…

Updated: Leadership, Authority and Representation in British Muslim Communities

Islam UK Centre, Cardiff. Leadership, Authority and Representation in British Muslim Communities Discover More…

Conference on Leadership, Authority and Representation in British Muslim Communities

Cardiff University, Conference on Leadership, Authority and Representation in British Muslim Communities I'm giving a short paper at this event, on 21st January, 2019. My paper is entitled "The Net Imam Paradox: Contesting Leadership, Religious Authority and Representation in Cyberspace"
Discover More…

Religious Authority between Generations

Economist, Young Muslims challenge the old guard at Britain’s mosques
Discover More…

True Origins of ISIS

Hassan Hassan, The Atlantic, The True Origins of ISIS: A secret biography suggests that Abu Ali al-Anbari defined the group’s radical approach more than any other person, 30 Nov 2018
Important article from Hassan Hassan.

Discover More…

Afghanistan bomb blast hits religious scholars, Suicide bombing at Kabul religious gathering kills dozens
Discover More…

The Fatwa Life Cycle

The Fatwa Life Cycle Discover More…

Hashtag Islam

'Hashtag Islam' is officially out this week, in hardback, paperback and e-book formats (in some markets, different dates apply to some of these elements). The book is the culmination of several years research. I welcome feedback from readers via this website or through social media.

Book details

Related Research

Richard A. Nielsen, Deadly Clerics: Blocked Ambition and the Paths to Jihad (Cambridge University Press, 2017)

I was interested to see information on this book, published in 2017. I haven't read it yet (just ordered a copy). Dr Richard Nielsen is also working on issues associated with religious authority and the internet. I will update on the book once I have read it.

Memes and Madhabs

Faisal Ali, On Religion, Memes and Madhabs 15 September 2018

"The memes started a few weeks back by
Zain Siddiqi, a young Muslim from Phoenix, Arizona.
“It began as a bit of fun” he told me. “I really enjoy making memes, but I also enjoy studying Islamic law and different aspects of the religion.”
“Initially I just thought I would tweet one out and it would get 10 likes or something, and I would just go back to making mundane political commentary on whatever was happening” he continues. “But all of a sudden people were saying how much they enjoyed them and how much they were learning from them.”

Diversity in Islam approached through memes.

Saudi Arabia Seeks Death Penalty Against Prominent Cleric, Saudi Arabia Seeks Death Penalty Against Prominent Cleric, 4 September 2018 "Salman Al-Odah was detained in September 2017. Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said at the time that the roundup of a diverse group of clerics, businessmen and intellectuals had targeted people who were “pushing an extremist agenda” with the help of foreign funding." Analysis/commentary.
I discuss Al-Odah in 'Hashtag Islam'.

Hajj Representation

It's been interesting to review the output of CIC Saudi Arabia on Twitter during Hajj 2018, presenting human stories within the hajj.  Some examples are below (check my @garybunt Twitter feed for more):

The following video isn't on theYouTube channel yet, but here's a Twitter link: in contemporary times, the long distance journey to hajj on foot becomes all the more remarkable #hajj CIC Saudi Arabia, [@CICSaudi], "Hajj is over but for Othman AlShahin the journey is not over yet. The man who walked 450km to Hajj (the equivalent distance of #Paris to #Geneva) is now on his way home by foot. "

Tweet #garybunt