You are viewing a read-only archive of the Blogs.Harvard network. Learn more.

Young Muslims Look to Technology to Fight Extremism

There is no shortage of stories about how the Internet enables extremists in the Middle East, so it’s nice to see a more balanced look at how young people in the region are actually using these online tools. This excellent CNN piece by Manav Tanneeru, which is part of Christian Amanpour’s Generation Islam series, looks closely at Esra’a al Shafei of MidEastYouth, and cite her as an example of someone who:

…represents a generation of Muslims who are using technology to express themselves, connect with others, challenge traditional power structures and create an identity in an era when Islamic extremists often grab the headlines.

The article also cites your humble (er, self-promoting) blogger on some results from our recent research on the Arabic blogosphere:

It’s long been a concern that the Web is being used by extremist groups such as al Qaeda to recruit young Muslims to their cause. However, Bruce Etling, who co-authored recent studies of the Arabic and Persian blogospheres at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, said he found little evidence of such activity.

“In the Arabic blogosphere we found no specific clusters related to extremism, and when it was discussed, it tended to be in negative terms,” he said. “It was a counter-narrative we were surprised to find.”

Be Sociable, Share!

One Response to “Young Muslims Look to Technology to Fight Extremism”

  1. Young Muslims Look to Technology to Fight Extremism « The Lift – Legal Issues in the Fight against Terrorism Says:

    […] Young Muslims Look to Technology to Fight Extremism Posted on 9 August, 2009 by Mathias Vermeulen The Internet and Democracy blog of Harvard University has an interesting blog post on the issue. Read it here. […]