Digital hajj: the pilgrimage to Mecca in Muslim cyberspace and the issue of religious online authority
AbstractThis paper attempts to give an overview of the different representations of the pilgrimage to Mecca found in the ‘liminal space’ of the internet. For that purpose, it examines a handful of emblematic examples of how the hajj is being presented and discussed in cyberspace. Thereby, special attention shall be paid to the question of how far issues of religious authority are manifest on these websites, whether the content providers of web pages appoint themselves as authorities by scrutinizing established views of the fifth pillar of Islam, or if they upload already printed texts onto their sites in order to reiterate normative notions of the pilgrimage to Mecca, or of they make use of search engine optimisation techniques, thus heightening the very visibility of their online presence and increasing the possibility of becoming authoritative in shaping internet surfers’ perceptions of the hajj.
Copyright (c) 2013 Dominik Schlosser
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