Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Cyber-Salafists and the virtual ulema

Eamonn Fitzgerald points to an interesting article in Le Figaro about Islamist use of the Internet to spread their message. The basic thesis is that the fundamentalists are losing, despite recent events:
Inundated with images from London and other scenes of outrage, we're inclined to believe that the war on terror is being lost, but a closer look suggests that it's the jihadists who are losing within the community they most want to win over. In the current phase of the struggle, European Muslims are fated to play a key role as they may be able to break with tradition and make a historic accommodation with modernity. And it's in this context that the internet, that epitome of the modern, will be crucial. The Islamists know this, and that's why they're out to dominate the virtual ulema, but in the real world, no sensible Muslim wants to be ruled by these fanatics and in cyberspace it won't be any different.

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