Islam vs. Internet

Originating from the arid areas of the Arabian Peninsula, Islam is now prevailing in numerous cities and towns, colleges and offices as well as I drawing rooms of our routine life. This success of Islam can be seen in the period where internet has gained reputation of being a global communication network, linking anyone with anyone.

In today’s modernized world, the phenomena of Islam and internet are co-related. Internet has become an imperative channel that is assisting in spreading Islam. Youngsters today can easily access Islamic knowledge through internet and can have their queries answered. Through internet foreigners can even link with ulemas and discuss their issues.

It is hard to ignore the fact that the internet is aiding people in branding their horizon, by exposing them to multi-cultures and making them interacts with the world. It has transformed the world in a global village where Muslims globally can live together as one, big happy family. It has moulded the working of society, altered people’s social circle and has changed the attitude of people that they take towards life. Thus, the blessing of internet has unlocked the doors of open-mindedness and liberality for people.

However, the question must be raised, that has internet actually facilitated the proliferation of Islam? Or has it become a monster, eating the Muslim community day by day?

Some people have a pessimistic viewpoint regarding internet. According to them, internet is just an idealistic technology. People gain only that knowledge which they want to receive and they can actually filter out the material which is not of “their kind”.

Internet is said to have become an evil addiction for people, which has made them loose their interaction with the “real people” of their world. Thus it has initiated cultural conservatism amidst the masses.

We ought to ask ourselves, has the flames of Islamism been fanned by the same winds? When on one hand, internet allows the Muslims to feel as a part of the Muslim ummah, has it on the other hand spread fear, mistrust and spite in the west regarding Islam?

Social websites, such as twitter and face book are culpable for segregating the Muslim community into deeper and deeper sects. These divided groups are gaining influence through these websites, which is creating discord among the Muslim community worldwide. Muslims today are openly criticizing one another for their different concepts and religious ideologies ask yourself! Don’t’ you support the Sunni group on face book, if you are a Sunni or the page of Shia’s, if you are a Shia? We must realize that our practice is melting global the Muslim family.

It is also convicted that internet is playing a role to portray Islamist terror. According to the study conducted by Marc Sageman, a former CIA officer in Afghanistan, three out of every four Islamic terrorists are professionals. They are architects, engineers or scientists.  Does that mean that internet is generating islamophobia in the west?

Then again, we must not forget that even if the pessimists are correct in blaming internet for its adverse impact, the optimists are also not wrong in accrediting it as a tool for promoting social development.

To conclude, it will be unwise to take a partisan stand between the two issues. So let the debate continue.