Back in May, I participated in “Divan 2.0 – Wired Warriors For The Soul of Islam,” a Question Time style debate over the future of the Muslim Internet sponsored by the Radical Middle Way, was held at the London School of Economics in London, England. Not enough good things can be said about our friends at RMW, who are doing impressive work in changing the perceptions both Muslims and non-Muslims have about the dynamism of modern Islam in Britain and the West. The event was broadcast over the Internet, which allowed us to take questions from anywhere.
Most of the panelists, Yusuf Smith, Omar Tufail, Musab Bora, and Shelina Janmohamed, are friends and colleagues of ours, which made the event less of a debate and more of a sharing of our learned experiences from our different backgrounds. One of the points I found interesting was a well-intentioned sense from some in the audience that there is activity online (i.e., religious opinions or deviations from them) that people “shouldn’t be doing.” I responded that the Internet was not necessarily a democratisation of the dialogue – as is often assumed – but rather a free market, where credible opinions will rise to the top and others will fall. The only real response to offensive, misleading, or incorrect material online is to get involved and to have a more authoritative voice. For us, this sums up the driving force behind our work.
You can view the entire debate at the Radical Middle Way website here.
Zahed Amanullah is Associate Editor of altmuslim.com. He is based in London, England