Mediated Islam: Media Religion Interface in the Middle East

TitleMediated Islam: Media Religion Interface in the Middle East
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsAnas, O
Conference NameHamrin International Media Conference
Date PublishedOctober 2009
Conference LocationJönköping, Sweden
Keywordsinterface, Islam, Middle East, Muslim

Media’s secular narratives presume that media should be agent of social change directed by project of modernity. The media is supposed to take a shift from pre modern to modern, oppressive to free, from hierarchical to egalitarian, tyrannical to democratic, religious to secular and from backward to enlightened position. The European originated narratives helped western TV channels to shift their dependency from states to the markets. However Muslim societies in Arab Islamic world are not convinced with this project and media of the Muslim world remained critical to secular narratives of media, although supportive to the professional etiquettes. With these apprehensions, Arab Televisions in general and Islamic religious channels in particular have developed their own Arab Islamic narratives. With these two hypothetical boundaries of media religion interface in the Middle East, question of Islam will be main domain of inquiry in this paper. Ignoring the role of media in the Middle East, focus will be on dynamics of Islamic media. There is gap in Arab Islamic media scholarship on how Islamic programming are determined by inter Islamic rivalries. Mediation of Islam as a process continues with all complexities and reconstructs alternative narrations like Pan Islamism, Pan Arabism, and Cultural Islam etc. It requires a framework which includes region’s own cultural and religious properties.