Media & Religion
Omar Foda looks at the video hagiographies of three Coptic saints and finds that this little-studied genre draws heavily on the tropes of the Egyptian musalsal, including very colloquial Arabic language and exclusive use of melodrama in the presentation of emotions
Maurice Chammah analyzes the thinking behind the Islam-oriented music television channel 4Shbab, noting contradictions in its vision of the interaction between Islam and the West. He looks at the audience which 4Shbab assumes already exists and the audience which it hopes to create, and discusses Western media reactions to the project.
Is the Egyptian government using new Salafi stations to counter the more politically active Muslim Brotherhood? Nathan Field and Ahmed Hamam on the growing popularity of ultra-conservative religious programming.
Funded by Saudi investors, the Islamic music video network 4Shbab is the latest project of Ahmed Abu Haiba, former producer for the Amr Khaled series Kalam min al-Qalb. Video segment prepared by Ismail Elmokadem along with three video clips currently on air.
The head of Saudi Arabia’s Sharia courts made waves during Ramadan when he said that satellite channel owners were liable for execution for airing “indecent programming.” But this controversy goes far beyond broadcast standards, argues Andrew Hammond.
Some feared the 2008 novel The Jewel of Medina would create the fiercest backlash among Muslims since the Danish cartoon scandal. So why hasn’t it? Shereen El Feki looks at the politics surrounding the book’s publication.
Jennifer Peterson tracks how traditional Sufi poetry is mixed and remixed into contemporary dance music heard widely on the streets of Cairo. Features video and audio examples.
In this edited version of the 11th Templeton Lecture on Religion and World Affairs, Abdallah Schleifer looks at the development of journalism in the Arab-Islamic World, attempting to explain factors shaping journalism practice in the region.
Tracking Sami Yusuf's move into the mainstream is key not only for understanding Sami Yusuf as an Islamic artist but also as a useful index for how Muslims see themselves as participants in Western modernity. Christian Pond asks, will they, as encouraged by Sami Yusuf, choose the path of Islamizing modernity? Or will they choose the more complicated path of modernizing Islam?