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Author:Farah Hasan (Humboldt-Universität Berlin)
Paper short abstract:
This paper explores how female Muslim Instagram Influencers engage in the reshaping of Islamic practice and belief through their online engagement with followers, leading to new understandings of Islamic religiosity.
Paper long abstract:
The increasing use of social media has become the primary space to express one's opinions and aspirations in the public sphere - and also one's religious practice and belief. Muslims worldwide utilise this space to articulate their own identities and present their own perspectives. This applies also to women who share their religious practice with followers online though posting Quran quote interpretations and offering day to day advice on topics such as the family, relationships and careers. This process leads them to becoming so-called influencers. I seek to analyse what tools these female Muslim Instagram influencers employ in order to establish themselves as new authorities and how they contest traditional sources of authority in a digitally mediated global space. Hereby, these new Muslim actors are not only expressing what it means to be Muslim but they are subtly reconstituting religious practices of Islam through their Instagram activities and follower engagement.
Ethnography of Sacred Communities: Shifting Horizons of Online Religiosity