This chapter explores, from a sociolinguistic perspective, the role that the Internet plays in the online discursive construction of the Islamic religious identity of an enlightener. It does so by examining chatroom conversations between a man with a disability from the Islamic Arabian country, Oman and individuals of diverse religious backgrounds and nationalities with whom he frequently chats. The chapter illustrates how an enlightener identity is constructed through juxtaposing two contrastive religious identities: a liberal identity (when interacting with other Muslims) and a far more traditional one (when interacting with non-Muslims). The findings of the study suggest that the Internet is helping transform many Islamic discourses from being "authoritative," i.e., unquestioned, to being "internally persuasive," i.e., open for debate (Bakhtin, 1981). The analysis also reveals how the Internet is offering new possibilities regarding the constitution of an Islamic identity while additionally posing increasingly poignant questions about the role of Islamic religious leaders in this digital age.
|Title of host publication||Handbook of Research on Discourse Behavior and Digital Communication: Language Structures and Social Interaction|
|Number of pages||14|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences(all)