Hashtag Islam

How Cyber-Islamic Environments Are Transforming Religious Authority

By Gary R. Bunt

232 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 13 halftones, notes, index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-4316-8
    Published: October 2018
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-4315-1
    Published: October 2018
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-4317-5
    Published: September 2018
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-5316-5
    Published: September 2018

Islamic Civilization and Muslim Networks

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Gary R. Bunt is a twenty-year pioneer in the study of cyber-Islamic environments (CIEs). In his new book, Bunt explores the diverse and surprising ways digital technology is shaping how Muslims across vast territories relate to religious authorities in fulfilling spiritual, mystical, and legalistic agendas. From social networks to websites, essential elements of religious practices and authority now have representation online. Muslims, embracing the immediacy and general accessibility of the internet, are increasingly turning to cyberspace for advice and answers to important religious questions. Online environments often challenge traditional models of authority, however. One result is the rise of digitally literate religious scholars and authorities whose influence and impact go beyond traditional boundaries of imams, mullahs, and shaikhs.

Bunt shows how online rhetoric and social media are being used to articulate religious faith by many different kinds of Muslim organizations and individuals, from Muslim comedians and women’s rights advocates to jihad-oriented groups, such as the “Islamic State” and al-Qaeda, which now clearly rely on strategic digital media policies to augment and justify their authority and draw recruits. This book makes clear that understanding CIEs is crucial for the holistic interpretation of authority in contemporary Islam.

About the Author

Gary R. Bunt is professor of Islamic studies at University of Wales, Trinity Saint David.

For more information about Gary R. Bunt, visit the Author Page.


“The sociological underpinnings of this work make for a touchstone for further investigation.”--Library Journal

"Adroitly illustrates how approaches to religious authority, interpretation, power, and communication have changed over the last two decades. . . . An important addition to literature on contemporary Islam."--Publishers Weekly

“Bunt presents a variety of perspectives on online Islamic environments and provides thoughtful consideration of their implications, but overall he views them and their ongoing expansion in a positive light.”--Choice

“This slim volume by one of the major scholars writing on Muslims and digital religion packs a substantial punch. . . . An important addition.”--Middle East Journal

“Readers of Hashtag Islam will be struck by just how active, vibrant, and popular online Islam appears to be . . . . An indispensable resource.”--Sociology of Religion

Hashtag Islam provides an extensive and elaborate guided tour of recent CIEs’ developments. . . . A real tour de force.”--Studies in Religion