Khabibullina Z. Islam and Gender on the Internet: Women, Visibility, and Overcoming Stereotypes
R. G. Kuzeev Institute for Ethnological Studies,
Ufa Federal Research Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Ufa, Russian Federation
ABSTRACT. Since the mid-1990s, the introduction of Muslims to the Internet has been accompanied by the creation of divergent mass media (Islamic media), which are highly active at the socio-cultural, educational, and even political levels. The evolution of the Internet, especially after the popularity increase of social networking since the mid-2000s, has had a significant impact on the transformation of Islamic representation in the virtual space. Various groups of population in the Muslim community have had an opportunity not only to declare their existence, but also to share their own interpretations of religious themes. The anonymity of the Internet has allowed Muslim women to participate in any discussions. In the virtual space, an effort to rethink the traditional attitudes towards women is carried out, while, at the same time, modes of visibility of a Muslim woman are created for wider audiences, aimed at popularizing the Islamic way of life and combating negative stereotypes. The article presents an analysis of the media discourse regarding the position and status of Muslim women in the Russian society. On the example of the image of a Muslim woman in the Russian media space, the author highlights the main existing stereotypes and analyzes how Muslims are trying to overcome them by means of the Internet. Negative images encourage Muslims to use social networks and create blogs and other virtual resources to declare their informational discrimination. The position of women in society is discussed on the websites of Muslim associations, news agencies, and religious outreach portals.
KEYWORDS: Islam, gender, Muslim woman, media, mass media, Internet, stereotypes
УДК 396: 297
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