Online ethics and the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind

Conference of the German Anthropological Association (GAA) – University of Constance

Kramer will discuss the media-ethics of online communication of the Indian reformist Islamic organization Jamaat-e-Islami Hind. Online politics has too often been captured in global abstractions such as vertical vs. horizontal or connective vs. collective action. Nick Couldry has rightfully criticized these generalizations and stressed the need for a more in-depth understanding of nation-state polities and culturally specific institutionalized practices. My anthropological approach towards the media ethics of the Jamaat can be placed within the conceptual frame of moral economies (Didier Fassin): I look at the production and distribution of moral value within nationstate polities and historical traditions of ethical thinking. The material of this presentation will be moral-advice literature on online politics and interviews with media practitioners of the Jamaat concerning questions of online da’wah (the Arabic term denoting the proselytizing and preaching of Islam). I will extend an argument of Irfan Ahmad (2009) on the importance of contextualizing reformist Islam in the institutionalized settings of nation-states.


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