Anonymous, 21 Feb 2020
Online Journal of the Virtual Middle East
CyberOrient is a peer-reviewed online journal of the virtual Middle East.
editorial board
Daniel Martin Varisco

Managing Editors:
Vit Sisler
Anders Ackfeldt
Submissions are welcome from scholars in any discipline.
Deadline for Vol. 12, Iss. 1 is April 20, 2018.
about us
CyberOrient is published by the American Anthropological Association and the Faculty of Arts of Charles University.
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Vol. 12, Iss. 1, 2018


“The Best Damn Representation of Islam:” Muslims, Gender, Social Media, and Islamophobia in the United States

Islamophobia reached new heights during the 2016 United States presidential election. We applied the theory of intersectionality to 15 in-depth focus group interviews conducted in gender-separated groups with 61 Muslim participants (41 women, 20 men) in South East Michigan between October 2016 and April 2017 to understand the role of gender in their responses regarding Islamophobia during the 2016 United States presidential election and Trump’s first hundred days in office as president. Both, Muslim women and Muslim men, labored to educate others about Islam online, but Muslim women emphasized their efforts to act as exemplars online of what it means to be Muslim in America more frequently and more strongly than men. Muslim women and men often used ignoring and contextualization as coping mechanisms as the number of Islamophobic messages online was perceived as overwhelming. The high amount and ubiquity of Islamophobic messages online has lead to a sense of futility and high levels of stress among young Muslims in South East Michigan, particularly for Muslim women.
CyberOrient, Vol. 12, Iss. 1, 2018

Cultural Adoption Through Online Practices Across Social Media Platforms: The Case of Saudi Women

This article reports ongoing qualitative research into Saudi women’s online practices across several social media platforms (SMP). It is based on eight semi-structured interviews conducted between March and September 2015 with four Saudi women from different cities in Saudi Arabia. This work’s findings address the knowledge gap between the accelerating consumption of SMP and the limited existing scholarly literature to understand empirically the relationship between Saudi women's online practices and the changes in Saudi culture in terms of values, norms and traditions, such as veiling and cross-gender communication.
CyberOrient, Vol. 12, Iss. 1, 2018

Echoes of Populism and Terrorism in Libya’s Online News Reporting

This article focuses on news reporting in Libya, assessing both official and citizen journalism. Special attention is paid to online resources, primarily spontaneous posts written in Arabic. Social media shows the emergence of citizen journalism together with so-called User-generated Content. Both have proved capable of creating legitimacy. Political inclinations, including Islamic ideology and its religious claims, are presented, supported, or criticized by ordinary citizens who post their comments and opinions on the web. Official press and news agencies have their social media profiles as well, sharing the same online space with nonprofessionals. Monitoring and analysis of reporting show that there is no relevant difference in journalistic models; nor do concerns between professionals and nonprofessionals vary. Libya appears today to be a mosaic of different interests: one that is interconnected and in conflict at the same time. These interests are vying to establish new supremacies in the country. Journalism in its various typologies faces pressure from the abovementioned interests, so it is negatively affected by rhetoric in both reporting and commentary. These preliminary arguments lead us to the core topics of populism – for which a definition is suggested – and reporting about terrorism in Libya. Against this background, we analyze news flows, sources, and other issues. I conclude with a brief review of the main issues, the characteristics of the Arabic narrative discourse, and the emerging Arabic lexicon.
CyberOrient, Vol. 12, Iss. 1, 2018


American-Muslims’ E-Jihad: Trumping Islamophobia in the Trump Era

Islamophobia, or the irrational, exaggerated fear of Islam and Muslims, has been on the rise lately in the United States, especially after President Trump came to office. Some of the worst Islamophobes launched their campaigns online, using the Internet as a platform to spout hatred and fuel anger and discrimination against immigrants and minorities, in general, and Muslims, in particular. In an effort to counter this dangerous new tide of Islamophobia and to overcome its destructive consequences, American-Muslims launched a number of well-orchestrated online campaigns. This essay examines the double role of the Internet, as a platform through which Islamophobia could be both fostered and resisted, simultaneously. It sheds light on some of the Islamophobic posts online, as well as some of the most popular social media campaigns which American-Muslims launched to combat and resist this complex and multifaceted phenomenon of Islamophobia. It discusses how American-Muslims understand, negotiate, challenge, and respond to Islamophobia, and its varied cultural, social, and political manifestations and implications, through a variety of mediated discourses and ongoing social media campaigns. In doing so, it emphasizes the plurality of American-Muslims’ voices, identities, realities, and strategies, as exemplified in their responses to Islamophobia.
CyberOrient, Vol. 12, Iss. 1, 2018