Participatory Culture and New Imagined Community: Competing Imagination of Muslim Ummah in Islamic Online Media in Indonesia


The participatory culture marked by the introduction of the buzzword Web 2.0 has contributed to the potential development of the internet as a convivial and democratic medium for the dissemination of information and the construction of identities in the twenty-first century. Recent studies on the role of the internet in the re-imagination of Muslim ummah show an interesting development towards the concept of border in the idea of imagined communities which was popularly introduced by Benedict Anderson. Anderson�s idea of a nation as an imagined communion is limited by the boundary of a nation state as a political community. In contrast, current studies on the idea of Muslim ummah indicate the construction of new identities constructed through the dynamic relationship between global identities and local identities. By using the articulation of the concept of ummah as a case study, the paper will argue that the internet is playing a significant role in the transformation of Muslim religious authority in the global and local context. The old traditional authority of local imam or Islamic clerics is now being challenged by trans-national interpreters of Islam with the availability of direct connection with Islamic clerics and religious learning resources from the Middle East, the United States, the United Kingdom or anywhere else in the world facilitated by the internet. The paper will also argue that the contesting interpretations of Islamic teaching have contributed to the process of re-imagination and re-conceptualisation of the concept of global Muslim ummah in Islamic online media in Indonesia.

Author Information
Taufiqur Rahman, University of Western Australia, Australia

Paper Information
Conference: MediAsia2014
Stream: Cultural Studies - Media Studies

This paper is part of the MediAsia2014 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon