Contemporary Islam

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 139–155 | Cite as

Muslims, identity and multimodal communication on the internet

  • Kristin Zahra SandsEmail author


The Internet provides a space and medium within which Muslims can shape the relationship between their religious identity and their social and political affiliations. The subjectivities of Muslims who use online space are in turn shaped by the parameters and possibilities of the Internet’s architecture and language. The multiple linkages of online spaces and the particular vernacular spoken in these spaces, a mix of written text, imagery and sound, privilege new kinds of actors and new forms of expressive and rhetorical activities. In this new space and medium, the question of imagining (or rejecting) a global Muslim identity demonstrates the subtle interplay involved in the formation of religious and media subjectivities. Developing a critical understanding of multimodal representation and communication is an essential component in studying Muslim engagement with the Internet.


Muslims Internet Multimodal communication Representation 



I would like to thank my colleagues affiliated with the Center for Religion and Media at New York University who gave me helpful suggestions on earlier drafts of this paper, as well as my colleagues in this volume from the “Muslims and Media” workshop at Princeton University in May 2008.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ReligionSarah Lawrence CollegeBronxvilleUSA

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