Tag Archives: new media

Muslim Women, YouTube, And Third Space

By Guest Contributor Deonna Kelli Sayed, cross-posted from Muslimah Media Watch

Muslim YouTube broadcaster Sister Randomina.

Media technology and the Muslim world are interesting collaborators.  Cassette-tape propagation of Ayatollah Khomeini’s sermons provided important precursors for the Iranian Revolution. Likewise, Facebook and Twitter offered political leverage in the Arab Spring developments. For observers, social media, in particular, is potentially changing the dynamics of the public sphere in the Muslim world.

New media technology provides a “third space” where some Muslims who are using social media to contest gender assumptions, normative aspects of religious practice, and cultural experience. In this context, YouTube offers such a space as an informal meeting place to create community and to express new identities.

Muslims around the world are familiar with YouTube as a source of religious information from well-known Islamic personalities. Now, rather than YouTubing for religious instruction from Dr. Zakir Naik, for example, some are uploading for creative expression, a small number of Muslims are contributing to a new aesthetic of Muslim videography to express personal creativity and observations–mostly through satire or parody–on issues they face in daily life.

One of the more interesting dynamics is the emergence of Muslim women taking to YouTube to “talk back” on issues of identity and Western assumptions concerning the female experience.
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The mainstream media ignored Delara Darabi. New media didn’t.

by Guest Contributor Nisha Chittal, originally published at Politicoholic

Early Friday morning in Tehran, 23-year-old Delara Darabi was executed in the Rasht prison in Iran for a crime that happened when she was 17. Human rights groups had been protesting and trying to save her from execution for months, since it is a violation of international law to execute anyone for a crime that occurred when they were a minor. Despite the protests, Iranian authorities executed her on Friday with no notice.

What is perhaps the saddest part of her story, however, is that the mainstream, traditional news media did not report the story at all. A Google News search on Delara Darabi revealed, as of [May 2nd], a total of ZERO mainstream US news stories. The only stories about Delara as of last night were from Iranian and international sources, blogs, and human rights groups.

Today, the mainstream media started to pick up on it, with stories from the Los Angeles Times, BBC, United Press International, New York Times, and a few others. Still, at the time of writing this post there are only 206 news stories about Delara Darabi’s unjust execution. By comparison, there are currently 762 news stories about Matthew McConaughey, and 7,078 news stories about Arlen Specter. Continue reading