Arab Media & Society – Bettina Gräf on

Interesting paper from Bettina Gräf on Arab Media & Society about

This paper gives an overview of the history and operations of, one of the most-visited Arabic/ English Islamic web portals which issue fatwas.[i] The body behind IslamOnline (IOL) is the Al-Balagh Cultural Society in Qatar, which was established in 1997 on the initiative of Qatari IT specialist Maryam Hasan al-Hajari and Dr. Hamid al-Ansari, a scholar at the Sharica Faculty of the University of Qatar. In its early stages the project was supported by the University of Qatar, especially by Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the 1926-born, Azhar-educated Egyptian scholar and theorist of the Islamic Awakening movement who still chairs the Al-Balagh Society today.[ii] The headquarters and IT development of IOL are based in Doha, while most of the content is produced by more than 150 employees at the IOL offices in Cairo. IOL is mainly financed by donations and by selling its technical know-how to other Islamic institutions around the world. In promotional material for the site, Yusuf al-Qaradawi defined the site’s mission this way: “This project is neither nationalistic nor one aiming at a grouping or a group of people; it is a project for the entire Islamic community. It is the jihad of our era.”[iii]

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