The following is the unedited and far from perfect transcript of The Future of Islam In the Age of New Media, the audio seminar this project is based on. It still needs some polishing, but for now, here it is.
A huge special thank you to Janelle Dumalaon for putting it together, and also to Aysha Khan for contributing. You may use the transcript partially or in its entirety provided you link back to this page or mention this project. Thank you.
Hi, my name is Hussein Rashid, and I’m an academic who researches Muslims in America, and an active Blogger at Islamicate, and associate Editor at Religion Dispatches, an online magazine dedicated to discussing religion and culture.
When I look at how new media, social media is impacting America, what I see is a way for us to be able to look at old debates in our tradition in new ways. To discover old debates. To bring up new debates. And I don’t see this really as breaking with tradition. I see this as a way for us to rediscover our tradition.
When we think about our earlier history, it was incredibly pluralistic in terms of theology, in terms of philosophy, in terms of legal schools. And what’s happened is that we lost that, because the voices that were there before were buried due to various economic circumstances.
So what this allows us to do is to go back, to bring life back into tradition. To pay honor to our tradition and to advance t into the 21st century so Islam remains a tradition for all times and places.