Intertextuality and constructing Islamic identities online

Najma Al Zidjaly*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

10 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter explores, from a sociolinguistic perspective, the role that the Internet plays in the online discursive construction of the Islamic religious identity of an enlightener. It does so by examining chatroom conversations between a man with a disability from the Islamic Arabian country, Oman and individuals of diverse religious backgrounds and nationalities with whom he frequently chats. The chapter illustrates how an enlightener identity is constructed through juxtaposing two contrastive religious identities: a liberal identity (when interacting with other Muslims) and a far more traditional one (when interacting with non-Muslims). The findings of the study suggest that the Internet is helping transform many Islamic discourses from being "authoritative," i.e., unquestioned, to being "internally persuasive," i.e., open for debate (Bakhtin, 1981). The analysis also reveals how the Internet is offering new possibilities regarding the constitution of an Islamic identity while additionally posing increasingly poignant questions about the role of Islamic religious leaders in this digital age.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Research on Discourse Behavior and Digital Communication
Subtitle of host publicationLanguage Structures and Social Interaction
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9781615207732
Publication statusPublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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