Arabs and Atheism: Religious Discussions in the Arab Twittersphere

Youssef Al Hariri, Walid Magdy, Maria Wolters

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Most previous research on online discussions of atheism has focused on atheism within a Christian context. In contrast, discussions about atheism in the Arab world and from Islamic background are relatively poorly studied. An added complication is that open atheism is against the law in some Arab countries, which may further restrict atheist activity on social media. In this work, we explore atheistic discussion in the Arab Twittersphere. We identify four relevant categories of Twitter users according to the content they post: atheistic, theistic, tanweeri (religious renewal), and other. We characterise the typical content posted by these four sets of users and their social networks, paying particular attention to the topics discussed and the interaction among them. Our findings have implication for the study of religious and spiritual discourse on social media and provide a better cross-cultural understanding of relevant aspects.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial Informatics
Subtitle of host publication11th International Conference, SocInfo 2019
PublisherSpringer, Cham
Pages18-34
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic) Online ISBN 978-3-030-34971-4
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-34970-7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Nov 2019
Event11th International Conference on Social Informatics - Doha, Qatar
Duration: 18 Nov 201921 Nov 2019
https://socinfo2019.qcri.org/

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS)
PublisherSpringer, Cham
Volume11864
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349

Conference

Conference11th International Conference on Social Informatics
Abbreviated titleSocInfo 2019
Country/TerritoryQatar
CityDoha
Period18/11/1921/11/19
Internet address

Keywords

  • Atheism
  • Arabic
  • Religion
  • Islam
  • Twitter

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