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Sheikh Yūsuf al-Qaradāwī in Cyberspace

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The article introduces and analyses the homepage of the Azhar-trained Egyptian scholar Sheikh Yūsuf al-Qaradāwī. This includes not only the analysis of the website's content but also of its context of production, i.e. Doha, a place that can be described as a hub of media-produced reality of Arabic-speaking Muslims since the mid-1990s. The author, Bettina Gräf, states that Qaradāwī was one of the first scholars to realise that the cooperation with journalists, editors, and producers of new media institutions would help to restore the influence of Muslim scholars in Muslim societies and worldwide. She identifies the techniques by which Qaradāwī's self-proclaimed position as a global Islamic authority is implemented on his website. The potential of Qaradāwī being recognised as a global authority, however, is questioned. The author argues that the relationships constitutive of his almost translocal authority were and still are negotiated in special sets of actions, namely in Qatar, Egypt, Palestine, Europe and, on the occasion of various conferences with a Sunni Islamist agenda, around the world. Although Yūsuf al-Qaradāwī's worldwide popularity, based on his activities in both the traditional and the new media, is beyond dispute, the author points to the necessity of distinguishing between popularity and authority.


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Affiliations: 1: Berlin


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