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Visual Culture and Islam in Kazakhstan: The Case of Asyl Arna’s Social Media

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image of Central Asian Affairs

Asyl Arna is the most popular Islamic television channel in Kazakhstan and the dominant Islamic media company in Kazakhstan. This article examines how images on the social media pages of Asyl Arna create a way of understanding and engaging in contemporary Islamic life in Kazakhstan. I examine four kinds of images: lists, portraits of authority figures, illustrations or photos of the Qur’an, and images related to a middle-class life with a strongly gendered division of labor. The visual culture of Asyl Arna’s social media promote Islam as an achievable part of a middle-class lifestyle that can provide simple rules for a pious, economically successful life and a connection to the numinous through the Qur’an.

Affiliations: 1: The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA


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