Blog

 
 

The Imagination Age and Digital Diplomacy

Second Life is a virtual world that users can enter from anywhere, create an avatar, and build communities with others. In “Understanding Islam Through Virtual Worlds,” a short documentary that follows dialogues about Islam happening in Second Life, hosts Rita J. King and Joshua S. Fouts enter a mosque, take the Hajj, and even visit the online office of a real-life charity. Below is a video of the documentary or you can watch it here in high definition.

Fouts and King feel that the project’s main goal is to tell the story of Islamic virtual realms and give people the chance to share their message with a larger audience. On their blog, Fouts says:

We had many tense discussions with Muslims and non-Muslims alike in virtual space around issues such as Islamic Law and Rape, perceptions about the evolution of the Muslim Brotherhood, free speech, women’s issues, the conflict in Gaza and the war in Iraq. Many Muslims are fed up with violence and virtual worlds offer a new opportunity, especially for people who live within oppressive regimes, to reach out and discuss these issues and even begin to seek creative solutions.

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Radio

 
 

The Muslim Brotherhood

In the wake of the pro-democracy protests in Tahrir Square, many Western observers are dismayed by the electoral success of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Dr. Tariq Ramadan, grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, joins us to talk about what the Brotherhood’s leadership means for the future of Egyptian democracy.

Regions & Themes

 
 

Senegal: Study Abroad in Saint Louis

In January 2009, several UW-Madison professors visited Senegal, where a Muslim majority and a Christian minority peacefully coexist. The group talked to Sara Erickson, a junior student from UW-Madison who was studying abroad in Senegal. In the video clip below, Sara reflects on her life-changing experience and shares her favorite phrase in the local Wolof language.

Interviewer: Catherine Reiland, Assistant Director of African Studies Program
Videographer: Shiela Reaves, Professor of Life Sciences Communication