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Emerging Trends in Muslim Discourse

PI: Mark Woodward, Arizona State University

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Emerging Trends in Muslim Discourse: The Rise of Religious Intolerance, Sectarianism and Shari’ah Consciousness

Principal Investigator: Mark Woodward, Arizona State University

Co-Investigators: Hasan Davulcu (Arizona State University); M. Sani Umar (Ahmadu Bello University)

Years of Award: 2014 - 2018

Managing Service Agency: Office of Naval Research

Project Description:

This project explored changes in the themes of extremist Muslim discourse in West Africa, Western Europe and Southeast Asia. The project examined the use of anti-Shia and anti- Ahmadiyah themes and calls for the implementation/enforcement of Sharia norms in recruitment and social/political mobilization efforts, documented the ways in which the Saudi Arabian government and NGOs used these themes to foster foreign policy objectives including efforts to build a global anti-Shia coalition, and examined counter efforts to these new forms of extremist discourse at national and transnational levels. Research focused on identifying key symbols and concepts in sectarian and Shari’ah focused discourse in local languages, with a particular interest in distinguishing transnational and national culturally specific themes, as well as identifying the role that demonization of the “absent other” played in social-political conflict. A key component of the project helped further the development of computational tools for identifying and tracking hate speech on social media platforms.

Owl in the Olive Tree posts:

Woodward, Mark and Sani Umar, Muhammad. 2019. Culture as Counter Extremism: West African, European, and Southeast Asian Cases. July 9.

Select Publications:

Umar, Muhammad Sani, and Woodward, Mark. Forthcoming - 2019.  “The Izala Effect: Unintended Consequences of Salafi Radicalism in Indonesia and Nigeria,” Contemporary Islam.

Woodward, Mark. 2018.  “Sectarianism, Culture and Politics,” Inside Indonesia.

Woodward, Mark. 2017. “Resisting Salafism and the Arabization of Indonesian Islam: a contemporary Indonesian didactic tale by Komaruddin Hidayat".11(3): 237-258.

Alzahrani, S., Ceran, B., Alashri, S., Ruston, S., Corman, S., Davulcu, H. 2016. Story Forms Detection in Text through Concept-Based Co-Clustering, Proceedings of the IEEE International Conferences on Social Computing and Networking (SocialCom'16), pp. 258-265, Atlanta, GA.

Ozer, M., Kim, N., Davulcu, H., 2016, Community Detection in Political Twitter Networks using Nonnegative Matrix Factorization Methods, IEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining (ASONAM'16), San Francisco, CA.