Based on his own story, popular Islamic blogger Amir Ahmad Nasr argues that the Internet will be for Islam what the printing press was for Christianity – a driving force for reform.
The heart and soul of Amir Ahmad Nasr’s My Isl@m? The Internet.
Typically considered by Western audiences a source of radicalization in Islamic circles – think terrorist forums, online calls to jihad, recipes for homemade explosives – the Internet takes a star turn here as liberator, as both a personal agent of awakening for Afro-Arab blogger Nasr, and an incubator of change in a Muslim world roiled by revolution. Nasr’s journey in “My Isl@m” is a testament to his prediction: that the Internet will be for Islam what the printing press was for Christianity – a driving force for reform.
Born in Khartoum, Sudan, and raised in Qatar and Malaysia, Nasr enjoys a relatively orthodox upbringing: praying five times a day, shunning the lewd programming of MTV, and in school, listening to his teachers rail against the infidel twin enemies, the USA and Israel. Bored by his IT classes in a sleepy Malaysian university town, Nasr stumbles upon the work of liberal Egyptian blogger “The Big Pharoah.”
“It was through him that I fell down the rabbit hole and landed in a virtual wonderland,” writes Nasr of the Arab blogosphere, a realm where nothing was taboo and the self-described “third culture kid” straddling multiple cultural identities finally felt he belonged.