Islam and High-Technology: Global Communications and Cultural Re-Inventions

Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper problematizes the bifurcation of technology and tradition and its implied unidirectional transformative authority of technology. It divides the multitude of responses to the relation between technology and culture into these three categories: technology as the messenger and the message, technology as a messenger without an inherent message, and technology as a messenger unaware of its message. A study is reported that used examples from 48 Islamic World Wide Web sites and suggests that Muslim identities are incessantly being reinvented and reconstructed via, rather than despite of, new technologies. The paper reports that the study demonstrates that a conscious appropriation and appreciation of technology not only does not undermine cultural distinctiveness, but it may also enhance the production of a more vibrant cultural environment. It sees technology as neither bad nor good, but both a blessing and a burden. It also argues that the proponents of the technology-tradition binary perceive tradition as a set of static practices, a social order incapable of generating and adapting to change. (Contains 16 references.) (YLB)
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTEND 2000: Proceedings of the Technological Education and National Development Conference
Place of PublicationWashington, DC
PublisherDistributed by ERIC Clearinghouse
Number of pages13
StatePublished - 2001
EventTechnological Education and National Development Conference: Crossroads of the New Millennium - Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Duration: Apr 8 2000Apr 10 2000


ConferenceTechnological Education and National Development Conference
Abbreviated titleTEND 2000
Country/TerritoryUnited Arab Emirates
CityAbu Dhabi


  • Adult Education
  • Communication Research
  • Cultural Context
  • Cultural Differences
  • Cultural Maintenance
  • Developing Nations
  • Foreign Countries
  • Futures (of Society)
  • Information Technology
  • Intercultural Communication
  • Islamic Culture
  • Social Change
  • Technological Advancement
  • Technological Literacy
  • Technology Transfer
  • Traditionalism
  • World Wide Web


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