Communicative practice and transgressive global politics: The D’ua of Sheikh Muhammed Al Mohaisany

Michael Dartnell


Walter Benjamin noted the transformative impact of information technology when he said that "photography greatly extends the sphere of commodity exchange... by flooding the market with countless images of figures, landscapes, and events which had previously been available either not at all or only as pictures for individual customers." Echoing his assessment, multimedia activism has emerged as a practice through which multiple–user communication by non–state actors highlights transgressive values and issues. This paper focuses on Islamic extremist Web activism by discussing a multimedia file, the "d’ua of Sheikh Muhammed Al–Mohaisany." The file is examined to illustrate how the Web and other IT provide once inaccessible information and potentially alter communication by directly addressing targeted publics. Multimedia activism introduces issues of identity, boundaries, and perceptions into global politics and culture through telecommunication practices that were formerly state regulated.

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