Religious Communication in Digital Public Sphere

  • Md. Sayeed Al-Zaman Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh

Abstract

The interrelationship among religious communities in a particular society is complex. On many occasions, one community becomes dominant owing to several societal factors, and other communities remain on the edge. Religion in Bangladesh has a complex history. Besides, digital media as a new phenomenon has met religion recently, although this issue is often overlooked. As a result, no formal academic endeavor is seen in Bangladesh to date which focuses on the emerging digital Islamic public sphere and online religious communication. The present study tries to bridge this gap. Through careful observation of the digital public, their used contents, and produced cases of contestation, this article finds some exclusive communication patterns. First, communication among religious communities is unequal where Muslims dominate the discourse. Second, Islamic contents are more frequent in cyberspace than the contents of other religions. Third, Muslims produce digital media-based disinformation to marginalize religious minorities in both online and offline spheres.

References

25,000 Muslim rioters torch Buddhist temples, homes in Bangladesh. (2012, September 30). RT. https://www.rt.com/news/buddhist-temples-torched-bangladesh-342/

Babb, L. (1995). Introduction. In L. Babb & S. Wadley (Eds.), Media and the Transformation of Religion in South Asia (pp. 1–18). University of Pennsylvania Press.

Badal, L. A. (2017, November 10). Mob sets upon Hindu village in Rangpur over rumoured Facebook post. Dhaka Tribune. https://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/nation/2017/11/10/one-killed-angry-go-berserk-rangpur-hindu-village-facebook-status

Bangladesh: New Digital Security Act is attack on freedom of expression. (2018, November 12). Amnesty International. https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/11/bangladesh-muzzling-dissent-online/

Barkat, A. (2018). Fundamentalism in Bangladesh: External and Internal Dimensions of the Political Economy of Militancy. Muktobuddhi Publisher.

BBS. (2011). Population and Housing Census. Ministry of Planning, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. http://bbs.portal.gov.bd/sites/default/files/files/bbs.portal.gov.bd/page/7b7b171a_731a_4854_8e0a_f8f7dede4a4a/PHC2011PreliminaryReport.pdf

____. (2014). Population and Housing Census. Ministry of Planning, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. http://www.bbs.gov.bd/site/page/47856ad0-7e1c-4aab-bd78-892733bc06eb/Population-and-Housing-Census

BDHRL. (2016). International Religious Freedom Report for 2016: Bangladesh. https://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/irf/2016religiousfreedom/index.htm#wrapper

Bell, D. (2006). An Introduction to Cybercultures. Routledge.

Berger, A. A. (1995). Essentials of Mass Communication Theory. SAGE.

Chakma, N. (2007). Buddha: Religion and Philosophy. Abosar Prokashoni.

Chatterji, J. (2002). Bengal Divided: Hindu Communalism and Partition, 1932-1947. Cambridge University Press.

CLCBD. (2011). The Constitution (Eighth Amendment) Act, 1988. http://www.clcbd.org/document/download/770.html

Dahlgren, P. (2005). The Internet, Public Spheres, and Political Communication: Dispersion and Deliberation. Political Communication, 22(2), 147–162. https://doi.org/10.1080/10584600590933160

Gaffney, P. D. (1992). Popular Islam. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 524(1), 38–51. https://doi.org/10.1177/0002716292524001004

Griffin, E. (2011). A First Look at Communication Theory (8th ed.). McGraw-Hill.

Gripsrud, J., Moe, H., Molander, A., & Murdock, G. (2010). The Idea of the Public Sphere: A Reader. Lexington Books.

Habermas, J. (1991). The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry Into a Category of Bourgeois Society. MIT Press.

Habermas, J., & McCarthy, T. (1977). Hannah Arendt’s Communications Concept of Power. Social Research, 44(1), 3–24. JSTOR.

Hanif, M. (2019, January 29). Praying for Pakistan. November/December 2018. https://www.foreignaffairs.com/reviews/review-essay/2018-10-15/praying-pakistan

Hasan, K. (2016, November 20). ‘No Hindus will be left after 30 years.’ Dhaka Tribune. https://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2016/11/20/abul-barkat-632-hindus-left-country-day

Hasan, M. (1986). Muldhara ’71 (2nd ed.). The University Press Limited.

Hasnat, M. A. (2017, December 28). ‘Religious and ethnic minorities are most persecuted in Bangladesh.’ Dhaka Tribune. https://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/law-rights/2017/12/28/religious-ethnic-minorities-persecuted-bangladesh

Henley, J., Sheehy, F., Swann, G., & Fenn, C. (2017, October 27). Beyond Catalonia: Pro-independence movements in Europe. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/world/ng-interactive/2017/oct/27/beyond-catalonia-pro-independence-movements-in-europe-map

Hossain, A. (2014). Six-point Programme. In S. Miah (Ed.), Banglapedia. The Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. http://en.banglapedia.org/index.php?title=Six-point_Programme

Hossain, A. A. (2012). Islamic Resurgence in Bangladesh’s Culture and Politics: Origins, Dynamics and Implications1. Journal of Islamic Studies, 23(2), 165–198. https://doi.org/10.1093/jis/ets042

Huntington, S. P. (2007). The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. Simon and Schuster.
Jensen, K. B., Rothenbuhler, E. W., Pooley, J. D., & Craig, R. T. (Eds.). (2016). The International Encyclopedia of Communication Theory and Philosophy (1st ed.). Wiley. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118766804

Jones, S. (1998). Cybersociety 2.0: Revisiting Computer-Mediated Communication and Community. https://doi.org/10.4135/9781452243689

Khan, A. M., & Makbul, N.-E.-. (2014). Drawbacks of Alternative Media in Development: Bangladesh Context. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 5(23), 2229. https://doi.org/10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n23p2229

Khan, M. H. (2014). Eleven Points Programme—Banglapedia. In S. Miah (Ed.), Banglapedia. The Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. http://en.banglapedia.org/index.php?title=Eleven_Points_Programme

Mahmud, F. (2018, April 4). Is Bangladesh moving towards one-party state? Al Jazeera. https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/sheikh-hasina-turning-bangladesh-party-state-180404082024893.html

Majumdar, S. (2016). Secularism and anti-secularism. In A. Riaz & M. S. Rahman (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Bangladesh (pp. 40–51). Routledge.

Manik, J. A., & Barry, E. (2016, November 2). Hindu Temples and Homes in Bangladesh Are Attacked by Muslim Crowds. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/03/world/asia/hindu-muslim-bangladesh.html

Minar, M. R., & Naher, J. (2018). Violence originated from Facebook: A case study in Bangladesh. ArXiv:1804.11241 [Cs]. https://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.13087.05282

Noelle-Neumann, E. (1991). The Theory of Public Opinion: The Concept of the Spiral of Silence. Annals of the International Communication Association, 14(1), 256–287. https://doi.org/10.1080/23808985.1991.11678790

Noelle-Neumann, E. (1974). The Spiral of Silence a Theory of Public Opinion. Journal of Communication, 24(2), 43–51. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1460-2466.1974.tb00367.x

Orbe, M. P. (1998). Constructing co-cultural theory: An explication of culture, power, and communication. Sage.
People demand punishment for defaming Prophet (PBUH) in Narail. (2020, April 7). Daily Kaler Kantho. https://www.kalerkantho.com/online/country-news/2019/04/07/755957

PTI. (2014, May 5). Jamaat-e-Islami: Hindu households, temple attacked in Bangladesh - Times of India. The Times of India. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Hindu-households-temple-attacked-in-Bangladesh/articleshow/34695463.cms

Riaz, A. (2014). Culture of Fear: The Political Economy of Terror and Violence in Bangladesh. Prothoma Prokashan.

Roser, M. (2016). War and Peace. Our World in Data. https://ourworldindata.org/war-and-peace

Russell, B. (1996). Power: A New Social Analysis. Routledge.

Saha, M. (2017). Section 57 of ICT Act: A threat to the freedom of expression through the suit of defamation. IOSR Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 22(11), 24–27. https://doi.org/10.9790/0837-2211012427

Schäfer, M. S. (2016). Digital Public Sphere. In The International Encyclopedia of Political Communication (pp. 1–7). American Cancer Society. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118541555.wbiepc087

Topu, A. (2013, November 3). Hindus attacked in Pabna. The Daily Star. https://www.thedailystar.net/news/hindus-attacked-in-pabna

Udupa, S. (2017). Viral video: Mobile media, riot and religious politics. In S. Udupa & S. D. McDowell (Eds.), Media as politics in South Asia (pp. 190–205). Routledge.

Udupa, S., & McDowell, S. D. (Eds.). (2017). Introduction: Beyond the “public sphere”. Routledge.

Valtysson, B. (2012). Facebook as a Digital Public Sphere: Processes of Colonization and Emancipation. TripleC: Communication, Capitalism & Critique. Open Access Journal for a Global Sustainable Information Society, 10(1), 77–91. https://doi.org/10.31269/triplec.v10i1.312

Warner, M. (2002a). Publics and Counterpublics. Public Culture, 14(1), 49–90.

____________. (2002b). Publics and counterpublics (abbreviated version). Quarterly Journal of Speech, 88(4), 413–425. https://doi.org/10.1080/00335630209384388

West, L., & Trester, A. M. (2013). Facework and Facebook: Conversation on Social Media. In D. Tannen & A. M. Trester (Eds.), Discourse 2.0: Language and New Media (pp. 133–154). Georgetown University Press.

World Bank. (2016). Individuals using the Internet (% of population). https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/IT.NET.USER.ZS

____________. (2019). GDP growth (annual %)—Bangladesh. https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/ny.gdp.mktp.kd.zg?end=2017&locations=bd&start=2000

Xypolia, I. (2016). Divide et Impera: Vertical and Horizontal Dimensions of British Imperialism. Critique, 44(3), 221–231. https://doi.org/10.1080/03017605.2016.1199629
Published
2020-05-04
How to Cite
AL-ZAMAN, Md. Sayeed. Religious Communication in Digital Public Sphere. JURNAL PENELITIAN, [S.l.], p. 29-42, may 2020. ISSN 2541-6944. Available at: <http://e-journal.iainpekalongan.ac.id/index.php/Penelitian/article/view/2743>. Date accessed: 21 oct. 2020. doi: https://doi.org/10.28918/jupe.v17i1.2743.
Section
Artikel