One finds a number of qualities in Online Muslim Culture (OMC) that need address and reform. Such qualities are not only disturbing due to their lack of agreement with Islamic norms and values, but also contribute to the creation of a destructive and unhealthy online culture. It is not odd to encounter in popular Online Muslim Culture (OMC) attitudes and forms of communication which not only take on the air of authority, they also destroy the possibility of dialogue. Therefore, we find the opportunity of healthy brotherly and intellectual interaction on the internet to be rare among differing parties.
The cause of this state of affairs in virtual reality is attitudes which preclude real communication from taking root online. It is these very attitudes which stand as obstacles to unity and reform in the “real world.”
Arrogance and intolerance are dominate in Muslim discourse online and few seem to want to eliminate these bad characteristics of the “evil commanding self”. These two qualities evade submitting to the ethics of disagreement nor do they allow for a space in which to differ, given that he who is labeled as enemy is never recognized as worthy to be given a chance to clarify himself in the world of on line statements taken out of context and sound bytes. In fact, one finds that when an opposing position is taken on a matter, an army of bloggers come not to converse and understand, but they charge forward to destroy the one who opposes the status quo. Never are reasons requested for a differing position, never is clarification asked for on an obscure point that may have more than one version and never is charity, the virtue that guides relating to the other, the dominant quality except for rare occasions.
Rather intolerance and arrogance are the two qualities which dominate interaction. We also find the tendency in OMC for individuals to destroy others by neglecting the content of what is said and the substance of a position. This indicates an attitude that refuses to understand, a position which is not charitable and is content with being petty rather than scholarly.
Online Muslim Culture (OMC) is infected by arrogance and intolerance. For all the talks on Islam and quotes online we have failed to embody the reality of Islam online and have demonstrated to the world instead the reality of our souls. This reality alone is proof enough of just how widespread illiteracy and ignorance are in our community; how they dominate the behavior of the Ummah and have come to be as semi-permanent qualities of our social interaction if not selves. An important question must be asked at this juncture, “what is the exit strategy from this dark world of corrosion” of Islam online where Islam is mentioned so much but practiced so rarely and which in little reasonable discussion is to be found?
AstagfirUllah Li Dhanbi