Muslim Digital Citizens Guide launched to counter extremism

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LONDON: The Muslim Digital Citizens Guide by Faith Associates has been developed with the support of Google.org’s innovation fund administered by the Institute of Strategic Dialogue (ISD) to counter hate and extremism in the UK.

The fund ‘supports innovative projects, online and offline, that seek to disrupt, undermine, counter, or provide positive alternatives to hate and extremism.’ The guide focuses on five core values that cover the main principles of responsibilities and behaviour from an Islamic perspective – ‘Respect, Patience, Honesty, Kindness and Excellence’.

The guide features generic advice alongside Islamic Hadith and Quranic Ayats.  Faith Associates say through ImamsOnline.com network, the project has brought together a group of representatives from the main branches of the Islamic faith to create a toolkit focused on digital safety and citizenship. 

The aim is to support Imams, scholars and teachers in Mosques, Madrassah and Islamic centres, colleges and schools and those engaging with congregations and learners online.

Shaukat Warraich, Founder and Chief Editor of Faith Associates, said:  “We are proud to officially launch the Muslim Digital Citizens Guide supported by Google and ISD, a unique guide that helps to develops an understanding of the rights and responsibilities of Muslims in the online world”

“Contextualizing the Islamic faith within the fast moving online world is a debate many people are grappling with and we wanted to help to frame the narrative to support young Muslims in their digital journey. This guide has started a discourse on the subject of digital citizenship and its increased importance. 

Spokesperson from Institute of Strategic Dialogue said,  “In 2018 Google.org and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue partnered to deliver a £1 million Innovation Fund to Counter Hate and Extremism in the UK. 

Imam Qari Asim MBE, Chair of Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB) and Senior Editor of ImamsOnline.com, said: “This guide is the first of its kind in developing a discourse around digital citizenship of Muslims. 

“Many internet users often forget that the online world is now part of our real world; it has become an extension of our lives, it’s therefore important to appreciate the etiquettes of Internet usage and observe behaviours online which are mindful of other citizens’ rights.”

Eden Girls School were consulted during the production of the guide.