Call For Papers

DIGITAL BRITISH ISLAM: Experiences, Responses and Impact from Britain and Beyond 

5th and 6th February 2025, Coventry University 

digital british islam conference
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Cyber Islamic Environments (CIEs) have become places for religious exchange and debate, influencing the lives, faith, identities and politics of those who engage with them across multiple digital platforms. COVID-19 raised the significance of CIEs as digital locations to practice, interpret and transmit religious beliefs and values. As religious activities expanded online, people have become more adept and nuanced in using a variety of digital spaces for different purposes and agendas. Islam and Muslim identities in Britain are complex transnational constructs that transform over generations, drawing as they do upon the diverse ethnicities, histories, cultures and varied beliefs of those who are (or are perceived to be) part of these constructs, as well as those who perceive them. These constructs are further transformed through negotiations between online and offline selves and affiliations; they are complicated by varying digital abilities and engagement within a rapidly evolving marketplace of religious ideas, networks and potential affiliations. Previous research on online Islam has charted out platforms, technology and sites that constitute CIEs. 

Digital British Islam: Experiences, Responses and Impact, from Britain and Beyond is the flagship event of the Digital British Islam project, that has been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), UK. Over the last two years, our team has pushed the boundaries of existing research on digital religion and CIEs. We have mobilised a variety of methods – archival, qualitative and quantitative – to map and interrogate the exponential growth and impact of CIE exchanges on everyday life. Situated within multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches towards the study of online religion, this research unravels and demystifies the layered and multifaceted reciprocal impact of CIEs on Muslim communities and Islam in the UK. Focusing on changing narratives and experiences of religious authority, gender and political agency, Digital British Islam has developed a platform for mapping, interpreting and understanding the diversity, interlinkages and influence of CIEs – examining reciprocal interactions between the ‘digital’ and the ‘real’. Understanding digital influences on Muslim communities in the UK is imperative for diverse organisations, service providers and policy makers who work within, and digitally engage with complex British Muslim communities. Our findings offer new and paradigm-changing insights across these areas (which we will present at the conference).  

In the final year of the project, we are keen to engage with cutting-edge research that explores the lived experiences of diverse religious and non-religious identities within cyber spaces. By bringing together distinctive expertise and approaches to the study of online religion, the conference will examine how Islamic digital spaces are changing in response to, and interacting with different stimuli, discourses and interlocutors. We also seek to explore how conceptions of lived reality are evolving in response to the profusion of cyber environments where individuals and groups express and live their religious worldviews. This two-day international conference will explore the diversity of ways in which diverse Muslim identities are experienced, encountered and catered for within digital spaces. While our research focused on ‘British’ experiences, we are keen to engage with perspectives globally. We invite proposals for papers that explore any dimension of online Islam, in any geographical context, focusing on a particular tradition, group or movement or on the interactions between different parties, or on broader cultural or political changes impacting upon how religion is expressed online. We hope that the conference will attract a range of epistemological positions and disciplinary standpoints.

Papers can include the following themes, although this is not an exhaustive list: 

  • Ethnographic research that explores cyber environments catering to Islam and Muslims 
  • Digital religious diversity  
  • Digital responses and case studies relating to milestone contemporary and historical events  
  • Interfaith / interconvictional dialogue and conflict online  
  • Intersectional approaches 
  • Formal and informal Islamic learning spaces online 
  • Muslim digital influencers 
  • Online political activism, motivated by a Muslim worldview 
  • Changing norms of religious authority 
  • Changing gender norms 
  • Racism and prejudice (including Antisemitism and Islamophobia) online 
  • The negotiation of cultural and moral values online 
  • Methodological reflections on digital / online religion research / ethics 
  • Artificial intelligence and digital British Islam  
  • Approaches to the digital representation of Muslim communities in the UK 

To submit a proposal

  • Please submit a title and abstract of no more than 250 words together with names and short biographies (150 words) of the presenter/s, institutional affiliation/s (if relevant), and contact details via this submission form below.
  • We also welcome proposals from postgraduate ​​​​​​​​researchers, independent scholars and practitioners. 
  • Academic enquiries should be sent to Dr Sadek Hamid – [email protected]  
  • Deadline for submission of abstract: 5pm on Monday 15th July 2024  
  • Successful presenters will be notified by Tuesday, 30th July 2024 


  • Further details about the registration process will be circulated and posted on the Digital British Islam website  

Conference Organisers 

Professor Gary Bunt, Professor Sariya Cheruvallil-Contractor, Professor Frederic Volpi, Dr Sadek Hamid, Dr Khadijah Elshayyal, Dr Alamgir Ahmed and Dr Laura Jones