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Islamic hardliners may have issued a slew of against digital technology, including chat programmes (they could lead to flirting) and the use of Koranic verses as ring tones (disrespectful).But Muslims have embraced the internet and smartphones just as the rest of the world has—and, in some ways, even more.
But, as in Zeb’s case, the first graduates of those programs are going straight from seminary to the battlefield, thrust into the activism of the moment by young Muslims who’ve made it clear that the bookish imam of yesteryear isn’t going to cut it now – their clerics need to be woke.
What that means in an Islamic context is still being hashed out, but already US-born clerics appear more willing to break taboos and to work more inclusively with allies than the current crop of full-time imams, 85% of whom were born abroad, according to a 2011 study.
More than a third of people in the Middle East now use the internet, slightly above the world average.
Muslims use their gadgets in much the same way as everyone else: they text, they use social networks, they buy online.
The app sets the fasting times depending on the location of the device.