[Reader-list] Asian Cyberfundamentalism (Amsterdam, April 18)

geert lovink geert at desk.nl
Wed Apr 12 18:00:47 IST 2006

ASiA, IIAS, Leiden University and Waag Society organize
Cyberasia Part 2: Asian Cyberfundamentalism

Tuesday April 18, 20.00 – 22.00 hrs
Waag Society, Nieuwmarkt 4, Amsterdam
Entrance: free
Language: English
Livestream: http://connect.waag.org

The Dutch National Bureau for Intelligence and Security (AIVD) has 
recently declared the Internet to be a major force behind the emergence 
of religious fundamentalism in society, and indeed, radical religious 
groups around the globe eagerly employ new technologies to recruit new 
members, advocate their views and attack perceived enemies. Is this 
caused by, or at odds with, the perceived open and liberating character 
of the Internet? Is the AIVD’s anxiety towards the Internet perhaps 
rooted in an official dystopian view of new technologies as media that 
proliferate messages in an uncontrollable fashion? Of course, 
counterforces emerge as well, so is the medium itself of particular 
importance? Does the Internet change religion, and religion change the 
Internet? Starting from case studies of the fervent use that Hindu and 
Muslim fundamentalists make of the Internet, Asian Cyberfundamentalism 
focuses on these developments. Indian Internet activist Harsh Kapoor, 
Malyasian political scientist, academic and human rights activist 
Farish Noor and Dutch anthropologist of religion Peter van der Veer 
will discuss the fundamentalist uses of cyberspace and search for 
possible counterforces. This evening is moderated by Patricia Spyer 
from Leiden University and will present a unique view on the religious 
uses of the Internet, and provides a platform to discuss possible 
tactics of resistance, either online or offline.

Cyberasia is a series of three seminars that brings together Asian 
activists, academics and industry pioneers to reflect on contemporary 
political, religious and playful uses of new technologies. Together, 
they showcase the current state of Internet affairs in Asia, opening up 
a unique meeting ground beyond the “Western” world. The previous 
seminar of March 29 focused on the political uses of the Internet, 
while the third and last session on May 10 deals with Asian Cybergames.

The Speakers:
Dr. Farish (Badrol Hisham) Ahmad has been researching and writing on 
the phenomenon of political Islam and transnational religio-political 
and educational networks for several years. His research looks at the 
transnational networks and linkages between modern Islamic universities 
in Southeast and South Asia, raising questions about the concept of 
Islamic modernity as well as its global-political implications. Dr. 
Noor’s activist-related work and writings have focused on the issues of 
human rights, press freedom, the debate on secularism and democracy, as 
well as gender issues.
  Dr. Harsh Kapoor is a renowned Indian Internet activist, engaged in 
the defence of democracy and tolerance in South Asia. Initially trained 
as a sociologist, he has been interested in social implications of new 
technologies and their democratic use. He has helped set up the South 
Asia Citizens Web; a Web site that provides visibility to dissenting 
opinions from within South Asian civil society. He has also helped set 
up South Asians Against Nukes, a citizen's platform on the Net.
Prof. Dr. Peter van de Veer is university professor at the University 
of Utrecht and has published widely in the field of religion and 
nationalism in India, his current research focuses on the societal role 
of spirituality in India and China.
Prof. Dr. Patricia Spyer is professor of sociology and anthropology of 
contemporary Indonesia at Leiden University and specializes in the 
study of the role of old and new media in the processes of reformation 
in Indonesian society.

For reservation: reserveren at waag.org
For more information: Dr. Jeroen de Kloet (moderator, IIAS) 
b.j.dekloet at uva.nl
Livestream: http://connect.waag.org
IIAS: www.iias.nl

Asian Cyberfundamentalism is part of the project 'Towards a culture of 
open networks' this lecture is being produced with the support of the 
European Union's EU-India Economic Cross Cultural Programme.

More information about the reader-list mailing list