Asyl Arna is the most popular Islamic television channel in Kazakhstan and the dominant Islamic media company in Kazakhstan. This article examines how images on the social media pages of Asyl Arna create a way of understanding and engaging in contemporary Islamic life in Kazakhstan. I examine four kinds of images: lists, portraits of authority figures, illustrations or photos of the Qur’an, and images related to a middle-class life with a strongly gendered division of labor. The visual culture of Asyl Arna’s social media promote Islam as an achievable part of a middle-class lifestyle that can provide simple rules for a pious, economically successful life and a connection to the numinous through the Qur’an.
K. GeorgePicturing Islam: Art and Ethics in a Muslim Lifeworld. (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell2011) 91. George also details the controversy surrounding the use of the Qur’an in art in Indonesia. There has not been any controversy around Asyl Arna’s depiction of the Qur’an possibly due to a new understanding of the importance of visual culture to proselytizing (daghuat Arabic: da’wah).