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The article introduces and analyses the homepage of the Azhar-trained Egyptian scholar Sheikh Yūsuf al-Qaradāwī. This includes not only the analysis of the website's content but also of its context of production, i.e. Doha, a place that can be described as a hub of media-produced reality of Arabic-speaking Muslims since the mid-1990s. The author, Bettina Gräf, states that Qaradāwī was one of the first scholars to realise that the cooperation with journalists, editors, and producers of new media institutions would help to restore the influence of Muslim scholars in Muslim societies and worldwide. She identifies the techniques by which Qaradāwī's self-proclaimed position as a global Islamic authority is implemented on his website. The potential of Qaradāwī being recognised as a global authority, however, is questioned. The author argues that the relationships constitutive of his almost translocal authority were and still are negotiated in special sets of actions, namely in Qatar, Egypt, Palestine, Europe and, on the occasion of various conferences with a Sunni Islamist agenda, around the world. Although Yūsuf al-Qaradāwī's worldwide popularity, based on his activities in both the traditional and the new media, is beyond dispute, the author points to the necessity of distinguishing between popularity and authority.

In: Die Welt des Islams
In: Die Welt des Islams


Research on urban spaces in the Gulf region has increased substantially over the last two decades, particularly with a strong focus on contemporary phenomena. However, this focus often overlooks entangled histories and past trajectories that are formative for the present. Moreover, it perpetuates the notion of the region’s ahistoricity. To challenge the Gulf cities’ presumed lack of history, we have used a media-historical approach engaging with the history of a medium (e.g., architecture, film, magazine, photography, social media) in relation to a specific city. The article first provides an overview of recent research on the Gulf’s urban cultures in various disciplines. After introducing our approach, the article then considers temporality and spatiality as research perspectives in media studies and subsequently shifts to established media-historical approaches within Middle Eastern and South Asian area studies. It evaluates the complexities of writing on the art and architectural histories of the Gulf as specific forms of media. Finally, it addresses the potential of transdisciplinarity and collaboration as methods resituating the Gulf within the Arab region, the Persianate world and the Indian Ocean, respectively.

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In: Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication