ARCHIVE: Globalizing Politics and Religion in the Muslim World

In a recent report from Iraq, the government newspaper al-Jamhuriyya denounced the Internet as an “American means to enter every house in the world” and “the end of civilizations, cultures, interests, and ethics” (Associated Press, 17 Feb 1997). The New York Times take on this story was conventionally to balance it with the counter-example of “Iraqi exiles [who] are using the Internet to preserve the culture and interests they miss, the Iraq of old that they loved” (“Iraqi Exiles Reach for Home on Web Site,” by Lisa Napoli. The New York Times, Cyber Times. 20 Feb 1997 — access is free, but you have to register). This familiar journalistic device of setting points of view into opposition parallels and echoes terms in which the Internet as a social, political, economic and, more broadly, cultural phenomenon is increasingly cast that, like the journalist construction, places issues ahead of analysis.