Citizen Lab Senior Researcher Helmi Noman submitted a chapter entitled “In the Name of God: Faith-based Internet Censorship in Majority Muslim Countries” for inclusion in the Routledge Handbook of Media Law to be published in December 2012.

The chapter is based on an OpenNet Initiative paper which analyzes the Internet censorship policies and practices of majority Muslim countries. It finds that in many of these countries online information controls are primarily based on the Islamic faith and interpretations of its instructions.

The chapter provides a detailed analysis of the religious concepts, legal frameworks, and technical filtering that underlie faith-based censorship policies in majority Muslim countries.

Faith-based filtering is becoming a contested issue in many of these countries. There is an ongoing struggle between state and nonstate actors who want to regulate the Internet to protect and even strengthen the Islamicity of their countries, and those who see the Internet as an alternative information tool to bypass the undesirable guardianship of the religious authorities — those who see the Internet as a potential threat to religious identity, and those who strive to bring to censored real space some of the qualities of the Internet: openness, freedom, and neutrality.

Read more about the book here. Featuring specially commissioned chapters from experts in the field of media and communications law, the book provides an authoritative survey of media law from a comparative perspective.