Archiving contemporary events

European Digital Muslim Responses to the Israel-Hamas Crisis

Gary R. Bunt (University of Wales Trinity Saint David)

Anna Grasso (University of Wales Trinity Saint David)

Avi Astor (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

Rosa Martinez Cuadros (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

Mateusz Chudziak (SGH Warsaw School of Economics)

Arvydas Kumpis (Vytautas Magnus University)

Introduction

Online content can be ephemeral and transitory. Infinite X (Twitter) and Instagram streams are part of the digital overload of constantly streaming and changing internet materials. Digital archiving approaches initiated as part of the Digital Islam Across Europe project (DigitIslam) seek to address this issue by capturing, analysing, and archiving approaches from diverse Muslim perspectives as a means of contemporary response to a range of issues impacting Muslims in Europe – and through creating a digital legacy for future academic analysis by scholars and observers who will benefit from hindsight when reviewing events. Through this approach, digital archiving can engender an understanding of contemporary issues and policies and a framework for detailed future scrutiny. If digital materials are absent or unavailable for future analysis, there will be a material deficiency for historians and others seeking to analyse the continuity of events (alongside ‘conventional’ resources).

The website data and collection analysis scope in Digital Islam Across Europe (DigitIslam) incorporates archiving reactions to contemporary events.1 DigitIslam initially focused on capturing some material concerning the Quran-burning episodes in Sweden (one of the five countries that the project is focusing on) and responses from religious platforms, influencers and actors in the UK, Spain, Poland, and Lithuania. The Hamas attack from the Gaza Strip on southern Israel on 7 October 2023 shifted the focus.

Methodological Considerations

As part of DigitIslam archiving activities, Gary R. Bunt and Anna Grasso explored possible strategies for capturing this sequence of events within the parameters of the DigitIslam project. The situation was shifting rapidly from the initial aftermath of the Hamas attacks in southern Israel through to the development and implementation of intensive militaristic responses by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF).

It was anticipated that the material online would be overwhelming in terms of its sheer quantity, alongside its graphic and, at times, the traumatic actuality of events on the ground.2 The focal points were established on the transnational aspects and religiously oriented sources discussing the Israel-Hamas conflict and on the different responses by national representative platforms. DigitIslam teams were to capture religious reactions within their own countries. At the time of writing, this is an ongoing process as the IDF continues its militaristic responses in Gaza.

DigitIslam initiated the initial test crawls and captures using Archive-it, part of the ongoing processes for developing the project’s annotated archive. An Excel file listed the organisations, relevant URLs, the capture mode (saved on the project’s laptop or crawled in Archive-it) and other potential URLs to check regularly.3 The listed domains are reviewed and saved daily. While social media does not form part of our public-facing archiving processes (for ethics, privacy, and data quantity reasons), the focus is primarily on website URLs for websites. Social media are applied to track new potential URLs. Social media is being separately captured for analysis by the team but is not displayed within the parameters of Archive-it. After the first set of ‘test-crawls’ and captures, the team can present some initial findings focusing on country-specific (1) and transnational aspects (2).4

Muslim Organisations

Evidently, just as there is a general disparity about the presence of Muslim organisations within our different countries, the team were aware that there would not be a balanced number of URLs, especially the cases for Poland and Lithuania. Nonetheless, more sources from Sweden and Spain were anticipated, as they have substantial Muslim populations and well-established organisations.

UNITED KINGDOM

As expected, the United Kingdom presents the highest number of domains and URLs. This aspect of the project has six categories: Muslim religious charities, Muslim international aid charities, Mosques, Muslim media, Advocacy organisations, and Actors. The most significant URLs come from Muslim media sources who publish daily articles. However, Muslim international aid charities have the most significant number of domains (see graph below). Different kinds of material are produced (news, editorials, appeals, guides, press statements, advice on contacting local governments, podcasts).

UK Online Organisational Responses

What follows is a quick review of key UK Muslim social media organisational responses to the Gaza crisis; these materials will be incorporated into more granulated discussions and analysis in due course, along with necessary updates. At this stage, materials represent snapshots of activities up to 22 November 2023:

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) posted advice on posting responses to the crisis, including verification of content and avoiding materials that incite hatred, while also promoting consciousness on the reporting of ‘Islamophobic’ events. The MCB highlighted the correlation between rises in antisemitism and Islamophobia.5

The MCB applied its social media to call for a ceasefire, repost and comment on numerous aspects of the humanitarian and human rights issues presented by the Gaza crisis, and to stream social media events updating on protecting all UK communities (including Jewish communities).6  This document subsequently received negative feedback from some critics for perceived polarity between Jews and Muslims, which was seen as potentially contributing to problems of antisemitism and Islamophobia, rather than addressing them (it also combined with general critiques of MCB).7

The Insights and press releases on the primary MCB website advocated the theme of advocating peace for Palestine.8

The MCB’s social media responded to comments from the (then-) UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman, especially calling the protests “hate marches”, which they suggested represented “extremist language.”9

 

 

Zara Mohamed, the Secretary General of the MCB, separately reposted and provided statements across her social media.10

The MCB posted extensively when Labour Party MPs resigned from Shadow Cabinet positions in protest at their demands that the party endorse a ceasefire had been ignored and that a parliamentary amendment seeking a ceasefire had been rejected.11

 

 

The MCB highlighted the role of the Scottish National Party’s First Minister Humza Yousaf’s condemnatory statements on Israel’s actions in Gaza. The Muslim Council of Scotland (MCS) highlighted several protests supportive of Gaza on their social media, reposting national news feeds of rallies across Scotland alongside making their condemnations of the Gaza situation.12 The MCS reposted the call for a national Palestinian flag date in November 2023, along with statements from Humza Yousaf. Similar content was on the MCS Facebook page.13

The MCS support for subsequent demonstrations was presented online, in conjunction with pro-Palestine platforms and other Muslim organisations (including the Muslim Association of Britain and the Scottish Association of Mosques) as part of the Gaza Genocide Emergency Committee.14

 

 

The Muslim Council of Wales published its call for a ceasefire on its social media, with a statement from Secretary General Abdul Azim Ahmed.15 In October, there was controversy when Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer visited the South Wales Islamic Centre, claiming that he misrepresented the mosque and local community in his actions.

 

 

MCW subsequently issued a clarification statement on the visit, especially as Starmer had not backed a total ceasefire in Gaza.16 There was a subsequent visit to the Centre by the Head of the Palestinian Mission, Husam Zomlot, also captured on social media. This action sought to redress the perceived negative impact of Starmer’s visit on the South Wales Islamic Centre community.17

 

 

MCW separately engaged directly with the Welsh Senedd (Parliament) in a campaign for a ceasefire, which generated substantial social media activities.18

 

 

MCW’s social media had effectively replaced the organisation’s news pages on its website, which had not been updated since 2021.19

Muslim UK Organisational Online Responses: Concluding Points

This brief discussion points to the application of social media by three national organisations in the UK.20 The use of social media (specifically X) had different response levels, indicating resource issues (the MCB having more time and resources than other platforms). The MCB also utilised its website as a hub, while MCW and MCS did not use it for these purposes. A more exhaustive investigation would incorporate the use of other social media channels, such as Instagram and Facebook. The ephemeral nature of the content on X highlights a need for its capture and analysis in the UK and other contexts associated with the DigitIslam project.21

LITHUANIA

In Lithuania, reactions on official web pages were published quite late. In fact, only one official reaction could be identified, from Islamo Centras.22 The statement was published on 30 October – more than three weeks after the conflict broke out. The text has no authorship; thus, it should reflect the institutionalised and generalised position of Islamo Centras.

A 6-passage statement underlines that HAMAS is the result of oppressive Israeli policy. Therefore, even if the present HAMAS organisation is eliminated, it will not be a long-term solution to achieve peace. The attitude of Israel towards Palestinians must be changed in the first place.

A substantial part of the statement was dedicated to the inadequate reaction of Israel, described as a crime against humanity. In the statement, HAMAS’s actions are not justified either, as they are negatively evaluated. A case-specific aspect of the statement is the sensitive appeal to Lithuanians not to be collaborators, as once happened during the Holocaust. Therefore, Lithuanians were asked not to be silent, seeing the genocide taking shape. Such appeal clearly indicates that the text is not translated from other languages but written by Lithuanian speakers or at least those familiar with Holocaust-related issues in Lithuania.

To conclude, it can be said that the statement is pro-Palestine, and the illustration of the post–flag of Palestine – confirms this judgement. On the other hand, the style of the text is polite and inviting to think and act according to global human values, not emotions.

POLAND

In Poland, DigitIslam identified and crawled material from the Muslim League, a Muslim online Shia media source, a Polish Muslim-focused NGO, as well as a statement from the Ahmadiyya community (more on this in the transnational aspects section).

The Muslim League (ML), the largest organisation of Sunni Muslims in Poland, published a statement on its official website on 9 November, sharply condemning the actions of the IDF.23 The position was maintained in a pro-Palestinian spirit. ML focused on the principle of collective responsibility used by Israel (contrary to international law), under which retaliation primarily affects the civilian population. It was pointed out that half of Gaza’s population are children “whose future is being deprived of them in many dimensions.”

The organisation considered the actions of the Israeli army, observed for several weeks, to be unprecedented and aimed at the extermination of the entire Palestinian nation – Israel, in addition to military methods (bombings, shellings), also uses other methods – such as cutting off water, electricity and humanitarian aid. ML also reminded about Polish citizens staying in the area covered by IDF operations. These people are also deprived of the possibility of evacuation.

Later in the document, the ML declares that, as an institution representing Muslims in Poland, it has “always opposed all forms of violence” and supports the right to self-determination of the Palestinian nation. The statement ends with words of condemnation of actions against the civilian population, as well as the information that ML prays for the victims, their families and for peace for all humanity, as well as protection from evil. The tone of the document is expressed in an unequivocally pro-Palestinian way; the content focuses primarily on military operations and civilian casualties. Detailed political comments regarding Palestinian organisations, or the Government of Israel are absent.

The Muslim Religious Association in Poland – the oldest Polish Muslim organisation, remain inactive regarding the content of its official webpage. Nonetheless, its Facebook account frequently publishes information on Israeli atrocities and presents videos and photos of civilian victims (mainly children) in Gaza.24

The same organisation also published the photos from a joint concert of two Poznań-based artists – heavy metal vocalist Glaca (Piotr Mohamed – who is half-Sudanese) and rapper Peja (Ryszard Andrzejewski). During the concert, they waved the Palestinian flag and expressed solidarity with Gaza.25

The Shiite website “Al-Islam“, associated with the Association of Muslim Unity, representing Twelver Shia Muslims in Poland, published an extensive article on 18 October 2023.26 The text is a Polish translation of an article published in English by The Muslim Vibe.27 It is also clearly pro-Palestinian in tone, but devoid of detailed comments on current events. Instead, it is an instruction on how a believing Muslim should relate to the events in Gaza. There are calls to pray for the victims, but also to protest and write letters to the authorities or complain about the unfair presentation of the case in the media. Similarly, boycotting Israeli goods is recommended, but at the same time, warnings against anti-Semitism. Another instruction is to avoid following detailed information that may affect the reader’s mental state. In addition, medium- and long-term actions are recommended: persistent faith, fundraising, avoiding eschatological references, as well as building a network of contacts, supporting religious activism and personal development to “become a better human being.” The article is not a statement generated by the Polish Shia community but instead sharing one of many Muslim voices circulating internationally. It avoids any details and focuses mainly on building systemic strategies on how Muslims should position themselves towards the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) SalamLab 28 published an extensive article explaining the background of the escalation of the conflict29, as well as the report on Palestinians in the West Bank who were separated from their relatives in Gaza.30 The general tone of these publications is neutral to pro-Palestinian. SalamLab generally emphasises Arab and Muslim perspectives. Previously, it published an open letter expressing solidarity with journalists working in Palestine.

SPAIN

In Spain, DigitIslam identified and crawled material from the main representative organisation31; another significant representative body32; the largest mosque in Spain and Europe33; a cultural NGO34; two Muslim online media sources35; an international aid organisation36; and the Ahmadiyya community’s online magazine.37

Unión de Comunidades Islámicas de España – UCIDE (Union of Islamic Communities of Spain), Spain’s largest Muslim federation, published a press release on 7 November 2023 stating their solidarity with Gaza. In the statement, they call on the international community to intervene urgently in the conflict to guarantee the safety, well-being, and human rights of Palestinians while criticising Israel for killing tens of thousands of innocent civilians and destroying Gaza’s infrastructure.38 The tardiness of this statement was criticised. For instance, a Muslim influencer with more than 50 million followers on Instagram denounced UCIDE for publishing a response one month after the conflict started.39

Comisión Islámica de España (Islamic Commission of Spain), the main representative body created for the Cooperation Agreement with the Government, published a press release on October 24 informing about a meeting held with the Spanish Government. In the publication, they express their fear of a growing hate speech potentially fostered by international conflicts that could affect coexistence in Spain. At the end of the text, they underline the President of the Government’s gratitude towards the Muslim community for their efforts in ensuring peace and coexistence. They also highlight his concern with regards to the situation in the Middle East. The press release does not include any explicit Pro-Palestinian stance.40

Centro Cultural Islamico de Madrid (Islamic Cultural Center of Madrid) published a statement from the Muslim World League on 17 October 2023. We find the image of the statement in Arabic and a written translation in Spanish below. This statement shows a clear pro-Palestinian position as they urge for an international response and a cessation of crimes against the civilian population in Gaza.41 This institutional statement was also published on their X account in both Arabic and Spanish:42

 

 

The website of NGO IslamOriente published a few articles as well as a statement from the city of Qom (Iran) on 18 October 2023. The statement is one of strong accusation against the “Genocidal” State of Israel who is considered to be carrying out a “terrorist” attack on Gaza. European and American governments are also accused of supporting these actions. Israel is also accused of manipulating the press to distort the truth. The statement ends by calling out to all believers of all religions to unite in prayer for the people of Palestine.43

Despite the number of websites in Spanish from Islamic cultural centres, most of them are either very static or have not been updated in the last few years. More dynamic content appears in social media such as X or Instagram and it is here where some organisations have published material on the situation. For instance, Asociación Estudiantes Musulmanes(Association of Muslim Students) based in Barcelona has been very active in publishing content and organising events supporting Palestine. This information only appears on their Instagram account.44 Something similar happened with other Islamic cultural centers, such as the Centro Cultural Islámico Catalan (Catalan Islamic cultural centre). Their website has not been updated with any statement45, but their Facebook page is full of publications and activities supporting Palestine.46 Moreover, it is also interesting to highlight that while some Muslim organisations have given direct support to Pro-Palestinian demonstrations and events taking place in different Spanish cities, most of these initiatives have been led by Palestinian cultural organisations such as Comunitat Palestina Catalunya (Palestine community of Catalunya).47

Instagram account of Asociación Estudiantes Musulmanes calling for University students to unite in support of the Palestinian cause:

Online Muslim media sources such as MundoIslam or IslamHoy include some news on the conflict. The website MundoIslam classifies these articles under the “Middle East” tag. They posted articles quite early on, since 11 October 2023.48 Despite focusing on news that condemns what is happening in Gaza as well as publishing statements from the “Organisation of Islamic Cooperation”, the portal did not publish a direct statement. IslamHoy only published one very long article quite late on 17 November 2023 written by a philosophy professor. The article is clearly Pro-Palestinian discussing possible theories such as Israel (and other Western countries) having knowledge of the Hamas attack and letting it take place in order to justify a stronger colonisation approach.49

SWEDEN

Responses in Sweden have emerged from five of the leading Islamic Organisations (Förenade Islamiska Föreningar i Sverige50, Islamiska Förbundet i Sverige51, Sveriges Muslimska Förbund52, Islamiska Shiasamfunden i Sverige53, and Islamska Zajednica Bošnjaka u Švedskoj54) and some of their member organisations and mosques.55

Förenade Islamiska Föreningar i Sverige (Union of Islamic Congregations in Sweden) published a statement on 15 October 2023 calling for interfaith solidarity and the respect of international law.56

Islamiska Förbundet i Sverige (Islamic Association in Sweden, which is part of the Union of Islamic Congregations in Sweden) also posted a statement on 17 October 2023, advocating for the stopping of the massacre of civilians in Gaza.57 We find the same statement posted on the Stockholm Mosque page (member of the Islamic Association in Sweden).58

Stockholm mosque was vandalised in November with tags written on its doors. FIFS and other organisations denounced this attack, warning against an increase in racism and Islamophobia.59

Sveriges Muslimska Förbund (Swedish Muslim Union) and Islamiska Shiasamfunden i Sverige (Islamic Shia Communities in Sweden) issued a joint statement on 17 October 2023 urging all parties to stop the violence.60 The Imam Ali mosque in Stockholm and its online Magazine (both associated to the Islamiska Shiasamfunden i Sverige) also posted on this subject.61 Imam Ali mosque issued a press release on 18 October 2023 calling for Israel to stop the massacre of Palestinians whilst the online Magazine published both the Islamiska Shiasamfunden i Sverige and Imam Ali mosque statements.

Islamska Zajednica Bošnjaka u Švedskoj (Islamic Community of Bosniaks in Sweden) also posted reactions on its website. On 20 October 2023 we find the text of a sermon by Husein Kavazović (Grand Mufti of Bosnia and Herzegovina) expressing sympathy with all the victims of violence in Gaza.62 The November 2023 online issue of Bilten (the community’s newsletter) focused on the conflict in Gaza. On the cover, we find a photo of the destruction in Gaza with a citation by the Grand Mufti Kavazović underlining that “every innocent life is sacred.”63

Two members of the Islamic community of Bosniaks in Sweden – Džemat Stockholm (Stockholm congregation) and Bošnjačka islamska zajednica Norrköping (Bosnian Islamic Community of Norrköping) – also posted reactions on their websites. They invited their followers to a rally to support the people of Gaza.64

Contrarily to other contexts, the principal Muslim organisations do not seem more active on social media than on their official websites. The Förenade Islamiska Föreningar i Sverige, Islamiska Förbundet i Sverige, and Islamska Zajednica Bošnjaka u Švedskoj Facebook pages simply reproduced the website press releases. Despite having an active Facebook and Instagram page, Imam Ali Centre also simply posts its website’s press releases. Sveriges Muslimska Förbund and Islamiska Shiasamfunden i Sverige have no social media pages.

There are other types of websites supporting the population in Gaza. The homepage of Västerås mosken (Västerås mosque) has a large banner advocating for Peace in Palestine.65 An online Islamic teaching platform (För islamisk kunskap i Sverige – For Islamic knowledge in Sweden) published a post on 14 October 2023 inviting Swedes to oppose the Israeli attack on Gaza by developing a parallel between the situation in Palestine and an imaginary scenario where Russia was to do the same to Sweden.66 A Muslim store based in Malmö (Tahara) also sells a Palestine flag through its website – assuring all profits will go to Gaza through charities.67

           

Two transnational organisations based in Sweden – Muslim international aid organisation Islamic Relief and the Ahmadiyya community in Sweden – also issued a statement (discussed below).

CASE STUDY: TRANSNATIONAL ASPECTS OF TWO ORGANISATIONS

While archiving material from our five countries, DigitIslam identified two transnational organisations that had issued statements on the crisis from different locations: Islamic Relief and the Ahmadiyya community.68 Both organisations have headquarters in the United Kingdom and branches in various European countries (as well as other countries in the world). What follows are brief case studies of both:

Islamic Relief

Islamic Relief is an international humanitarian organisation founded in Birmingham, UK, by Hany Abdel Gawad El-Banna (1950-), a British-Egyptian physician based in the UK, and some of his students in 1984. It operates today in more than 40 countries.69 In the past, the organisation had been accused of links with the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.70

Islamic Relief is present in the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Spain. They have a separate URL for each location, and the posted content differs. As expected, there have been more articles published in the UK website (42) than in Spain (15) or Sweden (5).71 The publications are in the form of appeals, reports on the situation, personal stories of Islamic Relief workers or people of Gaza on the field, Islamic Relief’s work in Palestine.

DigitIslam observed some similarities and differences in the posts’ content and website structure. The UK domain has Press Release, News and Blog sections where different material is posted.72 On the Spanish website, there is a “Noticias” (News) and “Blogs” section with fewer articles.73 The “Blogs” section is the only one where all articles are authored by the same person (posts in the other countries/sections are all anonymous). The Swedish website only has a “Nyeheter” (News) section.74 The articles on the Swedish website are all translations of UK posts. For the Spanish websites, most articles are Castilian-language versions of the UK posts. The main sections are in perfect Spanish and the website includes information about benefit dinners for Palestine taking place in different Spanish cities.75 However, some articles, such as the press releases are not in perfect Spanish and seem to be literal translations from the English articles. The UK and Spanish websites have also set up letters and petitions to their respective national governments.76

Ahmadiyya Community

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community (AMC) is a religious movement founded in 1889 by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908) in Qadian, Punjab India.77 After the Partition, the community moved to Rabwah, Pakistan in 1947.10 It is a distinct branch of Islam with a unique interpretation of Islamic teachings and beliefs, focused on its consideration that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was the Mahdi (Messiah). This claim has been challenged and refuted by other branches of Islam, which consider Muhammad the final prophet. Due to these beliefs, the community has faced persecution in some parts of the world, especially Pakistan. The Ahmadiyya community was forced to move its headquarters to the United Kingdom in 1984. The current leader of the community is Mirza Masroor Ahmad (1950-).

The AMC is present in all five of our project countries. They also have a separate URL for each location. Nonetheless, the websites are different. Only the British, Polish, Spanish and Swedish pages include posts regarding the Israel-Palestine crisis. In all four sources, very few posts address the situation (6 in the UK, 5 in Poland, 1 in Sweden, and 7 in Spanish).78 All four domains present the same press statement condemning the situation published in all four languages on 10 October 2023.79

UK website:

Polish website:

Swedish website:

Spanish website:

The Spanish site is somewhat autonomous from the English site.80 There are different articles and no literal translations of the English articles. The central position seems to be one of advocating peace between Jews and Muslims. On the UK and Polish pages, we also find two of Mirza Masroor Ahmad’s sermons at the Mubarak Mosque in Tilford (AMC headquarters in the UK) on 13 October 2023 and 27 October 2023, where he discusses the Israel-Palestine crisis.

On the Polish website, the text of the sermon is published in full.81 On the UK page, it is more of a summarised version.82 The second sermon has been summarised in both languages. In this second sermon Hazrat Mirza Mansoor Ahmad, warns against the coming of a Third World War.83  He blames this threat on world leaders who are not trying to resolve the conflict. The statement is pro-Palestinian, drawing attention to the disproportionality of the response and the inexplicable civilian casualties. Moreover, he drew attention to one of the hostages released by Hamas who was supposed to shake hands with her kidnappers. Finally, he expressed the need to continue praying for peace. The comment is strictly political. It is a call addressed to the global audience for justice in the actions of world (including Middle Eastern) leaders and the media, which should present events honestly.

The UK page also advertises an event called ‘Prayers for Peace’, organised for the victims of the Israel-Palestine conflict at the Baitul Futuh mosque (Morden, London, UK) on 7 November 2023.84 Finally, we also find articles on religious reflections concerning this conflict. Ahmadiyya also published a translated article by Asif Mahomood Basit (a famous Ahmadiyya religious leader based in London), who argues that anti-Semitism has no basis in the Qur’an and Hadith.85 On the Spanish page, another article discusses Islamic law and the rules of warfare.86 The AMC has yet to issue a statement, neither on its Lithuanian web page nor the official Facebook page.

CONCLUSION

The ongoing (at the time of writing) sequence of events associated with the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza and its impact on civilian populations has had a substantial impact on internet discourse and representation across Muslim communities in the five countries under investigation for DigitIslam. Some responses have networked across the regional zones, such as those of the Ahmadiyya communities. Social media has been a significant driver in articulating Muslim representative national organisational and platform responses (as in the case of Poland, Spain and the UK). Additionally, web hubs provide the foundation for ‘official’ statements. However, naturally, they do not present the same immediacy and interactivity of social media, such as X (the primary focal point of this discussion). Nonetheless, in some cases, such as in Sweden, the principal Muslim associations have chosen to only post official statements on all their online platforms. Another interesting element concerns the choice in which different organisations decided to post official responses to the conflict which has sometimes resulted in criticism (as in the case of Spain).

A deeper investigation could explore responses on Instagram and Facebook in detail. As presented in TikTok, there is potential to consider Muslim responses in European contexts. There is a correlation between ideas of religious authority and political agency in these zones, especially when they present during a critical moment such as the Gaza crisis in 2023. As events continue to unfold and the humanitarian crises deepen, the types of responses and language may adjust accordingly.

DigitIslam intends to pursue archiving and examining URLs about this sequence of events to develop a more in-depth analysis. Archiving and capturing online content about such a paramount event will not only benefit DigitIslam but may also turn out to be relevant material for future research around this conflict.

ENDNOTES

    1. For more information on archiving approaches, see Anna Grasso and Gary R. Bunt, Approaches and Considerations towards Archiving Digital Islam Across Europe, Digital Islam Across Europe, 2023, https://blogs.ed.ac.uk/digitalislameurope/research-findings/archiving/ back
    2. The team reflected on the potential personal impact of research of this nature, as highlighted in Hannah Ellis, Bellingcat, ‘How to Prevent, Identify and Address Vicarious Trauma — While Conducting Open Source Investigations in the Middle East’, 18 October 2018, https://www.bellingcat.com/resources/how-tos/2018/10/18/prevent-identify-address-vicarious-trauma-conducting-open-source-investigations-middle-east/ back
    3. General country Excel URL spreadsheets had previously been produced as a base for the search. Some URLs not archived for two main reasons: due to the large number of Seeds/Websites, the articles from Muslim UK News websites that did not discuss the impact of the conflict on UK internal affairs were excluded from the crawls. DigitIslam will certainly acquire more UK material when finalising the official crawl – focusing primarily on religious responses as well as transnational organisations present in other countries involved in the project (1); some web pages contained videos (too data-heavy) or PDFs (difficult to crawl) therefore saving was the better option (2). back
    4. On the basis of material that has been collected up until 22 November 2023. back
    5. Muslim Council of Britain, MCB Guidance on Palestine, 10 October 2023, https://mcb.org.uk/resources/mcb-guidance-on-palestine-2023/, accessed 2 November 2023. back
    6. Muslim Council of Britain, X, 25 October 2023, https://twitter.com/MuslimCouncil/status/1717202177880412472, accessed 8 November 2023. back
    7. Tarek Younis, Thread, X, https://twitter.com/Tarek_Younis_/status/1721956279453687966, accessed 8 November 2023. back
    8. Muslim Council of Britain, Insights, Press Releases, Muslim Council of Britain Unites Thousands to Advocate for Peace in Palestine, 25 October 2023, https://mcb.org.uk/mcb-unites-all-for-peace-in-palestine/, accessed 8 November 2023. back
    9. Muslim Council of Britain, X, 30 October 2023, https://twitter.com/MuslimCouncil/status/1719045187614167385, accessed 8 November 2023. back
    10. Zara Mohamed, X, https://twitter.com/ZaraM01, date accessed 2 November 2023. back
    11. Muslim Council of Britain, X, 15 November 2023, https://twitter.com/MuslimCouncil/status/1724908872979083533, accessed 15 November 2023. back
    12. Muslim Council of Scotland, X, https://twitter.com/MuslimScot, accessed 2 November 2023. back
    13. Muslim Council of Scotland, Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/MuslimCouncilScot, accessed 2 November 2023. back
    14. Muslim Council of Scotland, X, 17 November 2023, https://twitter.com/MuslimScot/status/1725437026248393181, accessed 18 November 2023. back
    15. Muslim Council Wales, X, 29 October 2023, https://twitter.com/MuslimWales/status/1718605649066480102, accessed 2 November 2023. back
    16. Muslim Council Wales, X, Statement on behalf of South Wales Islamic Centre, 24 October 2023, https://twitter.com/MuslimWales/status/1716911395294621879, accessed 2 November 2023. back
    17. Muslim Council Wales, X, 4 November 2023, https://twitter.com/MuslimWales/status/1720752635374977080, accessed 5 November 2023. back
    18. Muslim Council Wales, X, 8 November 2023, https://twitter.com/MuslimWales/status/1722225351223632038, accessed 9 November 2023. back
    19. Muslim Council of Wales, https://muslimcouncil.wales/news/, accessed 2 November 2023. Muslim Council of Wales, Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/muslimcouncilwales, accessed 2 November 2023. back
    20. Belfast Islamic Centre’s X feed has not been updated since 2019. Belfast Islamic Centre, X, https://twitter.com/belfast_islam, accessed 2 November 2023. back
    21. Associated work forms part of the Digital British Islam project, https://digitalbritishislam.com, accessed 2 November 2023. back
    22. Islamo Centas, Pareiškimas dėl karo Palestinoje (Statement on the War in Palestine), October 30 2023, https://www.islamocentras.lt/pareiskimas-del-karo-palestinoje, accessed 31 October 2023. back
    23. Liga Muzułmańska w RP, Oświadczenie Ligi Muzułmańskiej w RP w sprawie ataków na ludność cywilną w Strefie Gazy (Muslim League in Poland’s statement regarding attacks on civilian population in Gaza Strip), 9 November 2023, https://www.islam.info.pl/ , accessed 10 November 2023. back
    24. The Muslim Religious Association in Poland, Facebook, November 7 2023, https://www.facebook.com/MZRRP/posts/pfbid0CiDe8LZ8s7Ss77hg1pLYxnoBDDmQ64DLThQZZmPfvsigqq3jC4FeaD2cHYNyyMELl, and 9 November 2023. https://www.facebook.com/MZRRP/posts/pfbid022CiVE2UnCYX9SyGr9FWGuh4FQyRmWApWQJygZVSxY2Un4Yv2e7Kk5CnWsPcsAFwhl, accessed 10 November 2023. back
    25. The Muslim Religious Association in Poland, Facebook, November 12 2023, https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=907865307365449&set=a.214198493398804 and 14 November 2023 and https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=908938160591497&set=a.214198493398804, accessed 15 November 2023. back
    26. Al-Islam, Co możesz zrobić dla Palestyny? Środki krótko-, średnio- i długoterminowe (What can you do for Palestine? Short, medium and long term responses), 18 October 2023, http://strefa-islam.pl/2023/10/co-mozesz-zrobic-dla-palestyny-srodki-krotko-srednio-i-dlugoterminowe/, accessed 10 November 2023. back
    27. The Muslim Vibe, Short, Medium and Long Term Responses to Help Palestine, 14 October, https://themuslimvibe.com/muslim-current-affairs-news/campaigns/short-medium-and-long-term-responses-to-help-palestine, accessed 10 November. back
    28. SalamLab, https://salamlab.pl/pl/, accessed 22 November 2023. SalamLab is not a Muslim religious organisation. back
    29. Salam Lab, Sytuacja w Izraelu i Strefie Gazy: co wiemy do tej pory (The situation in Israel and Gaza: what we know so far), October 9 2023, https://salamlab.pl/pl/sytuacja-w-izraelu-i-strefie-gazy-co-wiemy-do-tej-pory/, accessed 2 November 2023. back
    30. Salam Lab, Czym jest syjonizm, jak powstał Hamas I kto zakłada osiedla na Zachodnim Brzegu? (What is Zionism, how was Hamas founded and who is establishing settlements in the West Bank?), October 10 2023, https://salamlab.pl/pl/czym-jest-syjonizm-jak-powstal-hamas-i-kto-zaklada-osiedla-na-zachodnim-brzegu/, accessed 2 November 2023. This second article was also translated for the English-language version of the website: 10 November 2023, https://salamlab.pl/en/what-is-zionism-what-is-hamas-settlements/, accessed 11 November 2023. back
    31. Unión de Comunidades Islámicas de España, https://ucide.org/, accessed 8 November 2023.back
    32. Comisión Islámica de España, https://comisionislamica.org/, accessed 2 November 2023. back
    33. Centro Cultural Islamico de Madrid, https://centro-islamico.com/, accessed 22 November 2023. back
    34. Islam Oriente, https://islamoriente.com, accessed 22 November 2023. back
    35. Mundo Islam, https://mundoislam.com/, accessed 22 November 2023 and Islam Hoy, https://islamhoy.com/, accessed 22 November 2023. back
    36. Islamic Relief España, https://www.islamic-relief.es/, accessed 22 November 2023. Also discussed in the transnational section below. back
    37. Review of Religions en Español, https://es.reviewofreligions.org/, accessed 22 November 2023. Also discussed in the transnational section below. back
    38. Unión de Comunidades Islámicas de España, Solidaridad con Gaza (Solidarity with Gaza), 7 November 2023, https://ucide.org/solidaridad-con-gaza/, accessed 8 November 2023. back
    39. Instagram story: ”Un mes han tardado desde la comunidad islamica de España en condenar lo sucedido en Gaza, para que luego nos digan que no critiquemos el trabajo que hay detràs de dicha comisión. Disculparme pero hay cosas que si son criticables, una de ellas este tipo de gestiones, luego llega la navidad y no fallan en felicitarlas a tiempo”. (It took a month for the Islamic community of Spain to condemn what happened in Gaza, they then tell us we shouldn’t criticise the work done by this so-called commission. I am sorry but there are criticisable things and one of them is this type of management, after when Christmas arrives, they will definitely do their best to wish it on time”.) back
    40. Comisión Islámica de España, Se reúnen representantes del Gobierno y de la Comisión Islámica de España (Representatives of the Government and the Islamic Commission of Spain meet), 24 October 2023, https://comisionislamica.org/2023/10/24/se-reunen-representantes-del-gobierno-y-de-la-comision-islamica-de-espana/, accessed 2 November 2023. back
    41. Centro Cultural Islamico de Madrid, Declaration sobre el ataque a un hospital en Gaza (Statement on the attack on a hospital in Gaza), 17 October 2023, https://centro-islamico.com/declaracion-sobre-el-ataque-a-un-hospital-en-gaza/, accessed 22 November 2023. back
    42. Centro Cultural Islamico de Madrid, X, 17 October 2023, https://twitter.com/MezquitaM30/status/1714394670229270697/photo/1,accessed 8 November 2023. back
    43. IslamOriente, Mensaje de condena de la Fundación Cultural Oriente a los ataques terroristas de Israel a la Franja de Gaza (Message of condemnation from the Oriente Cultural Foundation to Israel’s terrorist attacks on the Gaza Strip) 18 October 2023, https://articulo.islamoriente.com/article/mensaje-de-condena-de-la-fundacion-cultural-oriente-los-ataques-terroristas-de-israel-la, accessed 22 October 2023. back
    44. Asociación Estudiantes Musulmanes, Instagram, 13 November 2023, https://www.instagram.com/p/CzmDChzKssJ/, accessed 22 November 2023. back
    45. Centro Cultural Islámico Catalan, https://www.ccicbcn.com/, accessed 22 November 2023. back
    46. Centro Cultural Islámico Catalan, Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/ccicbcn, accessed 22 November 2023. back
    47. Comunitat Palestina Catalunya, https://www.palestina.cat/, accessed 22 November 2023. back
    48. MundoIslam, ONU: El asedio total a Gaza viola el derecho internacional (UN: Total siege on Gaza violates international law), 11 October 2023, https://mundoislam.com/actualidad/oriente-medio/2023/10/11/onu-asedio-total-gaza-viola-derecho-internacional/, accessed 22 November 2023. back
    49. IslamHoy, Palestina. La solución de los dos estados, el garrote y la zanahoria (Palestine. The two-state solution, the carrot and the stick), 17 November 2023, https://islamhoy.com/palestina-la-solucion-de-los-dos-estados-el-garrote-y-la-zanahoria/, accessed 22 November 2023. back
    50. Förenade Islamiska Föreningar i Sverige (Union of Islamic Congregations in Sweden), https://fifs.se/, accessed 13 October 2023. back
    51. Islamiska Förbundet i Sverige (Islamic Association in Sweden, which is part of the Union of Islamic Congregations in Sweden), https://www.islamiskaforbundet.se, accessed 13 October 2023. back
    52. Sveriges Muslimska Förbund (Swedish Muslim Union), https://smf-islam.se, accessed 13 October 2023. back
    53. Islamiska Shiasamfunden i Sverige (Islamic Shia Communities in Sweden), https://shiasamfund.se, accessed 13 October 2023. back
    54. Islamska Zajednica Bošnjaka u Švedskoj (Islamic Community of Bosniaks in Sweden), https://izb.se, accessed 13 October 2023. back
    55. The UK DigitIslam team is developing and archiving material from Swedish online sources. back
    56. Förenade Islamiska Föreningar i Sverige, Pressmeddelande: Interreligiös solidaritet i ljuset av händelserna i Palestina (Press release: Interfaith solidarity in light of the events in Palestine), 15 October 2023, https://fifs.se/2023/10/15/151023/, accessed 16 October 2023. back
    57. Islamiska Förbundet i Sverige, ISLAMISKA FÖRBUNDET I SVERIGE: STOPPA MASSAKERN PÅ CIVILA NU! (THE ISLAMIC UNION OF SWEDEN: STOP THE MASSACRE OF CIVILIANS NOW!), 17 October 2023, https://www.islamiskaforbundet.se/islamiska-forbundet-stoppa-massakern-pa-civila-nu/, accessed 18 November 2023. back
    58. Stockholms Moské, ISLAMISKA FÖRBUNDET I SVERIGE: STOPPA MASSAKERN PÅ CIVILA NU! (THE ISLAMIC UNION OF SWEDEN: STOP THE MASSACRE OF CIVILIANS NOW!), 17 October 2023, https://stockholmsmoske.se/islamiskaforbundetisverige-stoppa-massakern-pa-civila-nu/, accessed 17 November 2023. back
    59. Förenade Islamiska Föreningar i Sverige, Pressmeddelande med anledning av hatattack mot Stockholms moské (Press release on the occasion of the hate attack against Stockholm’s mosque), 8 November 2023, https://fifs.se/2023/11/08/pressmeddelande-med-anledning-av-hatattack-mot-stockholms-moske/, accessed 22 November 2023. back
    60. Sveriges Muslimska Förbund & Islamiska Shiasamfunden i Sverige, Pressmeddelande i samband med eskalerade konflikter mellan israeler och palestinier (Press release in connection with escalated conflicts between Israelis and Palestinians), 17 October 2023, http://smf-islam.se/pressmeddelande-i-samband-med-eskalerade-konflikter-mellan-israeler-och-palestinier/, accessed 18 October 2023. back
    61. Imam Ali Center, Fördömande, FN:s observatörer: ”Israel är på väg att genomföra etnisk rensning i Palestina” (Condemnation, UN observers: “Israel is about to carry out ethnic cleansing in Palestine”), 18 October 2023, https://www.imamalicenter.se/sv/uttalande_om_konflikten_mellan_israel_och_palestina_20231018, accessed 17 November 17 2023, Dagens Muslim, Pressmeddelande i samband med eskalerade konflikter mellan israeler och palestinier (Press release in connection with escalated conflicts between Israelis and Palestinians), 14 October 2023, https://www.dagensmuslim.se/pressmeddelande-i-samband-med-eskalerade-konflikter-mellan-israeler-och-palestinier/, accessed 17 November 2023 and Fördömande, FN:s observatörer: ”Israel är på väg att genomföra etnisk rensning i Palestina” (Condemnation, UN observers: “Israel is about to carry out ethnic cleansing in Palestine”), 18 October 2023, https://www.dagensmuslim.se/fordomande-fns-observatorer-israel-ar-pa-vag-att-genomfora-etnisk-rensning-i-palestina/, accessed 17 November 2023. back
    62. Islamska Zajednica Bošnjaka u Švedskoj, Hutba u povodu nasilja u Gazi i poruka reisu-l-uleme Huseina ef. Kavazovića (Sermon on the occasion of the violence in Gaza and the message of reisu-l-ulema Husein ef. Kavazovic), 20 October 2023, https://izb.se/hutba-u-povodu-nasilja-u-gazi-i-poruka-reisu-l-uleme-huseina-ef-kavazovica/, accessed 22 November 2023. back
    63. Islamska Zajednica Bošnjaka u Švedskoj, Bilten IZBUŠ-a (Bulletin of IZBUŞ), 16 November 2023, https://izb.se/bilten-izbus-a-4/, accessed 22 November 2023. back
    64. Džemat Stockholm, Sergija za pomoć narodu Palestine – Gaza (Call for help to the people of Palestine – Gaza), 19 October 2023, https://www.dzematstockholm.se/sergija-za-pomoc-narodu-palestine-gaza/, accessed 20 October 2023 and Bošnjačka islamska zajednica Norrköping, Apel za pomoc Gazi (An appeal for help to Gaza), 26 October 2023, https://biznorrkoping.com/vijesti/clanak/apel-za-pomoc-gazi, accessed 22 November 2023. back
    65. Västerås mosken, https://www.vasterasmosken.se, accessed 22 November 2023. back
    66. För islamisk kunskap i Sverige, PALESTINA – SIDA VID SIDA! (PALESTINE – SIDE BY SIDE!), 14 October 2023, https://islam.nu/blogg/palestina-sida-vid-sida/, accessed 15 October 2023. back
    67. Tahara, Palestinsk Flagga (Palestine Flag), https://www.tahara.se/hem/palestina-flagga, accessed 22 November 2023. back
    68. This contrasts with another big transnational organisation: Minhaj-ul-quran, which has not published any statement on the crisis. See https://www.minhaj.org, accessed 22 November 2023. back
    69. For more on Islamic Relief see: Levi, E. (2010). Islamic Relief. In: Anheier, H.K., Toepler, S. (eds) International Encyclopedia of Civil Society. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-93996-4_407 back
    70. See Anonymous, Response to allegations of links to Muslim Brotherhood, 18 April 2019, https://islamic-relief.org/news/response-to-allegations-of-links-to-muslim-brotherhood/, accessed 26 October 2023.  See also Oliver Holmes, The Guardian, Islamic Relief to contest Israeli ‘terrorism’ allegations in court, 27 July 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jul/27/islamic-relief-to-contest-israeli-terrorism-allegations-in-court, accessed 26 October, 2023. back
    71. Last checked on 15 November 2023. back
    72. Islamic Relief, https://www.islamic-relief.org.uk/, accessed 30 October 30 2023. back
    73. Islamic Relief España, https://www.islamic-relief.es/, accessed 30 October 2023. back
    74. Islamic Relief Sverige, https://islamic-relief.se/nyheter-press/nyheter/, accessed 30 October 2023. back
    75. Islamic Relief España, Islamic Relief os presenta el Tour de Eventos benéficos por Palestina (Islamic Relief presents the Palestine Charity Events Tour), 14 November 2023, https://www.islamic-relief.es/eventos-palestina/, accessed 22 November 2023. back
    76. Islamic Relief, https://www.islamic-relief.org.uk/giving/appeals/palestine/write-to-your-mp/, accessed 30 October 30 2023 and Islamic Relief España, https://www.islamic-relief.es/ceasefirenow/, accessed 30 October 2023. back
    77. For more on the Ahmadiyya community, see: Raja, R. (2020). The Principles of the Flourishing Community: A Case Study of the Persecuted Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. International Journal on Minority and Group Rights27(4), 765-795. back
    78. Last checked on 15 November 2023. In the case of the Spain, posts are not published on the main page (https://www.alislam.es) but on the Spanish-language edition of The Review of Religions (the Ahmadiyya comparative religious magazine) which also aims at Latin American communities, https://es.reviewofreligions.org/, accessed 22 November 2023. back
    79. Love for all hate for none, Statement of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community on Recent Escalations in the Israeli and Palestinian conflict, 10 October 2023, https://loveforallhatredfornone.org/statement-of-the-ahmadiyya-muslim-community-on-recent-escalations-in-the-israeli-and-palestinian-conflict/, accessed 30 October 2023 and Stowarzyszenie Muzułmańskie Ahmadiyya (Ahmadiyya Muslim Association), Oświadczenie Społeczności Muzułmańskiej Ahmadiyya w sprawie niedawnej eskalacji konfliktu izraelsko-palestyńskiego (Statement by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community on the recent escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict), 10 October 2023, https://www.ahmadiyya-islam.org/pl/aktualnosci/oswiadczenie-spolecznosci-muzulmanskiej-ahmadiyya-w-sprawie-niedawnej-eskalacji-konfliktu-izraelsko-palestynskiego/, accessed 30 October 2023 and Islams Ahmadiyya Församling (Ahmadiyya Congregation of Islam), Uttalande från Islams Ahmadiyya församling om de senaste eskaleringarna i den israeliska och palestinska konflikten (Statement by the Ahmadiyya Congregation of Islam on the latest escalations in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict), 13 October 2023, https://www.ahmadiyya-islam.org/se/uncategorized/uttalande-fran-islams-ahmadiyya-forsamling-om-de-senaste-eskaleringarna-i-den-israeliska-och-palestinska-konflikten/, accessed 30 October 2023 and The Review of Religions en Español, Declaración de la Comunidad Musulmana Ahmadía sobre la reciente escalada en el conflicto israelí y palestino (Statement by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community on the recent escalation in the Israeli and Palestinian conflict), 10 October 2023,  https://es.reviewofreligions.org/declaracion-de-la-comunidad-musulmana-ahmadia-sobre-la-reciente-escalada-en-el-conflicto-israeli-y-palestino/, accessed 30 October 2023. back
    80. The Review of Religions en Español, https://es.reviewofreligions.org, accessed 22 November 2023. back
    81. Stowarzyszenie Muzułmańskie Ahmadiyya, Muhammad (saw): wspaniały wzór (12) (Muhammad (peace be upon him): a great example (12)), 13 October 2023, https://www.ahmadiyya-islam.org/pl/kazania-piatkowe/2023/10/13/muhammad-saw-wspanialy-wzor-12/, accessed 30 October 2023. back
    82. Love for all hate for none, Global Muslim Leader Calls for De-Escalation of Palestine-Israel War, 13 October 2023, https://loveforallhatredfornone.org/global-muslim-leader-calls-for-de-escalation-of-palestine-israel-war/, accessed 30 October 2023. back
    83. Hazrat Mirza Mansoor Ahmad, Światowy przywódca muzułmański ostrzega, że zbliża się wojna światowa, ponieważ światowi przywódcy są współwinni niesprawiedliwości wojny izraelsko-palestyńskiej (A world Muslim leader warns that a world war is coming as world leaders are complicit in the injustice of the Israeli-Palestinian war), 30 October 2023, https://www.ahmadiyya-islam.org/pl/aktualnosci/swiatowy-przywodca-muzulmanski-ostrzega-ze-zbliza-sie-wojna-swiatowa-poniewaz-swiatowi-przywodcy-sa-wspolwinni-niesprawiedliwosci-wojny-izraelsko-palestynskiej/, accessed 14 November 2023. back
    84. Love for all hate for none, Prayers for peace, 5 November 2023, https://loveforallhatredfornone.org/prayers-for-peace/, accessed 30 October 2023. back
    85. Asif, M. Basit, Czy islam jest antysemicki? Krótkie studium Koranu i hadisów (Is Islam anti-Semitic? A short study of the Quran and Hadith), (no publication date), https://www.ahmadiyya-islam.org/pl/artykul/czy-islam-jest-antysemicki-krotkie-studium-koranu-i-hadisow/, accessed 14 November 2023. back
    86. The Review of Religions en Español, La ley islámica sobre las reglas de la Guerra (Islamic law on the rules of war), 23 October 2023, https://es.reviewofreligions.org/la-ley-islamica-sobre-las-reglas-de-la-guerra/, accessed 30 October 2023. back