L’islām, i diritti, la rete. Agenda digitale e cyber Ummah

As prompted by the UN sustainable development goals, and further boosted by the pandemic crisis, the progressive digitalization has been presented as an effective means to handle everyday complexities. The unstoppable cyber-oriented paradigm shift is facilitated by an increasingly web-literate society and it impacts on European institutions and religious communities as well. The purpose of this study is to investigate the potential compatibility – and progressive harmonisation – between the standards encapsulated in the European Declaration on Digital Rights and Principles and the sharīʿah-compliant cyber reforms currently implemented in the Muslim world. The European digital agenda thus becomes a litmus test of the variegated responses provided – both by Muslims and religious authorities – to the digitalisation of sacred sources along with Islamic legal opinions, resolutions, and recommendations. In the described scenario, the growing usage of the Arabic language surfaces as a key-component. On the one hand, the semantic and linguistic dimensions potentially challenge the domestic “nationalisation” of islām- s. On the other hand, these very same elements are precursory to the digitalization process by effectively promoting the development of new computational and predictive technologies. Rapidly attuning to the contemporary cybernetic reorientation of the digital public space, the outreach of the European Council for Fatwā and Research further clarifies the aforementioned dynamics. While increasingly interfacing with European institutions and national governments as a cohesive and unified interlocutor, the Islamic scholars are promoting the transnational dimension of the virtual global Muslim community (Ummah). Bringing into focus anthropocentric aspects, the essay dialogically engages with both Western and Islamic positions in relation to robotics and artificial intelligence. The comparison highlights that information and communication technologies, along with AI – such as ‘robotic muftī-s’ and ‘cyber lawyers’ – must support humans while, at the same time, being unable to replace neither Islamic scholars nor Western legal professionals. In this fluid digital framework, new public spheres surface and, within these new domains, ethical standards can potentially converge. A substantial alignment of intentions and attitudes between two universes of experience is thus possible. As a result, a cooperative synergy – which promotes fruitful collaborations between European institutions and Muslim authorities, both at a national and international level – becomes not only plausible but also feasible.

Comments are closed.