American Islamic Congress

Online Muslim Forums Foster Tolerance and Fuel Vitriol

Keyboard with an image of a mosque. Photo courtesy Lasse Kristensen/

Amid calls to get more Muslims using the Internet, experts who have studied Muslims online caution that the virtual Islamic community can be a “double-edged sword.”

While the proliferation of Muslim websites provides a platform for a multitude of voices, Sahar Khamis, communication professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, said there is a shortage in the amount of rational, critical deliberation, and debate taking place online.

The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life recently released a report suggesting that Muslims who use the Internet tend to have a more favorable view of Western movies, music, and television than their offline counterparts.