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British Muslims caught amidst FOGs - A discourse analysis of religious advice and authority

Maravia, Usman, Ali, Mansur, Bekzhanova, Zhazira and Alibri, Rakan 2021. British Muslims caught amidst FOGs - A discourse analysis of religious advice and authority. Religions 12 (2) , 140. 10.3390/rel12020140

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Abstract

This paper discusses the symbolic capital found within Islamic documents that were circulated in the UK during the COVID-19 outbreak. Specifically, the work explores “fatwas” and “other” similar documents as well as “guidance” documents (referred to as FOGs) that were circulated in March–April 2020 on the internet and social media platforms for British Muslim consumption. We confine our materials to FOGs produced only in English. Our study takes its cue from the notion that the existence of a variety of documents created a sense of foggy ambiguity for British Muslims in matters of religious practise. From a linguistic angle, the study seeks to identify a) the underlying reasons for titling the documents; and b) constructions of discourses in the documents. Our cor-pus-assisted critical discourse analysis (CA-CDA) found noticeable patterns that hold symbolic capital in the fatwa register. We also found producers of “other” documents to imitate the fatwa register in an attempt to strengthen symbolic capital. Accordingly, fatwas act as the most au-thoritative documents in religious matters and are written by senior religious representatives of the Muslim community, whereas guidance documents were found to be most authoritative in health matters. The findings raise questions regarding the manner in which religious instruction could be disseminated in emergency situations. Based on this study, a call for standardisation and unification of the diverse and sometimes contradicting religious publications may be worth considering

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Publisher: MDPI
ISSN: 2077-1444
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 23 February 2021
Date of Acceptance: 18 February 2021
Last Modified: 23 Feb 2021 15:45
URI: http://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/138689

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