Hashtagging Islam: #JeSuisHijabi, social media, and religious/secular identities in the lives of Muslims in Winnipeg and St. John's, Canada

Funk, Cory (2017) Hashtagging Islam: #JeSuisHijabi, social media, and religious/secular identities in the lives of Muslims in Winnipeg and St. John's, Canada. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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In the fall of 2015, after a Canadian federal election rife with negative rhetoric toward Muslims and a concurrent rise in anti-Muslim incidents that occurred alongside November terrorist attacks in Paris, the Canadian Ahmadiyya Muslim community launched a Twitter hashtag campaign called #JeSuisHijabi. With it, the organization stated that it aimed to challenge misconceptions of Islam and Islamic garb that led to anti-Muslim attacks across Canada. An offline campaign accompanied the hashtag; information booths sought to teach non-Muslims about Islam and the hijab, while encouraging them to try on the garment. With analysis of tweets generated with the hashtag #JeSuisHijabi and consideration of qualitative interviews conducted with Muslims in Winnipeg, MB and St. John’s, NL on their use (or not) of hashtags and the Internet in general, I show that the way in which some Canadian Muslims use hashtags to communicate identity complicates the so-called separation between religious and secular spheres. This thesis argues that “religious” hashtags can complicate common notions of a religious/secular binary at work in contemporary Canada, and can serve as a means to understand everyday religiosity in the public sphere.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/12900
Item ID: 12900
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 138-146).
Keywords: Activism, Canada, Digital Humanities, Everyday Religion, Hashtag, Identity, Islam, Multiculturalism, Public Sphere, Secularism, Social Media, Twitter
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Religious Studies
Date: July 2017
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Social media; Muslims -- Newfoundland and Labrador -- St. John's; Muslims -- Manitoba -- Winnipeg; Identification (Religion)

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