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Cyber-Religion: The Spread of Extremism and of Peace Through the Internet and Social Media

The Internet and social media play a central role in spreading religious and non-religious extremism globally.

Die erste Veranstalltung von Hizzbullahcyber im Iran. Die islamische Regierung will gegen Onlineaktivisten und sozialen netzwerken härter vorgehen. Lizenz und Quelle: http://www.hizbullahcyber.com/

But both tools can be used to ease tensions and convey peace between different religions, ethnic and national groups. Experts will explain how some religious leaders, such as Muslim extremists, manipulate their followers through the Internet and how they use the current technology of new media to radicalize their audience.

The example of a former Christian pastor who had announced his plan to burn a copy of the Quran in May 2011 and the global media attention following this event will be evaluated and contrasted with a discussion of how in the same period, Christians and Muslims worldwide more effectively calmed tensions between religious, ethnic and national groups.

There will also be an illustration of the more local example of Nigeria by someone familiar with most religious leaders on both sides of the spectrum. Positive examples of mutual understanding and trust between formerly conflicting parties will give insight into strategies of how the Internet and social media can be used to create peace and understanding.