Internet technologies have revolutionized the human communication. Technological innovations are enhancing the scope of research dealing with the effects of the internet on society. Traditional Muslim societies in general and Pakistan, in particular, is experiencing this change in a different realm. Social media is giving voices to the marginalized segments of societies and challenging the existing power structures. Moderate voices have a new platform for critical discussion of religion. Traditional and extremist forces are using social media to reach out a larger audience. The meaning of blasphemy backed up by state and social conformity has lost its absolute power in social media. There is a huge body of literature available on the portrayal of Islam in media and about the usage of internet by the Muslim extremist. Social media nonetheless and its effects on an internal conflict within Islam is still not a priority research area. This study plans to investigate the conflict of moderate and extremist Islamic forces in social media. Pakistan being an Islamic republic with a strong blasphemy law can serve as a perfect example. The so-called war on terror and its effect on Pakistan and rise of militant Islam make Pakistan an appropriate case study. The Internet is changing the religious debates and the rules of assignation. New technologies equipped with emerging diversified content genres are redefining the Muslim public sphere in Pakistan. Famous social media platforms in Pakistan will be used to complete this study. A micro-level investigation will be conducted by using content analysis to gather and analyze the available content. A discourse analysis will be applied on the user’s comment for a comprehensive scrutiny. In order to understand the motives and effects of such discussions, in-depth interviews will be conducted by pointing out the key players and experts. The notion of public sphere will serve as a theoretical framework. Public sphere of Islam will be the specialized theoretical area that will guide this study. This study will fulfill the existing gap in the literature regarding the effect of the internet and intra-Islam debates, and enhance the scope of future research in this emerging area.
University of Erfurt, Faculty of Philosophy (Humanities), Room: LG 4 / E 38, Nordhäuser Straße 63, 99089 Erfurt, Germany