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Neojihadism and Muslim–Christian relations in the Mindanao Resistance Movement: a study of Facebook digital narratives
journal contributionposted on 03.07.2014, 00:00 authored by Matteo VerganiMatteo Vergani
Religion is surely not the most important factor in explaining the conflict in the Southern Philippines. Economic, political and criminal issues also contribute to explaining the violence in the country. Yet the religious narrative influences the narration of the conflict, impacting on its frame of understanding both within the country and from the perspective of global audiences. This study presents the results of field research on three Facebook pages in English (and therefore addressed to global audiences) related to resistance movements in Southern Philippines, notably BIFF and MNLF, which openly include neojihadist symbols and contents in their narratives. How do these narratives depict and affect Christian–Muslim relations within the local movement and the local society in Mindanao? And how does the local version of the global neojihadist narrative contribute to shaping Christian–Muslim relations in the global Muslim public sphere? This article shows the potential impact of the neojihadist ideology on the narration of the resistance movement, highlighting the consequences for the negotiation of Christian and Muslim identities.