Divine impoliteness: How Arabs negotiate Islamic moral order on Twitter

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Abstract


In this paper, I examine impoliteness-oriented discourse on Arabic Twitter as a resource for the negotiation of Islamic moral order. I do so by highlighting the responses Arabs post in reaction to a tweet which attacks Islamic cultural face. As the triggering act poses an indirect request to change an authoritative Islamic practice deemed immoral by the instigator of the tweet, sundry responses were generated to repair the damaged collective face through keeping intact or arguing against the questionable moral order. The main strategy I identify as a response to the professed face-attack is divine (im)politeness, intertextually referencing religious texts in favor of (or against) the existing (im)moral order. The rites of moral aggression also draw upon questions, provocation, personal attacks and projection of Islamic behavior onto unaddressed third parties (e.g., Christians and Hindus). The findings capture one moment of a historic shift in Islamic moral order and the role that impoliteness plays in digital Arabic contexts.

About the authors

Najma Al Zidjaly

Sultan Qaboos University

Email: najmaz@gmail.com
P. O. Box. 42, Seeb, Oman
доцент кафедры английского языка и литературы Колледжа гуманитарных и социальных наук (Университет имени Султана Кабуса, Оман), член редколлегии журнала Journal of Multimodal Communication

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