Keywords: Islam; Shari'a; Internet; Legal Practice; Life Conduct.
This commentary places the investigation of shari'a practice mediated by websites in the context of an ongoing tension: between the integration of Muslims in Western social contexts and the global dispersion of their loyalties. The piece argues that the process of reconstruction of a global umma through the regulation of Muslim life conduct cannot be framed as a mere response to contemporary developments. It should be related to the historic spread of Islam as a set of normative ideals innervating a transcivilizational ecumene. It concludes by suggesting that the degree of formalization vs. informalization of shari'a law should be determined by viewing shari'a practice as polyglossic and "rhizomatic": even more when it provides maps empowering to cross uncharted socio-cultural territories, like Western societies of immigration.