Central Asia Program Series CERIA Briefs Publications

Asyl Arna’s Social Media, Visual Culture, and Islam in Kazakhstan

CERIA Brief No. 9, October 2015

By Wendell Schwab

Asyl Arna, founded in 2007 by Mukhammedzhan Tazabek, is the most popular Islamic television channel in Kazakhstan and the dominant Islamic media company in Kazakhstan. Kontakte (hereafter, vK), with over 155,000 followers, on Facebook, with over 18,000 likes, and on a Twitter feed, with over 9,000 followers. These numbers have grown considerably in the last year. In early 2014, Asyl Arna had approximately 30,000 followers on vK. Its influence in social media far exceeds that of the Kazakhstani Muftiyat (~12,000 followers on vK) and individual mosques, such as the Khazret Sultan mosque in Astana (~12,000 followers on vK).

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