Mona Abdel-Fadil

Image of Mona Abdel-Fadil
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Phone +47-22850425
Room 429
Visiting address Gaustadalléen 21 Forskningsparken 0349 OSLO
Postal address Postboks 1093 Blindern 0317 OSLO

Research Areas

Christianity & Identity Politics on Facebook; Religion, Conflict and Media; Media, Culture and Society; Media Anthropology; Online Religion; Contemporary Islam and Islamism; Gender relations; Cross-Cultural Counselling Psychology; Anthropology of the Middle East; Egypt – Politics and Society; Migration and Displacement



Mona Abdel-Fadil earned her PhD from the University of Oslo in 2012. While her current research is on a Christian online group in Scandinavia, her previous research focused primarily on contemporary Islam, gender, and the Middle East (See publications). Abdel-Fadil has a background in Social Anthropology, Middle East Area Studies, Religious Studies and Multicultural studies. Her PhD dissertation: Living 'the Message' and Empowering Muslim Selves: A Behind the Screens Study of Online Islam, is an organizational ethnography and draws on a combination of offline fieldwork and online research. The study of Islam Online served as Abdel-Fadil's introduction to the field of Media and Religion. She has been the coordinator the Nordic Network for Media and Religion, since 2011. She is also affiliated to C-REX and CIMS.  

Abdel-Fadil's university teaching experience includes designing and teaching two BA Anthropology of the Middle East Courses on 'Gender and Family' and 'Culture and Society', for the University of Oslo (2003 and 2012), and teaching part of the MA course Media, Religion and Conflict at the Department of Media and Communication at the University of Oslo (2015 and 2016). Mona Abdel-Fadil has published several articles on gender relations, contemporary Islam and media and religion in both English and Norwegian. 

For a full CV and information about other work experience, visit her personal webpage:


Postdoctoral Project

Mona Abdel-Fadil's current ethnographic research explores the multiple ways in which social media users may contribute to amplifying or reducing mediatized conflict about religion.  The Norwegian Cross-Case is part of CoMRel's subproject: Contested visibility in public service media and develops out of the “Cross-Case” of November 2013 when a Norwegian NRK news anchor was prohibited from wearing the cross while presenting the news. Abdel-Fadil's subproject seeks to examine the multiple ways in which users of social media play into the constructions of public religious discourse in connection with mediatized conflicts about religion. The goal is to contribute to a more nuanced understanding of the interplay between media and religion, through an in-depth study of audience interactions and the internal dynamics of a particular online milieu. Drawing on rich empirical material from the Norwegian Facebook page: Yes to wearing the cross whenever and wherever I choose, this subproject aims to provide new insights on the multiple ways in which media audiences discuss and shape debates on media and religion.


Current Research Activities

Mona Abdel-Fadil was the lead organiser of The Researching Religious Controversies Conference held in 2016. The latter is part of a public outreach project entitled New Public Outreach Strategies for Research on Religious Controversies, designed and headed by Mona Abdel-Fadil and funded by The Research Council of Norway. 

In 2016 Mona Abdel-Fadil was the guest editor of Cyber Orient’s special issue on Constructing and Consuming Gender through Media and she will be putting together a special issue of the Journal of Religion Digital Media and Culture on Religious Controversies due to be published in 2018. 

presentation of previous work experience and education

Religion: Going Public Blog

The Religion:Going Public Blog was launched in the beginning of 2016 by a team of colleagues across SAMKUL projects. Mona Abdel-Fadil is Editor in Chief of the Religion: Going Public Blog together with Helge Årsheim.


Public Outreach

Disseminating research to the general public, is something Mona Abdel-Fadil is passionate about. Mona Abdel- Fadil initiated and manages CoMRels Public Outreach project  "New Public Outreach Strategies for Research on Religious Controversies" funded by The Research Council of Norway. The collaborative blog Religion: Going Public is part of this initiative. The New Public Outreach Strategies for Research on Religious Controversies is designed with the aim of reaching a broader public in new ways. Hence, the Religion: Going Public blog draws on a unique collaboration with the illustrator Øyvind Westgård. The upcoming event Laugh or Die on the 4th of May 2017 will deal with the topic humour and fear and will feature both an academic panel and a selection of artists who perform comedy on the topic itself. This event is organised in collaboration with Bente Kalsnes and Steffen Krüger.  

Tags: Media, Religion, Social anthropology, Islam, Gender Studies, Middle East and North Africa (MENA)


Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Articles



  • 2016. How Islamic is Islam Online Counselling? in Mellor, N. &  Rinnawi, K. (eds)Political Islam: Global Media and the Boundaries of Religious Identity,  Routledge.




  • 2015. The Framing of the Islam Online Crisis in Jayusi, L. and Roald, A.S. (eds.), Media and Political Contestation in the Contemporary Arab World: A Decade of Change, Palgrave Macmillan.



  • 2013.  Islam Online Guides Spouses towards Marital Bliss: Arabic Vs. English Counselling Perspectives on Marital Communication in Muslims and the New Information and Communication Technologies: Notes from an Emerging and Infinite Field (eds. Hoffmann, T. & Larsson, G.) Springer.





  • 2011.  Islam Onlines ekteskapsveiledning (Islam Online's Marital Counselling) in Babylon: Nordic Journal of Middle East Studies, 1. 


Blog Posts


2016.  Jew! - Derailed Dispute about Karpe Diem’s Rap Lyrics? Religion: Going Public.

2016.  Hug a Muslim!, Religion: Going Public.

2016.  Hating Muslims Online, Religion: Going Public.

2015.  Islamists' Online Messages (Islamisters budskap på nett),

2014.  'Egyptians are beyond depression', The New Middle East Blog

2013.  The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Egypt’s Propaganda War The New Middle East Blog.

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Published July 5, 2016 12:45 PM - Last modified Jan. 3, 2017 11:39 AM