This paper constitutes the second stage of a research project aims to gauge potential influences of media messages along with public speeches of the political and religious figures that focus on Islamic identity characterization and the obligatory of addressing religious issues in a “new” discourse that considers the altered circumstances of the society. The first stage of the research employed critical discourse analysis to investigate the multiple narratives produced by secularists, politicians, journalists, and religious sources in association with the arguments formulated by heads of the state and Al-Azhar to convey their visions regarding the issue.
This paper aims to explore the other side of the picture by measuring the extent to which Egyptians perceptions about Islamic identity characteristics and the mandatory of reforming the religious discourse have been influenced. To achieve this goal a field study will be applied with a survey as a method and questionnaire as an instrument to collect data from 400 Egyptians located in governorates represent main geographical districts of Egypt. The survey sheet will include questions that supposed to provide explanations to the main inquiry of the study. The following targets are what this stage of the research seeks:
First – Finding out how Egyptians perceive the meaning of “Religious Discourse Renewal”.
Second – Figuring out the characteristics attributed to the Islamic identity.
Third – Identifying and ordering the most convincing sources of the issue and why. (Whether they are politicians, thinkers, religious scholars, or journalists)
Forth – Suggesting their own views to solve the current problem.
Providing profound and comprehensive data is a fundamental key to fulfil the previous targets. So that the questionnaire will be designed to include a variety of testing scales of inquiry to keep the information accurate, organized, and inclusive. The analysis is expected to evaluate the media and public speeches potential effectiveness in transforming or maintaining the characteristic of Islamic identity and in delivering a specific interpretation of reforming the religious discourse.
This project in its first and second stage constitutes complementarity contribution to investigate the vulnerability of Identity in its religious version to be transformed across time. Also, to explore the extent to which it may show resistance and survival. Further questions may be generated to interrogate media claimed power against public culture power.