Most recent article by: Jan Kuhlmann

Fethullah Gülen (phto: picture-alliance/AP)

Two New Books on the Gülen Movement

Happy Altruists Everywhere

The American sociologist of religion Helen Rose Ebaugh and the German journalist Jochen Thies wanted to take a closer look at the Gülen movement and the educational activities of its adherents. Both books, however, lack the necessary critical distance says Jan KuhlmannMore

Members of the Egyptian security forces arrest supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood outside the al-Fath mosque in Cairo on 17 August 2013 (picture alliance/Zumapress)

Power Struggle in Egypt

The Mubarak System in a New Guise

It is not a religious conflict that is currently being waged in Egypt; nor is it a struggle representing the supposed clash of civilizations. What is going on in Egypt is nothing more than a battle for political power. A commentary by Jan KuhlmannMore

Military units block a road in Egypt's capital city (photo: dpa)

Egypt in Turmoil

Derailing Democracy

The Muslim Brothers may profess to support democracy in principle – but they have failed to breathe life into this avowal in practice. However, it would be too easy to hold the Brotherhood solely responsible for the failure of Egypt's first attempt at democracy. An analysis by Jan KuhlmannMore

Syrian refugees at the Domiz refugee camp (photo: Jan Kuhlmann)

The Domiz Refugee Camp in North Iraq

The Agony of the Syrian Refugees

Syrian refugees are flocking in ever-greater numbers to the neighbouring countries, fleeing from the violence at home. In the Domiz refugee camp in northern Iraqi, 700 new people arrive every day. But the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR and the Kurdish autonomy government are unable to provide for them. A report by Jan KuhlmannMore

Eugene Rogan in his office (photo: private copyright)

Eugene Rogan on Arab History and the Arab Spring

''The Subordination of the Arab World May Be Ending''

Eugene Rogan's "The Arabs" has been hailed as a standard work on the history of the Arab people. In this interview with Jan Kuhlmann, the Oxford historian talks about foreign domination of the Arab world, the Arab spring, and his optimism for the Arab worldMore

Mohammad Mojtahed Shabestari (photo: © Humboldt University Berlin)

Interview with Mohammad Mojtahed Shabestari

Why Islam and Democracy Go Well Together

The Shiite scholar Mohammad Mojtahed Shabestari is regarded as one of the Iran's most influential Muslim reformist thinkers. In an interview with Jan Kuhlmann, he explains why there is no inconsistency between Islam and democracy.More

Young Muslim woman wearing a headscarf and a 'hoodie' (photo: dpa)

Sexual Self-determination in Traditional Muslim Families

In the Firm Grip of Honour

For many conservative Muslim families adhering to traditional norms and values, marriage plays an important role. This can lead to conflicts, especially when individual freedom confronts community beliefs. In the case of sexual self-determination for Muslim men and women, this confrontation can be quite extreme. Jan Kuhlmann reportsMore

President Bashar al-Assad delivering a speech in Damascus on 10 January 2012 (photo: Syrian State Television via APTN/AP/dapd)

Conspiracy Fears in Syria

The Power of the Big Story

One of the most effective weapons in President Assad's arsenal is what Jan Kuhlmann refers to as "the big story", the conspiracy theory peddled by the regime that foreign powers are behind the uprising in Syria. In this essay, Kuhlmann takes a closer look at this and other "big stories" circulating in the Arab world and examines their roots and their consequencesMore

Woman in front of the Sehitlik Mosque in Berlin, Germany (photo: dpa)

Postal Threats Sent to Mosques in Germany

Solidarity in the Face of Rightwing Extremism and Racism

Germany's religious communities are standing shoulder to shoulder following the sending of obscure, threatening letters to mosques and the Jewish Community of Berlin. Background information by Jan KuhlmannMore

Protests in Tahrir Square on the first anniversary of the revolution (photo: Reuters)

The Arab Spring and Political Change

Are Arabs Capable of Democracy?

The Arab states currently undergoing democratic change will most certainly encounter setbacks. Democracy is not something that can be practiced beforehand, such as under the protective care of a monarchy. Jan Kuhlmann argues why we should give the people in the Arab world the benefit of the doubtMore