Most recent article by: Joseph Croitoru

ISIS using a bulldozer to destroy Sunni sites in Tal Afar. Photo: justpaste.it/atrah

ISIS' cultural vandalism

A trail of destruction

Cultural barbarism prevails in the territories declared a "caliphate" by the radical Islamic group ISIS. The sad irony of this is that its members are even destroying monuments to the companions of Muhammad, whom they themselves supposedly revere. Joseph Croitoru reportsMore

Screenshot with the logo of the Syrian Writers Association

Syria's opposition writers

Fighting oppression and censorship

Syrian writers in exile have founded a new association. Their aim is to continue their country's rich literary tradition and to use the pen to fight for political and cultural change and freedom of speech in Syria. By Joseph CroitoruMore

The golden dome of the Dome of the Rock as seen from the Mount of Olives (photo: dpa/picture-alliance)

Dispute over planned archaeological museum in Jerusalem

Strife at the foot of the Temple Mount

In East Jerusalem, a planned archaeological museum, which has already been approved by the building authorities, is causing controversy. The seven-story building is to be constructed on the outskirts of the Palestinian district of Silwan and only 20 metres away from the south wall of Jerusalem's Old City. By Joseph CroitoruMore

Boualem Sansal (photo: dpa/picture-alliance)

Boualem Sansal's essay on Islamisation

Fighting Islamists with conspiracy theories

Bitter disappointment at the outcome of the Arab Spring oozes from every page of "Allahs Narren. Wie der Islamismus die Welt erobert" (Allah's Fools. How Islamism is Conquering the World) by the Algerian writer and winner of the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade Boualem Sansal. Joseph Croitoru read the polemic workMore

Nahr El-Bared, the first Palestinian refugee camp after 1948 (photo: UNRWA Archive/S. Madver)

UNRWA photo exhibition: "The Long Journey"

The long journey into uncertainty

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) recently opened a photo and video exhibition on the history of Palestinian refugees since 1948 in East Jerusalem. By Joseph CroitoruMore

Islamic calligraphy (photo: picture-alliance/Tone Koene)

Muslim Art

The ''True'' Aesthetic of Islam

Does art have to be consonant with the religious dictates of Islam? In Egypt, orthodox and secular Muslims cannot agree on whether and what extent art should serve a moral purpose. By Joseph CroitoruMore

Supporters of the right-wing Pro-NRW movement in Germany demonstrating in Cologne in June 2012 under a heavy police presence (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

''Islamofascism''

A Brief History of a Controversial Term

In recent years, use of the term "Islamofascism" has spread. Yet as new as this term may seem to some, it has in fact been in use for well over a century. The journal Die Welt des Islams recently dedicated an entire issue to the subject. Joseph Croitoru has the detailsMore

Historic photography of the ruins of Al-Madrasa Al-Afdhaliya in East Jerusalem's former Moroccan (or Mughrabi) Quarter (photo: American Colony/Library of Congress)

Islamic Archaeology in Israel

A Sea-change in Attitudes

A group of Israeli historians and archaeologists is calling for a radical rethink in the way the region's past is viewed. They want a stronger focus on Palestine's Islamic eras, which have in the past been neglected in favour of its Jewish history. By Joseph CroitoruMore

Naftali Bennett, leader of the Israeli religious Zionist Habayit Hayehudi party (photo: EPA)

Israel's Party Landscape

Annexation not Negotiation

Israel's party landscape has undergone reorganization yet again ahead of this week's elections, with a clear shift to the right still in evidence. The predicted success of a militant religious nationalist party openly advocating the annexation of most of the West Bank serves as a clear indication of this trend – which is bad news for the peace process. Analysis by Joseph CroitoruMore

Bassem Youssef (photo: © Bassem Youssef Fan Page)

Portrait of the Egyptian TV Satirist Bassem Youssef

Fighting over the ''Pantie Revolution''

The Egyptian TV satirist Bassem Youssef has cult status in his country thanks to his wit and biting criticism. Nothing is sacred for him, and so his enemies are always trying to drag him before the courts. By Joseph CroitoruMore

The Al-Zaituna Mosque in Tunis (photo: picture-alliance)

Controversy Surrounding the Al-Zaytuna Mosque in Tunis

The Ambivalent Revival of Islamic Traditions

Among the signs of a gradual cultural turnaround in the countries of the Arab Spring is the conflict that has been simmering for several months regarding the revival of the old Islamic school at the Al-Zaytuna Mosque in Tunis. By Joseph CroitoruMore

The German Salafist Pierre Vogel during a public conversion ceremony in Frankfurt (photo: dpa)

Salafist Propaganda in Germany

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Mass Conversions in Public Places

The Salafists are distributing copies of the Quran in Germany and making a big noise on the Internet about converting new followers to their cause. The country is now high up on the list of priorities for the Salafist movement, writes Josef CroitoruMore

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad making a speech in Natanz (photo: AP)

Israeli–Iranian Relations

Demagogues Sounding the Alarm

Since the publication of the latest IAEA report, which indicates more clearly than ever Iran's intention to build nuclear weapons, the sabre-rattling in Tehran and Jerusalem has got louder. Threatening gestures on both sides are nothing new, but the fact that they are also the product of internal turf wars in both camps is often overlooked. Joseph Croitoru sheds some light on the matterMore

Silhuette of Jerusalem (photo: Jan Zappner)

Jerusalem's 'Tolerance Museum'

The Middle East Conflict Fought Out on an Ancient Muslim Cemetery

Arab, Israeli, and Western archaeologists demand the cancelation of plans to build a Tolerance Museum in Jerusalem – a project that has already been hotly debated for years. Joseph Croitoru reportsMore