Dossier: France

Gilles Kepel (photo: Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images)

Interview with the French Islam expert Gilles Kepel

Passion and suffering

For three decades now, the renowned French sociologist and political scientist Gilles Kepel has been monitoring the development of Muslim societies. He sees a close connection between the developments in the French suburbs and the events in the Arab world. Beat Stauffer spoke to him in ParisMore

Two Muslim students in headscarves in the audience at a public event at a university. Photo: dpa

France's burka ban

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Excluding the wrong people

We shouldn't be arguing about burkas: we should be abolishing the headscarf bans. They ostracise women who could be building bridges, comments Ursula RüssmannMore

Fully-veiled woman in a Paris station. Photo: Getty Images

Human rights court upholds burka ban in France

An unfortunate ruling

Does the burka ban supported by the European Court of Human Rights help oppressed women? No, says Heribert Prantl: it's more likely to breed resentmentMore

Hélène Cixous (photo: AFP)

Interview with the philosopher Hélène Cixous

"I don't regret attending the school that is Algeria"

The renowned philosopher and leading French feminist theoretician Hélène Cixous talks about her latest literary work, her lifelong friendship with the "father of deconstruction", Jacques Derrida, and her difficult relationship with Algeria. She is interviewed by Claudia KramatschekMore

Abu Ibraheem in a video message threatening to kill people who allegedly denigrate prophet Muhammed (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

Guido Steinberg on German Islamist Terrorism

Trend towards "Individual Jihad"

Guido Steinberg is Germany's foremost specialist on Islamist terrorism in Europe. In this interview with Paul Hockenos, he talks about the specifics of German Islamist terrorism and al-Qaeda's change of strategyMore

Yasmine Hamdan (photo: Nadim Asfar)

Interview with Yasmine Hamdan

"I Am a Nomad"

Yasmine Hamdan is a rising star on the alternative electro-pop scene in Lebanon. In her solo debut album "Ya Nass", she has given classical Arabic music a modern twist. An interview by Juliane MetzkerMore

Muslim men praying in Berlin's Sehitlik Mosque (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

Debate on European Islam

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A Mined Terrain

The concept of European Islam has proved to be a constant source of controversy. For some it embodies the deliverance of Islam from everything that is perceived as backward looking and pre-modern. Others fear that a European Islam is a watered-down religion, a kind of government-controlled "state Islam", prepared to fully accommodate to the wishes of the authorities. By Claudia MendeMore

Rassistische Wandschmierereien auf der Fassade der Großen Moschee von Saint Etienne bei Lyon; Foto: picture-alliance/abaca

Islamophobia and Racism in France

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Shocking Indifference

Attacks on Muslim establishments are on the increase in France. Most recently, the Grand Mosquée in Paris was daubed with racist slogans. Islamophobia and xenophobia are also featuring more prominently in the public discourse. Bernhard Schmid reportsMore

Participants of the World Muslimah 2013 beauty pageant pose for photographs during a training session in Subang, West Java, Indonesia, 12 September 2013 (photo: dpa)

Muslims in Liberal Democracies

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Why the West Fears Islam

Harvard professor and Islam expert Jocelyne Cesari looks into the mechanisms of the West's fear of Islam, and ponders on how the dominant narrative that tends to present Islam as an alien religion can be counteredMore

The Algerian Novelist Yasmina Khadra (photo: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

Interview with the Algerian Novelist Yasmina Khadra

"There Is a Life after Defeat"

Now based in France, the Algerian writer Yasmina Khadra is one of his country's most successful authors. The film The Attack, based on Yasmina Khadra's book of the same name, was honoured as Best International Literary Adaptation at this year's Frankfurt Book Fair. Regina Keil-Sagawe joined the novelist for an espressoMore

A Muslim family in Switzerland, the woman wearing a niqab, a full face veil (photo: imago/Geisser)

Essay by Sara Silvestri

Britain Does Not Need a French-style Burqa Ban

In her essay, Sara Silvestri argues that an overarching ban for burqas and niqabs in Britain would be more dangerous than beneficial for public interest and for the cohesion of society. The debate about the issue, however, is necessary and beneficialMore

A woman votes during the second round of presidential elections in Bamako on 11 August 2013 (photo: Reuters)

Interview with Mali Expert Marie Rodet

''The Whole Region Is Potentially Explosive''

According to West Africa expert Marie Rodet, although the conflict in Mali has not yet been fully resolved, the situation there has improved, and there are other countries in the region that are a greater cause for concern. Jonas Berninger spoke to her about the reasons for the French intervention and Mali's futureMore

Demonstration in Bamako against a military intervention in northern Mali (photo: dapd)

Interview with Bakary Sambe

''In the Arab World, We Africans are Viewed as Inferior Muslims''

The French military intervention in Mali has triggered controversial reactions among Muslim intellectuals in West Africa. While there is almost universal rejection of jihadism, opinion about France's political motives is divided. Charlotte Wiedemann spoke to the Senegalese political scientist Bakary SambeMore

A French fighter jet of the type 'Mirage' in Bamako, Mali (photo: Reuters)

Consequences of the Military Intervention in Mali

A Tinderbox Situation

Algeria and Morocco granted France permission to use their airspace in its campaign against militant Islamists in Mali. But Arab experts fear that the Mali intervention could push many young Muslims into the arms of the Jihadists. By Siham OuchtouMore

Nilüfer Göle (photo: AP)

Interview with Nilüfer Göle

From Secular Enlightenment to Secular Fanaticism

In the wake of the protests against the anti-Mohammed video, the West should be aware that the principle of freedom of opinion can be abused in order to attack Islam, says the Turkish sociologist Nilüfer Göle. It is now more urgent than ever before that society takes greater responsibility in addressing religious values, she stresses. Alessandro Lanni spoke with the sociologistMore

Roof over the Visconti Courtyard at the Louvre Museum in Paris, France (photo: courtesy Louvre)

Louvre Unveils Islamic Art Wing

Where Cultures Intertwine

The Louvre has just opened a new wing devoted to Islamic art and thereby once again highlighted its status as a museum of world art. The successful project has gone ahead under the auspices of three French presidents and rises above fanaticism. By Joseph HanimannMore

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