Dossier: United Kingdom

Oldknow Academy in Birmingham, England, one of the Birmingham Schools at the centre of the "Trojan Horse" inquiry (photo: Getty Images)

The Trojan Horse scandal in the UK

Claims and counterclaims

Claims that Islamists were trying to Islamise secular state schools in Birmingham rocked the British education system to the core earlier this year. Extremist views in the classroom are a sensitive topic at a time when Britain is concerned about its citizens' reported involvement in jihadist activities in Syria and Iraq. Was there really an Islamist conspiracy? Was the whole thing blown out of proportion? And if so, what will be the consequences? Opinions differ. By Qurratulain ZamanMore

Cigdem Aslan (photo: Handan Erek)

Portrait: the singer Cigdem Aslan

Songs of the outcasts

Rebetiko is a musical genre that describes the emotionally charged songs of Greeks who were expelled from Turkey in the wake of the population exchange of 1923. Cigdem Aslan, a young Kurd from London, lends her powerful voice to the stories behind these songs. By Marian BrehmerMore

Nansen Primary School in Birmingham, England (photo: Getty Images)

The Trojan Horse scandal in the UK

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Islamists in the classroom?

Are some British Islamists involved in a conspiracy to infiltrate, control and Islamise secular state schools with a high proportion of Muslim pupils, thereby discouraging integration and possibly encouraging extremism? This is the nub of the Trojan Horse scandal that has rocked Britain in recent weeks. Prime Minister David Cameron has responded by calling for "British values" to be promoted at schools. By Susannah TarbushMore

Jubilant mujahideen on a captured Russian armoured personnel carrier during the war between Afghanistan and the USSR (photo: Getty Images)

Book review: Fadia Faqir's "Willow Trees Don't Weep"

Abandoned for the sake of jihad

Since the 9/11 attacks in the USA, many novels have been written about aspects of Islamist radicalism and the "war on terror". The Jordanian–British writer Fadia Faqir brings fresh perspectives to the subject in her fourth novel "Willow Trees Don't Weep". Susannah Tarbush read the bookMore

Ertugrul, president of a Muslim homosexual association in Turkey, stands near the Istiklal Avenue as he poses for a photograph in Istanbul on 28 July 2013 (photo: OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)

LGBT asylum seekers

A silent revolution

While it is a well-known fact that LGBT people face discrimination and violence in Muslim and Arab countries, it is not quite as well known that LGBT people seeking asylum in the West also face considerable difficulties and in some cases gross insensitivity. Some of those who have been granted asylum are now using the Internet to try and foster tolerance in their native countries. By Joseph MaytonMore

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (right) speaking to Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal inside 10 Downing Street, London, England on 22 March 2011 (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

Review of the Muslim Brotherhood in the UK

Has Cameron buckled to pressure from Middle East allies?

During his announcement last week that he had ordered a review of the Muslim Brotherhood in the UK, British Prime Minister David Cameron made several references to violent extremism. Over the past two decades, Britain has introduced a whole raft of anti-terror laws that can be used in cases of violent extremism, so why is it necessary at this point in time to conduct a review into the Muslim Brotherhood? By Susannah TarbushMore

A woman wearing a headscarf standing in front of a camera (photo: DW)

Journalism from the Middle East

Tall Tales from the Desert

A blogging Syrian lesbian, Libyan soldiers in a Viagra-fuelled frenzy, Tunisian women on a sexual Jihad: The blend of sex, Islam and war is failsafe bait for western media, which often fall for propaganda from the Middle East. Not all of the stories are hoaxes, but many of them are. By Sonja Zekri in CairoMore

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

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

Cupola of the East London Mosque (photo: Joanna Impey)

Muslims in Britain

Seeking to Combat Extremism

The brutal killing of Lee Rigby in London in May by two Muslim converts was widely condemned by Muslim religious leaders, but still led to a rise in threats made against Muslims and mosques. Many Muslims in Britain, however, work to try and counter extremism. Joanna Impey 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

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 man in Basra holds his child, who is suffering from leukaemia (photo: DW/K. Zurutuza)

Depleted Uranium Munitions in Iraq

Deadly Dust Falls in Silence

There is no question that American and British troops in Iraq used depleted uranium (DU) in their munitions. While the United States continues to deny any responsibility for the consequences of uranium contamination, including severe deformities among newly born children, the international community has turned a blind eye to the problem. The city of Basra, as Birgit Svensson discovers, has borne the brunt of it allMore

Kristiane Backer on German TV show 'Menschen bei Maischberger' (photo: imago stock&people)

The Islamic Month of Ramadan

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A Test of Willpower

In her reflective article, Kristiane Backer describes Ramadan as not only a period of renunciation and self-discipline, but also as a process of physical and spiritual cleansing. The Islamic fasting month of gives her a sense of closer proximity to God, writes the former MTV and NBC presenter, who converted to IslamMore

Fazlun Khalid (courtesy: Fazlun Khalid)

Eco-Islam Pioneer Fazlun Khalid

''Allah Does Not Love the Wasters''

It's not enough to simply pray for a better environment, you have to stand up and take action, says Fazlun Khalid, one of the world's leading eco-theologians. He believes religion can help save the planet. Interview by Franziska BadenschierMore

US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel (photo: Reuters)

The West and the Conflict in Syria

The Ghost of Saddam's WMD

In view of the appalling numbers of people being killed and injured in the Syrian civil war and recent reports that poisoned gas has been used there, pressure is growing on the West to finally take some decisive action. Washington and London, however, continue to exercise restraint. By Karim El-GawharyMore

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