Dossier: Germany

Salafists handing out copies of the Koran in a German city (photo: dapd)

Interview with intelligence operative Benno Köpfer

"You're allowed to be a Salafist in Germany"

More than 300 people from Germany have gone to Syria to join the jihad. In this interview with Jannis Hagmann, Benno Köpfer of the German domestic intelligence service explains what radicalises young people, why not all Salafists agree with the ISIS caliphate and why he drinks the occasional tea with some of themMore

Emrah Serbes. Photo: Iletisim Yayinlari

Portrait of the Turkish writer Emrah Serbes

"Politics is made on the street by the people"

The young author Emrah Serbes is regarded as the "enfant terrible" of Turkish literature. Not only is he one of the most popular authors in Turkey: since the protests in Gezi Park last summer and his active participation in the resistance, many now seen him as the "writer and voice of the people". Ceyda Nurtsch met him at a reading in BerlinMore

Thomas Ostermeier. Photo: Ali Güler. © Thomas Ostermeier

Interview with Thomas Ostermeier

"An Enemy of the People" in Istanbul

Thomas Ostermeier is the artistic director of the Berlin Schaubühne and one of the most creative figures among the younger generation of German theatre directors. His productions are incisive and provocative – something he demonstrated again recently at this year's theatre festival in Istanbul with Henrik Ibsen's play "An Enemy of the People". He spoke to Anna EsserMore

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

France's burka ban

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

German footballers Lukas Podolski (l.), Mesut Özil, Sami Khedira and Per Mertesacker. Photo: picture-alliance/augenklick/firo Sportphoto

Soccer as a force for integration

Success through diversity

Mesut Özil and his team colleagues not only represent multicultural Germany: they also serve as popular role models within German society. This shows that football should be afforded greater recognition as a force for integration, says Shohreh KarimianMore

Image symbolising Islam and environmental protection (photo: picture-alliance/dpa/DW Montage)

Green Islam

The fair mosque

Mosques with solar panels, fair trade products and a guide to living an eco-friendly life during the Hajj ... Eco Islam is gaining momentum. Ulrike Hummel reports on a project that seeks to develop environmental awareness among Muslims in GermanyMore

Max von Oppenheim in his tent in Djebelet el-Beda, Syria, 1929 (photo: Max Freiherr von Oppenheim-Stiftung)

The German archaeologist and explorer Max von Oppenheim

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Enchanted by the Myth of the Orient

Max von Oppenheim was an astute observer of the Near East. He was also captivated by its history, culture and way of life. In fact, Oppenheim's entire adult life is an illustration of how difficult it is to reconcile the captivating dream of the Orient with the sober political reality of the region – a difficulty that remains to this day. By Kersten KnippMore

Ömer Özsoy (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

Interview with theology professor Ömer Özsoy

Academic freedom takes precedence

New centres for Islamic theology have been established at five German universities in recent years. In 2007, Ömer Özsoy became the first Muslim theologian to be appointed as a professor at a German university. He teaches Koranic exegesis at the Goethe University in Frankfurt. In the debate on what direction Islamic theology should take in this country, he stresses above all the importance of academic freedom. Interview by Claudia MendeMore

People in Yavuz Sultan Selim Mosque in Mannheim (photo: dpa/picture-alliance)

The "Muslim Associations as Community Activists" project

Open dialogue on thorny issues

Beyond all the intellectual debates about their religion, most Muslims in Germany face difficulties in their everyday lives that they would dearly like to solve. The Goethe-Institut, in co-operation with the Robert Bosch Stiftung, has initiated a project called "Muslim Associations as Community Activists". The project seeks not only to create stronger ties between mosque associations in German cities and the city authorities but also to improve relations between the various Muslim denominations. By Claudia MendeMore

Postcards advertising the Berlin "Heroes" project in front of a cardboard box marked "Arabic" (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

The "Heroes" project in Berlin

Combating repression

Boys are strong and courageous, while girls are chaste and obedient. The Berlin "Heroes" project wants to get young people with a migrant background to think about the traditional sense of honour found in many Muslim families and reflect on their role in it. By Heiner KieselMore

Prof Mathias Rohe (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

Interview with Islam scholar and legal expert Mathias Rohe

No cultural or religious "rebates" in German courts

On 24 March 2014, a court in Wiesbaden sentenced a 23-year-old German of Afghan origin to life in prison for the murder of his pregnant ex-girlfriend. In their ruling, the judges made reference to the cultural background of the accused. Eren Güvercin spoke to legal scholar and expert on Islamic law Prof Mathias Rohe about this controversial caseMore

Members of the Working Group for Muslims in the SPD (photo: Hendrik Rauch)

Muslims in German political parties

The diversity trend

In Germany, both the Greens and the Christian Democrats have had working groups for Muslim members for some time now. In February, the Social Democrats followed suit. Are these new groups really and truly different? Or are Germany's main political parties simply jumping on the diversity trend bandwagon? By Ulrike HummelMore

The advertisement on a British bus claiming that "there is probably no God" was part of a campaign backed by the British Humanist Association (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

The Islamic faith

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When Muslims renounce their faith

Fearing ostracism or even death, many former Muslims keep their lack of faith a secret. A German organisation offers support to people who choose to turn their back on Islam for whatever reason. By Naomi ConradMore

Young Muslim pupils in Berlin (photo: dpa/picture-alliance)

Young Muslims in Germany

Forget, but don't forget

If young Muslims are to enjoy equal status within German society, a number of key changes are necessary in terms of language, discourse and policy. These changes can only be effected by the majority society working together with Muslim citizens. By Melahat KisiMore

Pinar Atalay (photo: dpa/Thorsten Jander)

The new face of the nightly news: Pinar Atalay

Not just the token migrant

On 7 March 2014, Pinar Atalay hosted the ARD's nightly news programme "Tagesthemen" for the first time. This was a first in Germany because Atalay was born in Germany to Turkish parents. Together with Dunja Hayali, Pinar Atalay is one of the most experienced presenters with a "migrant background" on German television. By Shohreh KarimianMore

Portrait of the Turkish painter Osman Hamdi Bey with his daughter Nazli (photo: Cretanforever)

Turkish art in Germany

A reading Arab pulls in the crowds

His paintings fetch record sums in Turkey. Now the works of Osman Hamdi Bey are pulling in the crowds at Berlin's Alte Nationalgalerie, much to the delight of its young director. By Julia VossMore

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