Dossier: Islamism | Political Islam

Symbolic graffiti: relay runners from Libya, Egypt and Tunisia prepare to hand over the flame of freedom to Yemen and Syria (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

Three years after the Arab Spring

Self-criticism and genuine dialogue required

Arab Islamists and secularists fought alongside each other in the Arab Spring revolutions. But once they had removed the hated despots from power, they became embroiled in political trench warfare and revealed an astonishing lack of democratic maturity, says renowned Moroccan analyst Ali AnouzlaMore

Sherko Fatah (photo: picture-alliance/ZB)

Book review: "The Last Place" by Sherko Fatah

A book about intercultural misunderstandings

Just like his novel "The Dark Ship", Sherko Fatah's latest book is alarmingly topical: one of the characters, the kidnapper Abdul, stands for all the radical Islamists who mourn the bygone days of Mesopotamia and embrace a fundamentalist worldview. Claudia Kramatschek spoke to the author about his new novelMore

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

Members of an Islamist militia firing rockets at Tripoli Airport (photo: AP/dpa)

Clashes between rival militias in Libya

The battle for Tripoli

Like Benghazi before it, the Libyan capital, Tripoli, is now mired in chaos and violence. General elections held a month ago were not able to prevent the escalation in the conflict between rival militias. What triggered this development and what does the future hold for this troubled North African nation? By Valerie StockerMore

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

Members of an ISIS unit in Nineveh (photo: AFP)

ISIS and the Iraqi government

In the grip of the jihadists

For years, Iraq's Sunnis have been marginalised by the central government in Baghdad. This is now having dire consequences. It is apparent that ISIS's advance has been aided by former Sunni officers from the Saddam era. By Karim El-GawharyMore

Members of the Sawaiq militia that stormed the GNC on 18 May (photo: Valeria Stocker)

Power struggle in Libya

A permanent state of chaos

Over the course of just ten days, Libya moved through various degrees of state crisis at high speed. It now seems to be back to square one again. From Tripoli, Valerie Stocker takes a closer look at recent chaotic eventsMore

People using the Internet in Islamabad (photo: B.K. Bangash/AP/dapd)

Internet censorship in Pakistan

Digital self-defence

The government in Pakistan is extending its system of Internet censorship and surveillance. But Pakistani Internet activists are resolute in their defence of freedom of information in the face of state interference and are receiving support from international human rights initiatives. By Marcus MichaelsenMore

People protesting at the kidnapping of over 200 Nigerian schoolgirls by Boko Haram (photo: Reuters)

Kidnapping by Boko Haram

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Failing the mothers and daughters of Nigeria

Just when President Goodluck Jonathan was hoping to showcase his country and its economic strength at the World Economic Forum on Africa in the Nigerian capital, the world is witnessing his country's trauma and the president's failure to counter the terrorist threat posed by the Islamic militants of Boko Haram. By Claus StaeckerMore

Syrian opposition figure Michel Kilo in Istanbul (photo: Ozen Kose/AFP/Getty Images)

Syrian opposition groups

Time to join forces

The well-known Syrian opposition figure and journalist Michel Kilo believes that only a national alliance of all rebel groups can break the terrorism perpetrated by the organisation Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) and the Assad regimeMore

Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan greets his supporters in Ankara on 31 March 2014 (photo: Reuters)

Erdogan and the Turkish presidential election

His toughest challenge yet?

Following the ruling AKP's success in March's local elections, attention is now focused on Turkey's presidential election in August. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is widely expected to stand. Dorian Jones considers what this would mean for the Turkish political system and for the countryMore

The British-Pakistani author Nadeem Aslam at lit.cologne in Cologne (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

Interview with Nadeem Aslam

Shadows of the past

"The Blind Man's Garden" is the fourth novel to be published by the British–Pakistani author Nadeem Aslam. In this book, he returns to the days, weeks and months immediately following 9/11 and relates them from the perspective of a Pakistani family that is subsequently drawn into the ensuing war in Afghanistan. Claudia Kramatschek spoke to Aslam about his new novelMore

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

Hamed Abdel-Samad (photo: DW)

Hamed Abdel-Samad's controversial theories on Islam

Caution! Explicit Content!

Hamed Abdel-Samad's book "Der islamische Faschismus" (Islamic Fascism) is not a serious analysis, but a platitude-laden polemic against political Islam. Ironically, the book shows that its author has more in common with the people he is criticising than he realises. By Daniel BaxMore

A peaceful demonstration against the Assad regime in Kafranbel (photo: Reuters)

Non-violent resistance in Syria

Sowing the seeds of democracy

There is no nation-wide democracy movement in Syria, but there are local initiatives that are defying the war, strengthening civil society and preparing the ground for a free and pluralistic political system, writes Kristin HelbergMore

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses an AKP rally in Elazig, Turkey, on 6 March 2014 (photo: picture-alliance/AP Photo)

Local elections in Turkey

An erosion of Erdogan's legitimacy

Turkey is holding nationwide local elections on 30 March. The prime minister, mired in growing corruption allegations, has turned the polls into a referendum on his rule. With such high stakes, the vote is widely seen as one of the most important in the country's history. Dorian Jones has more from IstanbulMore

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