Dossier: Islamism | Political Islam

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

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (photo: picture-alliance/AP Photo)

Corruption scandal in Turkey

"The evaporation of the Turkish state as we know it"

A series of alleged telephone recordings between the Turkish prime minister and members of his family has escalated an ongoing political crisis to unprecedented levels, with many now fearing for the state of the country's democracy. By Dorian Jones in IstanbulMore

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

Women in headscarves demonstrating in Tunis (photo: Reuters)

Interview with Hélé Béji

"Ennahda has an unbelievable capacity to adjust"

Hélé Béji is an independent Tunisian writer and literary scholar. She is related to Habib Bourguiba, the founder of the Tunisian republic and its first president, and is part of a rather progressive intellectual scene. Béji has been watching the Islamists closely since they took power two years ago and is one of the few people who considers Ennahda capable of learning and becoming a major democratic people's party. Christina Omlin spoke to her about recent developments in TunisiaMore

Protesting Sunnis waving the flag of the Baath Party in Fallujah (photo: Birgit Svensson)

Fighting in the Iraqi province of Anbar

"Maliki is the new Saddam!"

The images coming out of the Iraqi province of Anbar shocked the world: masked fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) were seen patrolling the cities of Ramadi and Fallujah, waiting to take them over. Baghdad's central government seems to be losing its grip on the country's largest province. From Birgit Svensson in FallujahMore

A young Egyptian carrying an Egyptian flag and standing in front of some anti-Morsi graffiti in Cairo (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

Georges Corm on the conflicts in the Arab world

Forget religion!

In his new book, the Lebanese historian Georges Corm criticises the tendency in the West to see the conflicts in the Arab world almost exclusively in a religious context. In reality, he says, the struggles in the states of the Arab Spring are for the fair distribution of economic power and democratic participation. By Kersten KnippMore

A man reading the Koran (photo: Reuters)

Wahhabism and Salafism

Shared foundation – different methods

Wahhabis and Salafists are often named in the same breath. Yet these two ultra-orthodox faith movements do differ in a number of aspects, writes the doctor of Islam Studies Mohammad GharaibehMore

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

Demonstration in commemoration of the Egyptian activist Gaber Salah, Kairo (photo: dpa)

Protestes in Egypt

Army Opponents Break Their Silence

Egypt's Islamists demonstrated for months against the army. Now, secular activists are out in the streets to protest the co-opting of their revolution. But, the military government has a propaganda machine on its side. By Markus Symank from CairoMore

Beirut near the Iranian embassy after the attack on 19 November (photo: Reuters)

Hezbollah after the Beirut Attacks

A Battle on Many Fronts

In Syria, Hezbollah is backing the Assad regime in the fight against the rebels, as a way of defending the Iran-Syria-Hezbollah alliance. This has been met with great hostility at home in Lebanon, and is provoking reactions on the Salafist front. Background from Juliane MetzkerMore

Protests of the Muslim Brotherhod against the toppling of President Morsi in Alexandria (photo: picture-alliance/AA)

Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt

Limited Options

The world's oldest Islamist organization has apparently failed in its strategy of confrontation with the ruling military. It is now proving difficult for the movement to make a fresh political start. Karim El-Gawhary reports from CairoMore

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