Dossier: Muslims in the West

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

Road sign that reads "Welcome to Germany" (photo: Becky Stares/Fotolia.com)

Attitudes to immigration in Germany

Clear differences of opinion

What do people in Germany really think about immigration? A recent study by the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB) shows that there are definite differences of opinion between the country's elite and the general public. Shohreh Karimian discussed the findings with Marc Helbling, one of the authors of the studyMore

Esra Küçük (photo: David Ausserhofer)

Young Islam Conference

Interface between politics and society

The Young Islam Conference sees itself as both a forum for dialogue and a mouthpiece for young Muslims and non-Muslims alike. It seeks to counter prejudice and negative ideas about Islam in Germany. Shohreh Karimian spoke to Esra Küçük, the managing director of the Young Islam Conference, about the forum's background and aimsMore

A teacher and pupils in a German classroom (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

Teachers with a migrant background

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More or less open racism

They are desperately sought after and yet they still face discrimination: teachers with a migrant background are often regarded as "exotic" at German schools. According to a recent study, all that many of these teachers want is normality. By Anke-Martina WittMore

Turkish pupils in a German classroom (photo: dpa/picture-alliance)

Multicultural classrooms

An opportunity not a problem

It is increasingly the case that students from different nations, cultures and religions sit together in the same classroom. Experts at the University of Hildesheim in Germany are considering how teachers worldwide can better prepare themselves for this kind of diversity. Anke Martina Witt takes a look at how this issue is adressed in Germany, Canada, Norway and TurkeyMore

Muslim students (photo: Vincenzo Ferrera)

The Avicenna scholarship programme

Fostering talented, socially committed Muslim students

Named after an eleventh-century Persian scholar, the Avicenna scholarship programme will offer its first 50 scholarships to students for the coming winter semester 2014/15. It is the first programme of its kind for gifted Muslims in Germany. Thus far, the country has only had special religious scholarship programmes for Christians or Jews. Shohreh Karimian spoke to Beschir Hussain and Matthias Meyer, the initiators of this innovative programmeMore

Dr Naika Foroutan (photo: picture-alliance/ZB)

Interview with Naika Foroutan on Germany's Islam Conference

Encouraging developments

Germany's Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière has announced that the German Islam Conference will no longer concern itself with security issues. For sociologist Naika Foroutan of Berlin's Humboldt University, this is a positive sign. At last, the conference will be able to concentrate on ensuring religious equality for Muslims in Germany. Claudia Mende spoke to herMore

The Islam Conference in Berlin on 7 May 2013 (photo: dpa/picture-alliance)

Changing the orientation of Germany's Islam Conference

New agenda, same old faces

Since the row that erupted at last year's Islam Conference, dialogue between the German state and its Muslim residents has faltered. Now, the new interior minister, Thomas de Maizière, wants to get things moving again by changing the forum's orientation. But what can the German Islam Conference realistically hope to achieve in the future? By Ulrike HummelMore

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

Relationship counseling at the Institute for Migration and Intercultural Study in Bonn, Germany (photo: Julie Schwannecke)

Interfaith Partnerships in Germany

Cultural Diversity as an Enrichment

In light of the increasing cultural and religious diversity in society, interfaith partnerships are nowadays no longer a rarity. How do these couples experience everyday life together and how to they deal with each other's different culture, traditions, and value systems? Julie Schwannecke provides some insightMore

View onto the top part of the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

Oriental Christians in Germany

Providing a Diplomatic Bridge

A new central council of oriental Christians has been formed in Germany to raise public awareness of the problems Arab Christians are facing in conflict-ridden countries like Syria, Egypt and Iraq. Günther Birkenstock reportsMore

Youssef Adlah and the word artist Öznurn (photo: Arne List/DW)

A Muslim Poetry Slam

The Five Pillars of i,Slam

Youssef Adlah and Younes Al-Amayra initiated the first Poetry Slam for Muslims in Germany. In it, respect for religion must be maintained – no matter what the theme. In this interview, the initiators talk about how their Muslim poetry slam can empower the Muslim communityMore

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

The largest  mosque in the US is situated in Dearborn, Michigan (photo: dpa)

Muslims in America

New Wave of Anti-Islamic Sentiment

Since the attack on the Boston Marathon on 15 April 2013, anti-Islamic sentiment has been on the rise in the United States. Joseph Mayton takes a look at the causes and the consequences of this developmentMore

A young woman wearing a headscarf listens to a debate in the parliament in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (photo: dpa)

Integration in Germany

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Time for Majority Society to Change Its Attitude

In Germany, many Muslim women feel pressurised into re-defining and justifying their identities and their belongingness on a daily basis. Melahat Kişi feels strongly that instead of focusing on differences, the time has come to accept that all citizens of migrant origin in Germany belong to German society. No ifs, no butsMore

People taking part in an integration course in Germany (photo: Markus Lenz)

Documentary on Integration Courses in Germany

How to Become a German

Is it possible to learn integration? Germany thinks so. Since 2005, special courses have been helping immigrants become familiar with German language and culture. But do they really work? A Berlin film-maker wanted to find out. Melanie Lachner watched the resulting documentaryMore

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