Dossier: Muslims in the West

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

Amy Chua (photo: Prakash Singh/AFP/Getty Images)

Book review: Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld on immigrant culture

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Attack of the power migrants

Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld pledge to lift the lid on the cultural secrets of success of certain immigrant groups in the US. According to Daniel Bax, their book is nothing more than an exercise in cod folk psychologyMore

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

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