Letters to the Editors


on: Feminism, Colonialism and Islamophobia: Treacherous Sympathy with Muslim Women, by Leila Ahmed

This is a wonderful post and it points to some deliberately neglected considerations: The centuries old depictions of Islam, painted by the western / european nations have been and continue to be - done with the express intention of justifying the seizure of land and wealth through military colonial means. All armies run on money and for the western populations to fund these imperial aspirations, the population is told that this is to protece / save brown women from the supposed evils of brown men in some uniquely brown way - Islam. This message not only makes populations pony up the money to do this but it also ...More

Rudi Dierick

on: Integration in Germany: Time for Majority Society to Change Its Attitude, by Melahat Kişi

This opinion is blatantly incompatible with scientific ethics and the professional standards of a scientist as it squarely denies the findings of recent scientific research.

Just one example: the author pretends "that a headscarf really is nothing more than a piece of cloth". The report 'Muslim Life in Germany' describes clearly, based upon opinions from 3000 interviewed female Muslims that the headscarf is a religious practice, a cultural habit, and also a political symbol and an issue of public order! The headscarf is indeed directly related to ...More

M.A. Bourkadi

on: Status of Western Sahara: A Forgotten Conflict, by Annett Hellwig

The article is full of false propaganda. For instance, the allegation that "the native Sahrawis remain for the most part second-class citizens, disadvantaged and discriminated against by the authorities" is false. Native Sahrawis are the first to be accepted in government jobs, and they are also eligible to student benefit of a free transport coupon and full scholarship bourses. Moreover, Morocco has three native Sahrawi ambassadors, and also the former parliament chief is a Sahrawi.

There is "systematic torture and maltreatment". This is also a false allegation. Police intervention is soft ...More

Hassan Hassan

on: The Decline of Islamic Scientific Thought: Don't Blame It on al-Ghazali, by Hassan Hassan

I appreciate your comment on the essay, although I have reservations about the use of language. The text didn't say anything about Batiniyya being an "offspring of the Shia".

In my understanding, you seem to ascribe to the traditional reading of the schools' system of education, which is familiar and widespread. "The diversity of scholars, the vibrant debates and the reliance on persuasion in dealing with religious differences". But the point of my essay is to dispute all that.

Certainly, throughout Islamic history up until now, there have ...More

Sonja Brentjes

on: The Decline of Islamic Scientific Thought: Don't Blame It on al-Ghazali, by Hassan Hassan

Mr. Hassan is not well informed about the academic debate. Otherwise he could not write such a misleading and utterly simplifying text. He also seems to have problems with understanding the complexities of political, religious and intellectual history of the Abbasid caliphate and the Seljuq dynasty. It is simply not true that the madrasa stopped scientific activities in various Islamicate societies after 1100. The Batiniyya was not merely an esoteric offspring of the Shi'a. Seljuq sultans like Malik Shah and his son Sanjar sponsored scholars at their courts who ...More

Sara Mirza

on: The Media and "The Innocence of Muslims": Against the Islamisation of Muslims, by Hoda Salah

I don't understand. Hoda Salah says she doesn't want to be called Muslim and be referred to as Muslim all the time, then she says, "I'm a Muslim woman", and "I'm an enlightened Muslim". I thought she was trying to get away from that 'tag', then she confirms it. She has to make up her mind.More

Elgin Mouhanad

on: The Media and "The Innocence of Muslims": Against the Islamisation of Muslims, by Hoda Salah

Hoda Salah is right - the West is using this event to portray Muslims as radicals, and the media is making no exception. They don't care that it was only a supersmall minority that was rioting.More

Erol Sahin

on: The Media and "The Innocence of Muslims": Against the Islamisation of Muslims, by Hoda Salah

This is the typical "Don't stigmatize us/me" tune - I have heard that song before. Of course western media write up Muslim fury - because it is Muslim fury. And of course not all Muslims are crazy because of that but those who ran amuck did run amuck. It's pathetic to decry the lack of differentiation of western media - because, after all: people were killed by religious madmen. Why doesn't the author criticize religious fanaticism?More

Brian Christian Elsington

on: The Media and "The Innocence of Muslims": Against the Islamisation of Muslims, by Hoda Salah

Instead of blaming western media, Mrs. Saleh should talk about Muslim furor and violence. I'm surprised a balanced media outlet like quantara published a low-qualitiy piece such as this one.More

Kenan Yurttagül

on: Aleppo's Old Town: World Cultural Heritage threatened by Syria's Civil War, by Claudia Mende

Appeal to the International Community for the Preservation of Syria's Cultural Legacy

Intergovernmental organisations were ineffective in preserving cultural property during the Gulf, Afghan, and Iraq wars, having failed to prevent the looting of museums and the irreparable damaging of historical sites during these conflicts.

In the last Iraq war, according to the Archaeological Institute of America's website, up to 100 thousand historical, cultural, and religious artefacts were stolen, initially at the Baghdad Museum but later from various ...More

Iftikhar Ahmad

on: Muslims in Germany: Integration in Germany Is Making Progress, by Jonathan Laurence

There is a conception that by chucking lots of different kids together, they will learn to get along, learn to not be racist or prejudiced. This isn't true.

If interaction is to produce toleration, respect and engagement it needs the different partners to be on equal terms, with equal resources, and a strong shared common ground.

Many state schools are ethnically diverse, but there is a huge amount of racism that exists since due to various factors.

A report by the Institute for Community Cohesion found that native parents were deserting some schools ...More

Ketab Jameel

on: Shiites in Afghanistan: Confident Reformers, by Martin Gerner

Strange how the article talks about the fact that other countries ("the West") have a distorted view of Afghanistan, specifically about Shiites appearing to be 'radical Muslims'... In my experience, the Sunnis have the reputation of being radical (especially on being 'conservative' in religion)... Either way, I do not understand what you would expect someone to believe when all they see is President Karzai signing off on this document as Law. (Many non-Muslims do not even know the difference between Sunni and Shia sects, if they even know those words in the first place, so you would have to start there, to be honest.)

Even the 200 women that ...More


on: Aftermath of the Attacks in Norway: Isolate the Intellectual Incendiaries, by Stefan Weidner

The Oslo killer who committed the Oslo massacre is a Neoconservative Extremist. His manifesto which describes the rational for his actions references extreme neoconservative theorists and websites which promote irrational hatred and fear of Muslims. The Oslo killer's belief that Muslim immigration is a mortal threat to western culture is a common neoconservative ideology.

Neoconservative extremists like the Oslo killer believe that Muslims will continue to immigrate and breed until they outnumber non-Muslims in western nations. When that happens ...More

Haytham Khoury

on: The Opposition and the Church in Syria: A Slap in the Face for the Pro-Democracy Movement, by Claudia Mende

Talking about Syria as there is only one church is a misrepresentation of the reality. Indeed, in Syria there are around 13 Christian denominations. These can be generally divided into three main groups. The Orthodox ones (Greek, Syriac, Assyrian and Armenian), the Catholic ones (Melkite, Syriac, Maronite, Chaldean and Armenian) and Protestants (there is a couple of them).

Each of these churches has its own leadership. Indeed, the attitude of the Churches' leaders from the revolution is not uniform. While the Catholic churches supported the ...More

Bashy Quraishy

on: Reformist Islam after Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd, by Angela Schader

I have tried to make head or tail of what Angela Schader has written in her rather confusing article.

Alone the title of the article is misleading when one reads the whole text of the article and what various speakers in the German conference. I had the pleasure to meet Professor and Koranic scholar Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd at a conference in Germany a few years back and had a lovely discussion with him about his idea of a interpreting some statements and regulations formulated in the Koran within their historical context and filter out those ethical and moral principles ...More

Pablo Mendoza

on: EU Policy on North Africa and the Middle East, by Andreas Zumach

Libyan online bloggers should request the immediate stop of NATO bombing. All it does is killing people but not ending the struggle. And involving NATO troops will lead to another Afghanistan, with or without Gaddhafi.

UN and NATO must not to participate in a rebellion which is foreign-influenced. Protecting civilians also means to stop the rebel troops which kill their own countrymen, too. While living, armed rebels are considered freedom fighters, but when dead, they are considered civilians, killed by Gaddhafi military.

The UN and NATO should support all rebels, also in ...More