An overwhelming majority of French parliamentarians voted to ban conspicuous religious symbols in state-run schools Tuesday. The law, which is sure to be passed by the Senate, will be effective next school year.More
The political system in Iran remains ossified even after 25 years of the revolution. As Ali Sadrzadeh reports, it is not only young Iranians who do not believe that any real reforms will be made under the guardianship of the jurisconsult.More
Twenty-five years after the foundation of the Islamic Republic of Iran, reforms are still being blocked, and the younger generation is increasingly distrustful of the state. Bahman Nirumand reportsMore
At an international security meeting in Munich, Germany calls for the creation of a new US and European peace plan for the Middle East as Donald Rumsfeld again explains Washington's justification for the Iraq war.More
Germany's archive of documents on the former communist regime is a good example for Iraq, say two scholars who are collecting millions of documents they hope will be evidence in trials against Hussein and his cohorts.More
The World Social Forum has just happened to coincide with the sudden diplomatic thaw between India and Pakistan. Some 1000 Pakistanis have traveled to Bombay and, for many, this is their first trip to the neighboring country.More
In March, experts from the German Bureau of Criminal Investigation will begin training Iraqi police officers in the United Arab Emirates. But the Persian Gulf isn't the only area where German police are active.More
The 4th World Social Forum is currently being held in Mumbai, India. Participants representing all parts of the globe will be on hand to discuss a wide range of topics such as world trade, environmental protection and racism. Thomas Bärthlein reportsMore
It took a while before he could bring himself to do so, but Morocco's King Mohammed VI has now released Ali Lmrabet. The dissident journalist had originally been sentenced to a lengthy prison term for the alleged crime of lèse-majesté. Martina Sabra reportsMore
In an interview, German President Rau reminded his fellow citizens that religious symbols should be treated equally and, consequently, that the headscarf and the monk's habit should enjoy the same status. A commentary by Peter PhilippMore
A constitution has been agreed upon in Afghanistan following tenacious negotiations. It guarantees equal status for women and acknowledges the Islamic tradition of the country. Said Musa Samimy sheds some light on the background.More
Haitham Maleh, president of the Human Rights Association in Syria, has been visiting Germany to take part in a hearing organised by the Bundestag's Human Rights Committee. He was interviewed by Dorothee WindenMore
No more exile, no more mourning for a lost homeland. In her latest film "In Search of Oum Kulthum" the well-known director Shirin Neshat recalls a legendary Egyptian singer.
The wrong story: Palestine, Israel and the media
Greg Shupak's new book is a highly relevant and necessary account of how the media is feeding us the wrong story on Israel and Palestine, writes Sophia Akram.More
Amnesty International honours anti-torture campaigners
Egyptian anti-torture campaigners working for the Nadeem Centre have been given the Amnesty Human Rights Award at a ceremony in Berlin for their work in documenting and treating torture victims.More
Pastor Galen Guengerich: Averting more death and despair in Gaza
Scores of Palestinians killed. Thousands wounded. That’s the toll exacted by Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) against protesters along the security fence separating Gaza from Israel in recent weeks. Unless the situation gets defused quickly, the carnage is likely to get much worse, writes Galen GuengerichMore
Why it matters what we do: Post-Arab Spring perceptions of the EU
In the Middle East and North Africa, EU foreign policy has tended to prioritise regime stability over democratisation. Scholars have warned that the open display of double standards in dealing with authoritarian regimes could negatively impact the EUʹs credibility among domestic publics, with serious implications for its political influence and identity as a foreign policy actor.More
Barack Obama: "Walking away from the JCPOA turns our back on America’s closest allies"
There are few issues more important to the security of the United States than the potential spread of nuclear weapons, or the potential for even more destructive war in the Middle East. That’s why the United States negotiated the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in the first place.More
Jonathan Freedland: "If we want the killing to stop, we should say so"
The slaughter in Syria should outrage us. Yet still we just shrug.More
openDemocracy: Free thinking for the world
openDemocracy is an independent global media platform covering world affairs, ideas and culture which seeks to challenge power and encourage democratic debate across the world.More
German Institute for International and Security Affairs: »Shrinking spaces« in Israel
The contraction of democratic space, consolidation of occupation and ongoing human rights violations call for a paradigm shift in Europe′s policies More
New York Times: An unflinching look at the Iranian revolution
Kaveh Kazemi's images of the Iranian revolution and its aftermath reveal the country's transition from a different era... and a contrast with its social upheaval today.More
What triggered Iran's protests?
AsIran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, blames the Islamic Republic's enemies for nationwide unrest and Iranian authorities step up their crack-down on protesters, Aljazeera examines the reasons why anti-government protests are taking place across Iran...More
A lesson from Syria: Don't fuel far-right conspiracy theories
"What do we believe?" asks Guardian columnist George Monbiot. "This is the crucial democratic question. Without informed choice, democracy is meaningless."More
"The Middle East Unbalanced": Sada launches its first book
Sada launches its first eBook, a collection of essays that explores the region's deep political changes since the Arab uprisings.More
"Disturbing the peace": Voices from the Israeli-Palestine conflict
Mixing poetic footage with first-hand accounts, Stephen Apkon's documentary, "Disturbing the Peace", attempts to unpick hatred through dialogue, telling stories from both sides of the divide and finding cause for optimism amid the longstanding anger and despair.More
Yemen's cholera epidemic: "The world's worst humanitarian crisis"
Yemen's civil war has brought the population to its knees. In just three months, cholera has killed nearly 2,000 people and infected more than a half million, one of the world’s largest outbreaks in the past 50 years.More