Politics

A Muslim man, who was displaced by deadly religious strife last year, casts his vote in the general election inside a polling station in Parla village in the Muzaffarnagar district in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, 10 April 2014 (photo: Reuters)

Elections in India

Muslims to play key role

With elections now underway in India, the Muslim vote is of vital importance to the outcome. The country's single largest religious minority makes up 14 per cent of India's population of more than 1.2 billion people. By Samrah FatimaMore

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

Supporters of the neo-fascist CasaPound movement in Italy (photo: imago)

The Syrian conflict

A red-brown alliance for Syria

Neo-Nazis, Stalinists, Catholic fundamentalists and pacifists may seem like strange political bedfellows, but they have found common ground in a diffuse brand of anti-imperialism. This left-wing/right-wing alliance's online campaigning and its active support for the Assad regime have led to a lack of solidarity with the Syrian people not only in Italy but elsewhere in Europe too. By Germano MontiMore

An election helper empties a ballot box after the Afghan presidential election (photo: Reuters)

Presidential election in Afghanistan

Defying the Taliban

Last Saturday, around 12 million Afghans were called upon to vote for a successor to President Hamid Karzai. Although the Taliban warned that numerous attacks would take place on voting day, large numbers of Afghans refused to be deterred. Details from Emran Feroz in KabulMore

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 waves to supporters from the balcony of the AKP's headquarters (photo: AP)

Local elections in Turkey

Carte blanche for a crackdown

The election result in Turkey was barely affected by last summer's Gezi Park protests, recent accusations of corruption against the ruling AKP and the on-going open conflict with the Gulen Movement. This is primarily due to the nation's economic situation and the fact that the AKP now controls most of the country's media outlets. By Ekrem Guezeldere in IstanbulMore

Gezi Park activists in Istanbul (photo: dpa/picture alliance)

Book review: "Taksim is everywhere"

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"This was a social uprising, not simply some demonstration"

Deniz Yuecel, a journalist for the German daily newspaper "taz", interviewed 96 different protesters for his first book, "Taksim ist Ueberall" (Taksim is Everywhere), which was recently published in Germany instead of in Turkey. In view of the fact that the writer Erol Oezkoray was taken to court for allegedly insulting Prime Minister Erdogan in his book on the Gezi phenomenon, this is perhaps a good thing. Luise Sammann introduces the book and its authorMore

A poster with an image of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in front of the Syrian flag (photo: Reuters)

Book review: "The Wisdom of Syria's Waiting Game"

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How to stay in power against the odds

In her book "The Wisdom of Syria's Waiting Game", Bente Scheller analyses Syrian foreign policy since the Assad dynasty came to power in 1970. She believes that the special relationship between domestic and foreign policy is key to understanding Syria's power apparatus. By Martina SabraMore

An opponent of the AKP government holds up two posters of Prime Minister Erdogan with the slogan "Big thief" (photo: Reuters)

Eleven years of Erdogan

Hard times for the "champion" of political Islam

As everything points to a clear victory for the AKP in Turkey's local elections, Turkish political scientist Cengiz Aktar takes stock of 11 years of Erdogan's rule. He says that Turkey's political and economic problems are home made and are caused by the fact that the AKP has been in power for too long and Erdogan's growing inability to enter into political co-operation. Nevertheless, he cautions against celebrating the downfall of political IslamMore

Russia's President Putin, right, greets Egypt's General Al-Sisi (photo: Reuters)

The Crimean crisis

The Near East: scene of a new Cold War?

The Crimean crisis could mark the beginning of a new confrontation between East and West. Not only is there already talk of a second Cold War, there are already signs of it in the Near East. A commentary by Nora MüllerMore

Shocked relatives react after learning of the death sentences passed on 529 supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt (photo: AFP/Getty Images)

Mass death sentences against the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt

Egypt's future at risk

Earlier this week, an Egyptian court sentenced over 500 Muslim Brotherhood supporters to death in a case that lasted less than two days. According to Loay Mudhoon, this ruling is the work of a politicised judiciary and could destroy any chance of national reconciliationMore

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

An election poster in Afghanistan (photo: Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images)

Interview with Afghanistan expert Thomas Ruttig

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"The violence threshold is low"

Having already served two terms, Afghan President Hamid Karzai cannot run for president in the election in early April. The end of his twelve years in office marks the end of an era for the country. Ulrich von Schwerin spoke to Thomas Ruttig of the "Afghanistan Analysts Network" about the political situation in Afghanistan after over a decade of KarzaiMore

Fethullah Gulen (dpa/picture-alliance)

The Gulen movement in Germany

Dogma instead of dialogue

Opaque structures and ambiguous objectives are not conducive to the education of the young. This is why the Gulen movement must be monitored more closely, writes Ursula RuessmannMore

A political poster hanging in a market in Lebanon (photo: Ben Knight)

Hezbollah in Lebanon

How Hezbollah is paralysing Lebanese politics

There are few countries in the world where domestic affairs are as affected by regional calamities as Lebanon. With Hezbollah still fighting across the border in Syria and the country's two biggest political alliances at loggerheads about the situation, the government in Beirut is in deadlock. By Ben KnightMore

Relatives of the victims of the revolution demonstrating in Tunis (photo: Sarah Mersch)

Victims of the Tunisian Revolution

The slow and painful search for the truth

Three years have passed since Tunisians took to the streets in protest against their ruler, Ben Ali. The country is now slowly moving towards democracy, but the victims of those early revolutionary days are still waiting for justice. Hopes that the truth will come to light and that relatives will discover who killed and injured their loved ones during the unrest are diminishing by the day. By Sarah MerschMore

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

Crimean Tatars demonstrate against the possibility of Crimea becoming part of Russia (photo: dpa/picture-alliance)

Crimean Tatars in Ukraine

Deep-seated fears

The Crimean Tatars, numbering some 250,000, are the third largest demographic group in Crimea. They fear that their rights will be sharply curtailed should the referendum on 16 March turn out in Russia's favour. Fear of Putin and his supporters is equally palpable amongst the millions of Crimean Tatars living in Turkish exile. By Luise SammannMore

Pictures of Vladimir Putin and Bashar al-Assad leaning against a wall outside the Russian embassy in Damascus waiting to be used in a pro-Assad demonstration (photo: Muzaffar Salman/AP/dapd)

Interview with Stefan Meister

"The Syria crisis is legitimising Putin"

Russia's backing of Bashar al-Assad and his regime is a geopolitical game, says Stefan Meister, expert in Russian foreign and security policy. Above all, however, Vladimir Putin is benefitting domestically from his Syria policy. The confrontation with the West is making him a key figure in world politics. Interview by Jannis HagmannMore

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