Happier without father

Monday 10 April, 2006

Turkish-born German sociologist Necla Kelek has been accused of painting the Turkish community in Germany in a bad light. In an interview with Michaela Schlagenwerth, she explains that what she sees is what she writes. More dangerous than her portrayal, she says, is the pervasive blindness to the facts. (Photo Lebeck)
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Between Guatemala and Mongolia

Wednesday 5 April, 2006

Italians go to the polls on Sunday. Do Europeans realise what is at stake, or does Italophilia blind them to Berlusconi's brutal power games? Outside Italy, people fail to see that this "puppet" would already be behind bars in most European countries, and that its legal system and press freedom are on a par with Guatemala and Mongolia. But who could come next? Friedrich Christian Delius paints a dire portrait of Italy's ailing democracy.
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The Asterix complex

Tuesday 4 April, 2006

French philosopher and novelist Pascal Bruckner has no qualms about bucking public opinion. In an interview with Marko Martin he discusses Gallic fury, suburban rioters' scorched earth methods, the systemic weaknesses of French society and the Finkielkraut Affair.
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100 ways to become German

Tuesday 28 March, 2006

Citizenship tests are now all the rage in Europe. Britain and the Netherlands have made tests mandatory, and Germany is thinking of following suit. But opponents claim the proposed questions unfairly target Muslims and could not be answered by many Germans. Are you fit to become German? Find out with the 100 questions proposed by the German state of Hesse.
Send us your answers to: editor@signandsight.com. Thekla Dannenberg, editor and clever-clogs in German politics and history, will review your applications and notify you of her decision.
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Towards a United States of Europe

Monday 27 March, 2006

Europe must pluck up the courage to introduce reforms. It needs its own armed forces and foreign minister, a directly-elected president and an independent financial basis. These should be decided on by a referendum binding only in states where a majority had voted in favour. We present excerpts from a speech in which Jürgen Habermas calls on Europe to act - and sketches a critique of the Internet.
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Canfora's scandalous history of democracy

Wednesday 22 March, 2006

Adam Krzeminski is outraged by Luciano Canfora's highly selective "Democracy in Europe" which puts Stalinism on a pedestal. He congratulates a German publishing house for refusing to print it and believes European scholarship has shamefully neglected Polish history.
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Taking the immigrant test

Wednesday 15 March, 2006

As Germany toys with the idea of introducing tests to screen prospective immigrants, Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht cautions not to confuse rules with culture and asks: what is the norm, anyway?
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The end of the Silvio show?

Wednesday March 8, 2006

Italy is gearing up for parliamentary elections on April 9. Opposition figures from author Umberto Eco to satirist Sabina Guzzanti and filmmaker Nanni Moretti are vying to put an end to telecracy à la Silvio Berlusconi. But can they stop the country's rampant amalgamation of politics and TV? By Gabriella Vitiello
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Separating truth and belief

Monday 6 March, 2006

A clash of cultures? No, of mindsets. Philosopher Andre Glucksmann on truth and belief, and why the Danish Muhammad cartoons and cartoons about the Holocaust are two different things.
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Muhammad Cartoon Special

Thursday 16 February, 2006

Since they were published in September last year, the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons have excited responses from every corner. We've translated a daily press review, a distinction between truth and belief by French philosopher Andre Glucksmann, a balanced appraisal by Islamic scholar Navid Kermani, an interview with the Lebanese poet Abbas Beydoun, an open letter by eleven French writers, a statement of indignation by Sonia Mikich and a piece on how it all began by Jörg Lau.
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Rousing the lethargic bull

Wednesday 15 February, 2006

Anyone familiar with Middle Eastern literature knows it abounds with jesters who heap scorn on God, the mullahs, and rulers. But if Western media show endless stereotypes of Muslims - hooded men with machine guns and faces distorted with rage - you should not be surprised when hatred escalates and turns violent. By Navid Kermani
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The right to blaspheme

Tuesday 14 February, 2006

The disconcerting thing about the cartoon conflict is having to remind people that we have the right to commit blasphemy, that picking on the parish priest has long been a national sport. When we talk about anti-Muslim racism, we ask: what race are we talking about? Is Islam genetically transmittable? An open letter by eleven French writers.
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The panic savers

Monday 13 February, 2006

There's a general feeling that the German economy is in the dumps, and that by refusing to spend their money, the Germans aren't exactly helping things. Author Peter Schneider muses on miserliness in one of the world's wealthiest countries.
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On the heels of the anti-Western reflex

Thursday 9 February, 2006

Lebanese poet and writer Abbas Beydoun talks to Bernhard Hillenkamp about the rioting in his country in response to the Danish Mohammed cartoons and the creation of a more general "Islamic" paranoia.
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Under suspicion

Wednesday 8 February, 2006

Tariq Ramadan is the most important thinker in Switzerland, even if most Swiss have never heard of him. Who is this man that some consider to be a terrorist hero and others, a Muslim Martin Luther? By Martin Beglinger
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