Kicking the headscarf habit

Monday 13 November, 2006

I decided about a year ago to live without a headscarf. It makes a difference if you're obeying duties outlined by others or those based on your own conclusions. But calling for Muslim women to remove their headscarves is as futile as calling on Germans to stop drinking beer, because it must be the result of genuine consideration. By Emel Abidin-Algan
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Self-censorship in major and minor

Wednesday 27 September, 2006

The cancellation of the Mozart opera "Idomeneo" in Berlin's Deutsche Oper for fear of reprisals from the Muslim community has unleashed a storm of protest. Harald Jähner, feuilleton editor of the Berliner Zeitung, finds the opera house's decision not only cowardly but dangerous.
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Stepping out of the fire

Wednesday 6 September, 2006

Having been violently attacked by the husband of one of her clients, the Berlin lawyer and Islam critic Seyran Ates has closed her legal practice. A fighter for human rights resigns. By Mariam Lau
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"Cutting off my tongue"

Monday 3 July, 2006

German star comic artist Ralf König on burqas in Germany, the Pope in Cologne and his gay Islamist satire "Jinn Jinn". An interview with Wieland Freund.
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Europe's politics of victimology

Tuesday 30 May, 2006

Flemming Rose, cultural editor at Jyllands-Posten newspaper, justifies his decision to publish the Muhammad cartoons, and takes stock of the controversy they ignited, arguing that Europe must shed the straitjacket of political correctness.
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Let's poke holes!

Thursday 11 May, 2006

How do our religious, ethnic and national identites sway how we feel about toleration? Is human culture more like a jail or a window? Are there touchpoints between Europe and America here? These are just some of the questions broached at signandsight.com's panel discussion on "The Limits of Tolerance: Multiculturalism Now" at the recent PEN festival in New York, with participants Necla Kelek, Pascal Bruckner, Richard Rodriguez and Kwame Anthony Appiah.
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My Germany

Monday 24 April, 2006

I want to see Turks en masse waving the German flag. Jobs, rules, the German language and free religion – these must be the pillars of a new German society. Today's West Germans, East Germans and foreign Germans are perhaps only the forefathers of the curious folk we will be in thirty years. And then, what belongs together will grow together. An appeal by Feridun Zaimoglu.
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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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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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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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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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"What next, bearded one?"

Tuesday 7 February, 2006

We are offended. Our traditional values have been quashed. Freedom of speech and reason are sacred to us. And let's not forget, the world isn't flat. A wake-up call. By Sonia Mikich.
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