On the Death of Siegfried Lenz ? ?You have to justify your life?

Siegfried Lenz, one of the great writers of German post-war literature is dead. He died on 7 October 2014, surrounded by his family. He was 88 years old.... more more

GoetheInstitute

Les Minguettes

Monday 18 December, 2006

Since France's first suburban riots took place there in 1981, Les Minguettes has had a serious image problem. The suburb of Lyon is synonymous with integration problems, urban violence and social decay. But having taken the time to look behind the apartment block facades, Anne-Marie Vaterlaus paints a picture not entirely devoid of hope.
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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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Two faces of Arab intellectuals

Wednesday 11 October, 2006

The Arab intellectual behaves like a despotic father. No internal family matter may be exposed to the outside world. Regardless of what the reality may be, a facade of unbroken unity must be maintained. In private talks you hear opinions that are radically different from what is published in the newspapers the next day. By Khalid al-Maaly (Image © Brigitte Friedrich, Cologne)
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Islam's heritage of violence

Thursday 5 October, 2006

In response to the uproar caused by Benedict XVI's speech in Regensburg, Abdelwahab Meddeb, one of France's most respected Arab writers, considers why peaceful disputes between Christians and Muslims were possible in the Middle Ages but not today. An interview with Michael Mönninger.
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Benedict and the value gap

Tuesday 19 September, 2006

Pope Benedict XVI's Regensburg speech gives no rational ground for the commotion now being stirred up from Pakistan to Europe. In our globalised, individualised and thoroughly economicised world, the purely technical use of reason threatens to bring about a value gap. That the Pope should try to close this gap with religious means may not have proved effective, yet this is exactly where all believers should find common ground. By Stephan Hebel
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Black virgins

Monday 20 March, 2006

In an arresting new play, five young Muslim women lift the veil on a taboo: sex. Director Neco Celik talks to Michaela Schlagenwerth about his own conflict with Islam and why he chose this explosive material for his first play.
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Holiday from the Enlightenment

Monday 27 February, 2006

Religion is en vogue today, while the Enlightenment suffers from a major shortcoming: it has a stock of efficient ideas, but no impressive images. In a word, it is not television-compatible. Yet the enlightened world we live in is one where even those opposed to it would like to live. By Heinz Schlaffer
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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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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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"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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Who's afraid of Muhammad?

Thursday 2 February, 2006

In September, the Danish paper Jyllands-Posten printed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. Some Muslims were not amused. Jörg Lau explains how the seemingly innocent pictures caused an international crisis.
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The twelve Muhammad cartoons

Thursday 2 February, 2006

A new Rushdie affair? The European press is full of the heated debate over the Muhammad cartoons. A survey.
Updated on Friday, February 24.
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