March 26, 2007

Muslims in Europe

From Der Spiegel, Special: Muslims in Europe:

A German Judge Cites Koran in Divorce Case: He beat her and threatened her with murder. But because husband and wife were both from Morocco, a German divorce court judge saw no cause for alarm. It's a religion thing, she argued.

German Muslim Groups to Speak as One: Germany's Islamic organizations aren't lacking in number. But coherence has long been a problem. Now four groups are banding together to form an umbrella organization. German politicians applaud the initiative, but warn that it's only one of several on the way to better inter-cultural dialogue. more...

"Not Possible to Modernize Islam": Human rights activists have formed a "Central Council of Ex-Muslims in Germany" to help women renounce the Islamic faith if they feel oppressed by its laws. Its Iranian-born founder Mina Ahadi, under police protection after receiving death threats, talks to DER SPIEGEL about its goals. more...

Islam No Longer Taboo: In light of the Muhammad cartoon scandal in 2006, carnival jokesters in Germany went easy on Islam. This year, Muslim satire will return to at least one parade. By Philipp Wittrock more...

Cartoons 1 : Muhammad 0: A French republication of the controversial Muhammad cartoons from Denmark has led to a fierce legal battle. But France's politicians -- in a year when some of them are running for president -- are clearly on the side of satire. By Stefan Simons more...

Kurnaz Case Continues to Trouble German Foreign Minister: German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has come under increased fire for his role in preventing the release of Murat Kurnaz, the German-born Turkish citizen who spent almost five years in US prison camps. German papers debate whether the criticism is appropriate. more...

Angst- Ridden Germans Look for Answers -- And Find Them in the Koran: The number of Germans who have converted to Islam has increased fourfold within one year -- despite the negative perception of Islam among the general public. By Lutz Ackermann more...

Muslims in Germany Choose to be Buried Abroad: As the first generation of Muslim immigrants to Germany get older, over 70 percent still plan to be buried in the country of their birth. Is integration a problem even in death? By Michael Scott Moore in Berlin more...

The Muslims Are Coming!: A citizens' group in Berlin turned out this week for a candlelight vigil to protest plans for a new mosque in their neighborhood. It will be the first to be built in the former East Berlin, where almost no Muslims live -- but no one can quite explain why it shouldn't be there. By Michael Scott Moore and Jochen-Martin Gutsch in Berlin more...

Berlin To Stage Controversial Opera: Berlin's Deutsche Oper hasn't had much luck getting sell-out crowds lately. But with politicians, Muslims, international journalists and police turning out for its controversial staging of Mozart's "Idomeneo" -- complete with the decapitated head of the Prophet Muhammad -- the opera house's fortunes could change. By Michael Sontheimer in Berlin more...