Interview with Salman Rushdie
Kashmir, Paradise lost
Salman Rushdie's "Shalimar the Clown" is a furious tale about a lost paradise. In this interview with Lewis Gropp, Salman Rushdie talks about how the Indian army and militant jihadists destroyed Kashmir's traditional culture of tolerance
Interview with Nader Hashemi
On the Compatibility of Islam and Democracy
In this interview with Lewis Gropp, Nader Hashemi, a leading scholar on Islam and secularism, says that the two are far from being incompatible – and that the West has to accept its share of responsibility for the revival of anti-democratic forces in the Islamic world
Ravid Kahalani's Yemen Blues
''Your Language Is My Language''
Ravid Kahalani is Israeli, but his family originally hails from Yemen. He and his group, Yemen Blues, explore the richness of Jewish and Arab-Muslim music, transcending national, ethnic and religious boundaries in the process. Lewis Gropp reports
Mathias Rohe on Islamic Theology in Germany
Triggering Global Debates
In Germany, Islamic theology is being introduced as a university course – a much debated issue in academic terms, but also politically. In this interview, Mathias Rohe, Germany's most renowned academic expert on Sharia law, talks about what this means for the development of Islam in Germany and, potentially, on a global level
The German Iraqi Writer Abbas Khider
Writing More Beautifully than God
Abbas Khider came to Germany as a refugee with no knowledge of the country's language. Now the man from Baghdad is listed by Germany's leading literary critics as one of the best writers of the moment. Lewis Gropp met the writer in Cologne
Ibn Rushd and Maimonides in ''Out of Córdoba''
The Muslim-Jewish Heritage of Islamic Spain
Lewis Gropp reviews a documentary that shines the spotlight on two 12th century philosophers – one Muslim, one Jewish – whose messages of positive coexistence resonate very strongly even today, refuting the "Clash of Civilizations" theory
Interview with Nader Hashemi
''The War of Ideas in Iran Is Over''
The ideological support for the Iranian regime is waning – liberal and democratic ideas have triumphed within civil society, says political scientist Nader Hashemi in this interview with Lewis Gropp
Salman Rushdie and "The Satanic Verses"
The Complicated Craft of Enlightenment
It has been twenty years since Ayatollah Khomeini issued the fatwa on Salman Rushdie. The Anglo-Indian author of The Satanic Verses still takes a critical stance on religion, yet he is also a vocal protester against discrimination of Muslims. By Lewis Gropp
The Great Arab Traveller Ibn Battuta
Contemporary Witness or Impostor?
The Moroccan explorer Ibn Battuta is regarded as the Arabian Marco Polo. But now German oriental scholar Ralf Elger claims to have discovered that Ibn Battuta faked most of his travel accounts. The professor's theory dulls the polished image of one of the most revered figures in Arab cultural history. By Lewis Gropp
Mesut Özil and Germany
A Football Hero in a National Identity Farce
As playmaker at Real Madrid, and key attack asset on the German national squad, Mesut Özil has matured into a true soccer superstar. And now the unassuming player finds himself at the centre of Germany's ongoing national identity debate. By Lewis Gropp
Interview with Hamid Dabashi
"Islam Is an Abstraction"
The US-Iranian intellectual Hamid Dabashi is among the most highly respected scholars of Islam in the US. In this interview with Lewis Gropp, he explains how Islam in Europe will change as a result of the influence of European culture and European Muslims
A Jewish Lawrence of Arabia
Born to a rabbi family in Habsburg Austria-Hungary, Muhammad Asad became an important twentieth-century Islamic thinker. Asad was a great traveller, a journalist, linguist, translator, social critic, reformist, diplomat, political scientist, and theologian. Today he is a landmark for a tolerant and contemporary interpretation of the faith. A portrait by Lewis Gropp