On Islam


Mahmoud Bassiouni

Human Rights Between Universality and Islamic Legitimacy

Human rights are caught in a normative area of dispute in contemporary Islamic discourse. On the one hand, they have to be legitimised by Islam, i.e. ankered in Islamic legal thought; on the other, they have to be adaptable to a universal consensus.

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Arabic world rights (Al-Kamel)

Thomas Bauer

The Culture of Ambiguity

For over a thousand years, Islamic societies in the Arab world nurtured a ›culture of ambiguity‹: disparate truth claims were permitted to coexist in the interest of peaceful cohabitation. Thus, in the fourteenth century, for instance, the existence of different versions of the Qur’an and the multitude of potential interpretations was seen as enriching. For many Muslims today it is a source of great vexation.

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English world rights (Columbia UP), Russia (Directmedia), Arabic World Rights (Al Kamel), Slovenia (Založba Krtina), Turkey (Iletisim)

Wolfgang Bauer

Stolen Girls

In the night from April 14th to April 15th 2014, members of the terrorist organization Boko Haram raided the small town of Chibok in the Northeastern part of Nigeria and abducted 276 young girls from the local boarding school. The event caused massive outrage across the globe. Under the hashtag »Bring Back Our Girls«, politicians, activists and celebrities from all around the world, among them First Lady Michelle Obama and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize Malala Yousafzai, stood up to raise attention and lend their voices to those held captive.

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English world rights (The New Press; English audiobook sublicense: Recorded Books), Arabic world rights (Al-Arabi), Italy (La Nuova Frontiera), Netherlands (Walburg Pers), Poland (Czarne), Czech Republic (Grada), Turkey (Ginko)

Ulrich Beck

The Personal God

At the beginning of the 21st century the world’s religions are facing radical transformations. They exist simultaneously alongside one another and all the other cultural creations and symbols, and if extracted from their temporal and spatial context, are open for general use, for fundamentalist or individual appropriation.

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English world rights (Polity), Spanish world rights (Paidós Ibérica), Chinese simplex rights (Shanghai Translation Publishing House), Brazilian Portuguese rights (Tempo Brasileiro), Italy (Laterza), Korea (Ghil), Japan (Iwanami Shoten), Czech Republic (Karolinum Press), Slovenia (Studentska Zalozba)

Ulla Berkéwicz

Maybe We'll All Go Mad

In the global world, the different peoples reveal their most dangerous common features in the shape of an almost archaic, bloody form of fundamentalism. 223 years after Lessing wrote his Nathan, the »parable of the rings«, in the wake of Sept. 11, 2001 the Enlightenment seems to have imploded and religions are apparently once more giving the commands.

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Previously published in the respective language / territory; rights available again: English world rights (Banyan Tree), Spanish world rights (Losada), Arabic world rights (Al-Kamel), Italy (Casagrande), Netherlands (Aspekt), Greece (Kastaniotis), Israel (Hakibbutz Hameuchad)


Daniel-Dylan Böhmer

The Major Who Outflanked The War

The tribal areas on the Pakistani border with Afghanistan are among the most dangerous parts in the world. If there is one thing we don’t usually associate with this remote region, it’s hope. As recently as October 2012, the Taliban carried out an attack on a fourteen-year-old schoolgirl who was advocating education for girls.

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Alexander Flores

Islam – Civilization or Barbarism?

The debate on Islam is always a polemic one: salafism, sharia, women’s rights, Boko Haram, the IS – we have an opinion on all of them. But do we really know what’s hiding behind these phenomena? Alexander Flores provides an antidote to our lack of knowledge by dedicating this book to the facts.

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Sibylle Lewitscharoff, Najem Wali

Abraham Meets Ibrahim

A highly dramatic scene: a father leans over the defenceless boy, the knife flashing in his hand – when, at the last moment, an angel orders him to sacrifice a ram instead of his own son. The biblical story of Abraham and Isaac is well-known. That it caused the philosopher Kierkegaard a sleepless night at the Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin, during which a divine power appeared to him to discuss the question of mercy – this is something only Sibylle Lewitscharoff knows. How the Quran deals with this material in turn, how it relegates Isaac to the background and elevates Abraham’s firstborn Ismail to his position instead, that’s what Najem Wali tells us about.

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Russia (Medina)

Angelika Neuwirth

The Koran as a Text from Late Antiquity

Is the Koran a purely Islamic text and therefore foreign to predominantly Christian and Jewish cultures? Or rather, is it a new and wilful voice in the chorus of debates on Late Antiquity during which the theological foundations of Judaism and Christianity were also laid?

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English world rights (Oxford UP)

Heinrich Wilhelm Schäfer

Battle of Fundamentalism

Is fundamentalism a result of a »collision of cultures?« How does it work? What is the reaction towards the modern, modified version? Does the purchasing of religious material play a part? What does complete fundamentalism mean?

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Werner Schiffauer

After Islamism

The Milli Görüs Islamic Community is among the most controversial Turkish organizations in Europe. Supported by many years of field research, Werner Schiffauer draws a differentiated portrait of the community’s development.

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Turkey (Perspektif)

Peter Sloterdijk

God's Zeal

The conflicts between the religions that have a common origin, i.e. the religions in the tradition of Abraham define our contemporary world to an unprecedented degree. In his essay, Peter Sloterdijk initially inquires into the politico-social and psychodynamic preconditions under which monotheism arose.

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English world rights (Polity Press), Spanish world rights (Siruela), Brazil (UNESP), Portugal (Relogio d’Agua), Arabic world rights (Librairie Orientale), France (Meta), Italy (Raffaello Cortina), Netherlands (Boom), Korea (Doddle Saeghim), Poland (Aletheia), Romania (Curtea Veche), Estonia (Tallinn University Press), Bosnia (Zenicke sveske)

Stefan Weidner

Manual for the Clash of Cultures

In the mid 1990s when Samuel Huntington presented his theory on the clash of cultures, he was met by widespread repudiation. Meanwhile, the conflict with Islam has estab-lished itself in the media as an ongoing issue and one cannot but speak of a real clash of cultures.

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