Editorial – 9th issue autumn 2006


Dear readers!

Against the background of the continuous war situation in the Arab world the issue of the integration of Arab immigrants into Western society has become more and more important. Is their integration in a crisis? Hamdi Fadlalla reconstructs the relationship of Muslims towards their host country Germany in the periods from 1900-1971, 1973-1988, 1989-2004 and 2004 until today and analyzes tendencies that can be observed in general in order to point out existing deficiencies and find a solution based on tolerance and respect that is accepted by all involved parties . 

In a conference held by the Tunesian Society for International Relations and financed by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung on “The Euro-Maghreb Relationship Between Cooperation and Neighbourhood” (22.-23. May 2006)  Abdallah Turkmani spoke about the motives of emigration, the worries and responsibilities of Western countires and their contradictory immigration policy. The authors believes that the solution is not to be found in seperation against immigrants but in an alround project developed together by all countries that includes all issues from immigration policy to foreign aid of the immigrant’s home countries. 

The ongoing debate on Mohamed-caricatures is being relaunched in Europe over and over again to make fun of Muslim’s humourlessness and oversensibility. “Why should one censure oneself and always show consideration for their overselsibilities?” This question reflects the general mood today. Hamid Fadlalla reports about liberal voices in the Mohamed-caricature-debate, which is present also in Muslim circles. 

The Arab world is today more than ever in need of reformers. One man who has been standing out with new ideas is Tariq Ramadan. Yet, now he is beeing degraded to an islamist by the Islam expert and political scientist Ralph Ghadban. In his review of Ralph Ghadban’s book “Tariq Ramadan und die Islamisierung Europas” (published 2006 at Verlag Hans Schiler, Berlin) Hamid Fadlalla criticizes Ghadban’s harsh condemnation of the philosopher Tariq Ramadan, who is regarded in the Arab world as an outstandnig liberal thinker. 

In another contribution Peter Göpfrich from the German Day of Chamber of Industry and Commerce describes at length from the golden age in Andalus until today the relationship of the Arab world to technology. The fact that technological development has impact on social behaviour and can change the relationaship between society and state is indisputable. The internet encourages the exchange of free thought and reduces censorship to absurdity… “Bluetooth lifts the veil”… a certainly positive view of globalization.

Sollt ich nicht ein Gleichnis brauchen,
Wie es mir beliebt?
Da uns Gott des Lebens Gleichnis
In der Mücke gibt.

Goethe transformed this allegory of the mosquito – a reminder to see “God’s greatness in small things” which Goethe knew from Hammer’s translation of the Koran – into this quatrain, an unpublished poem of the West-Östlicher Divan. Bees, spiders, ants, hoopoes, camels and cows… What do they mean in the Koran? This is what the last article in our Magazine by Peter-Anton von Arnim is about. 

We wish you a good reading!


Abier Bushnaq

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