Muslims in Germany: Life in a Parallel Society

In Germany, Islam is often equated with fundamentalism and fanaticism, a perception that imposes a heavy burden on the country’s 3 million Muslims. Their relationship to Western society is divided between integration and sometimes self-imposed exclusion. The name of the salon is German — Goldene Finger (Golden Fingers) — but the services it offers are listed in the window in Arabic and Turkish. In the front of the shop, 40-year-old Palestinian Toufic al-Rifae gives men haircuts and trims their beards. Veiled women disappear into a back section behind a curtain, where female hairdressers do their hair and, using thick lines of the traditional Middle Eastern cosmetic preparation known as kohl, apply their makeup in the Arab style. Norbert F. P_tzl reports.