Islam expert Dietrich Reetz of Berlin’s Center for Modern Oriental Studies (ZMO) speaks to SPIEGEL about Muslims in Germany, social tensions and the prospects for dialogue between the communities. SPIEGEL: Mr. Reetz, recently the debate about the propensity to violence, among young Muslim men in particular, has heated up in Germany. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung co-editor Frank Schirrmacher wrote that, the mixture of youth criminality and Muslim fundamentalism is the closest thing today to the deadly ideologies of the 20th century. He is drawing an analogy to fascism and Stalinism. Is that excessive dramatization or is there a real threat?
US author Steve Coll spent years looking into Osama bin Laden’s family. Now, his new book provides a unique insight into the clan. SPIEGEL spoke with him about where the terrorist might be hiding, how his father got his start, and the unique romantic liasons pursued by one of his brothers. SPIEGEL: Mr. Coll, Osama bin Laden recently broke a long silence. He threatened Europe and called for the “liberation” of the Gaza Strip. How seriously should we take these missives? Do they tell us anything about him or about where he might be?
Right-wing Dutch politician Geert Wilders wanted to provoke an international scandal with his anti-Islam film “Fitna.” He succeeded. He talks to SPIEGEL about his crusade against Islam. SPIEGEL: Last Thursday, you released a long-awaited film that rails against the Koran. Heads of government across the EU are already discussing it and in Afghanistan Dutch flags are going up in flames. Have you achieved your goal: to provoke?
Prophet Muhammad with a time bomb in his turban: That is how the film by Dutch politician Geert Wilders begins. The Danish cartoonist responsible for the drawing explains to SPIEGEL ONLINE why he wants his drawing removed. SPIEGEL ONLINE: Mr. Westergaard, the anti-Koran movie made by right-wing Dutch politician Geert Wilders begins with your drawing of the Prophet Muhammad showing him with a time bomb in his turban. You are taking legal action against Wilders as a result. Why? Westergaard: The Danish Association of Journalists will file for an injunction today to force Wilders to take my cartoon out of the film. I don’t want my cartoon taken out of its original context. It was a cartoon aiming at fanatic Islamist terrorists — a small part of Islam. The cartoon must not be used against Muslim society as a whole. That was not my intention. SPIEGEL ONLINE: And this is what you think Wilders is doing with his film?
C_neyt Ciftci, a young man from Bavaria, blew himself up outside a government building in Afghanistan, killing two US soldiers and two Afghanis. SPIEGEL ONLINE has obtained a video documenting the final minutes in the life of the first German-born suicide bomber. It’s the perpetual grin that is most disturbing. The young man looks directly into the camera. He seems cheerful in his small cap and white shalwar kameez, the traditional Afghan dress. He smiles as he hoists the heavy bags of chemicals on to his shoulders. Grinning, he points skyward to Allah. Matthias Gebauer reports.
Across Europe, right-wing populist parties are gaining support by focusing on issues such as the construction of mosques. SPIEGEL ONLINE talks to right-wing populism expert Oliver Geden about the strategies used by the right and the pressure they put on the mainstream.
Investigators believe Attila Selek is part of a cell of Islamist terrorists led by Fritz Gelowicz, who allegedly plotted to bomb US Army bases in Germany. But Selek, who was arrested last week in Turkey at the end of an interview with SPIEGEL, insists he is innocent. Holger Stark reports.