Cultural diplomacy and the reconfiguration of soft power: Evidence from Morocco
Article (peer-reviewed) by Katharina Nicolai and Andreas Wüst (University of Bayreuth), in Mediterranean Politics, online (2022), DOI: 10.1080/13629395.2022.2033513.
During the reign of King Mohammed VI, Morocco experienced a rapid expansion in regional economic and military ties that have given a gradual impetus to a shift in regional power constellations. But in the shadow of this hard power trajectory, the Moroccan regime is increasingly capitalizing on its soft power resources as well. This paper demonstrates how the kingdom’s considerable cultural capital – arising from religion, historicity, and tradition – has become a political instrument to improve the country’s outward image.
Countering “Parallel Justice” in Germany
Article by Hatem Elliesie and Frank Michael Heller, in: Deutsche Richterzeitung, 98th volume, issue 3 (2020), pp. 100-103.
This article deals with what one generally tries to describe with the catchword “parallel justice.” In recent years, this term has not only gained acceptance in the social debate, but has also found its way into the language used by prosecutors and judges. According to the authors, this is surprising, at least in the context of legal practice, since “parallel justice” is not a genuinely legal term. The article addresses the phenomenon and presents scientific approaches and measures from legal practice.
The Turkish Directorate for Religious Affairs (Diyanet) in the context of Turkish Identity and Religion PoliciesOn the Interaction of Religious and State Actors in Turkey since 1923
Article by Hüseyin I. Çiçek in: Südosteuropa Mitteilungen, vol. 60, no. 5, 2020, 39 – 54, Volk Agentur + Verlag, Munich.
The article examines the political activities of the Turkish Directorate for Religious Affairs (Diyanet) since 1923. The Diyanet is the most important religious institution in the Turkish state. Together, the Turkish state and the Directorate for Religious Affairs determine the interpretation of (the “right”) Islam in Turkey. This form of cooperation has led to a close connection between both authorities since 1923. Based on the thesis that Diyanet was established to support the religious and political interests of Turkish governments, even if they deliberately pursue undemocratic politics, it is not surprising that the Diyanet supports and legitimizes the AKP’s authoritarian course.
The peace agreement of Sèvres 1920 and the Ottoman Position
Article by Hüseyin I. Çiçek in: Beiträge zur Rechtsgeschichte Österreichs, vol. 9, no. 2, 2019, 444 – 455, Verlag der österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.
„Kore’ye sılâhlı kuvvetler gönderiyoruz [We are sending our arms to Korea]“ The Turkish press and the Korea War
Article by Hüseyin I. Çiçek in: Zeitgeschichte (3), 2019, 409-4029, Vienna University Press.
The following essay analyzes the news coverage of the Turkish press before and during the Korean War on the basis of various Turkish daily newspapers. Until June 1950, there were no relations with South or North Korea. At the same time, the emerging antagonism between the United States and the Soviet Union divided the world into two blocks. Ankara has endeavoured since the end of the war an alliance policy with France, Great Britain, Italy and the USA. The Korean war offered Turkey the unique opportunity to be included in the defensive alliance of the capitalist West.
Undiscovered dichotomies in Ismail Bey Gaspıralı’s writings
A peer-reviewed Article by Hüseyin I. Çiçek, published by the Gesellschaft zur Förderung wissenschaftlicher Forschung und Publikation (January 2017)
Ismail Bey Gaspıralı belongs to the founding fathers of Turkish nationalism. His writings are very famous in Turkey and published in different editions in recent years. Ismail Bey is honoured as a cosmopolitan, for international understanding or as a bridge-builder and above all as a leading example for many Turkish-nationalist intellectuals. Hüseyin I. Çiçek’s article aims at taking a critical approach to Ismail Bey’s writings and working out dichotomies in his reasoning using Turkish Gaspıralı sources.
Check the Human Behaviour – Islam and German Law
Contribution by Mathias Rohe in: “Forschung & Lehre”, Vol. 23 (November 2016)
In the debate about legal thoughts in Islam and if they contradict the Western understanding of democracy and liberty, legal mechanisms are often misjudged, but also the variety of Islamic-normative attitudes. To put religion under general suspicion is incorrect and harmful.
ADR und “Paralleljustiz”
Contribution by Mathias Rohe, Politische Studien, Vol. 67, Hanns Seidel Stiftung, p. 24-32 (September 2016)
Is the German constitutional state undermined by “Parallel Justice”? Are there any Sharia-courts that implement Islamic-oriental legal norms against the order of the constitution? The contribution aims at clarifying the facts. Mathias Rohe works out the real causes of “parallel justice” and describes possibilities of how constitutional protection can be efficiently guaranteed for the entire population and in what circumstances extrajudicial settlement of disputes should be used constructively.
Security through Integration: Austria 2016
Publication by Alexander Schahbasi, in: Sicherheitspolitische Jahresvorschau 2016, Direktion für Sicherheitspolitik, Österreichisches Bundesheer, p. 367-369 (2015)
Although there is a trend toward the growing potential for conflict, regarding social tensions, situations affecting public safety cannot be predicted. Middle-term, it is important that extensive and nationwide integration measures take place to realize potential…
Finding a Place for Islam in Germany: Islamic Organisations under Private and Public Law
Peer-reviewed Article by Riem Spielhaus and Martin Herzog, Journal of Religion in Europe (2015)
While in current debates on Islam in Germany recognition is often reduced to the incorporation of Islamic organisations under public law, this article demonstrates that German law provides a variety of legal instruments that allow for public involvement of religious communities incorporated under private law…
Study on the role of Islamic norms in the daily lives of Muslims
Do Islamic commandments play a role when Muslims make decisions on dealing with their property in everyday life? Scientific studies suggest that some Islamic commandments are given more attention than others. EZIRE staff member Stephanie Müssig has found in her systematic review that Muslims follow, in particular, Islamic norms for consumption. Islamic norms dealing with capital goods tend to play a subordinate role in the daily lives of Muslims. In analyzing 20 research papers on the role of Islamic consumption and production commandments in everyday life of Muslims, Stephanie Müssig comes to the following conclusion: Islamic norms that regulate the use of property in relation to consumption influence attitudes and decisions of Muslims in their daily life. This concerns for example the consumption of halal slaughtered meat or the consumption of alcohol, which is forbidden in Islam, but also consumer decisions in general. By contrast, Islamic norms that regulate the use of capital goods are given less significance. Thus, Islamic norms hardly play a role when Muslims make investment decisions or when it comes to their corporate governance. For the systematic review, Stephanie Müssig has searched six major electronic journal databases on Social Sciences and Islamic Studies by research until August 2013 which deal empirically with the importance of Islamic norms regarding consumption and production issues of Muslims in Western Europe. The author was able to identify 20 relevant research papers from which she evaluated the results. The systematic review is published in the “Journal of Muslims in Europe” under the title “Muslims’ Day-to-Day Handling of Property and the Adherence to Islamic Norms. A Systematic Review of Studies for Western Europe” appeared. The study was developed within the ANR-DFG project “Understanding Property in Muslim Transitional Environments (PROMETEE)”.
Treatise on bridal dowry (mahr) from the perspective of different disciplines
EZIRE-employees Ursula Günther, Martin Herzog and Stephanie Müssig focused on the Islamic bridal dowry (mahr) from an Islamic Studies, legal and sociological perspective. The treatise was written within the context of the Franco-German ANR-DFG project “Understanding Property in Muslim Transitional Environments (PROMETEE)”. It is published under the title “Researching Mahr in Germany: A Multidisciplinary Approach” published in the magazine “Review of Middle East Studies”.
In Search of Religious Modernity: Conversion to Islam in interwar Berlin
A contribution by Gerdien Jonker in “Muslims in Interwar Europe” (2015)
The contribution of Gerdien Jonker deals with the activities of Muslim Missionaries in interwar Berlin. The Islamische Gemeinde zu Berlin (IGM; Islamic community of Berlin) as well as the Ahmadiyya Anjuman i Isha’at i-Islam (AAII), which were mainly missionized in Germany during that period, are introduced. Further, Jonker describes the biographies of some of the Islamic converts. By portraying the different biographies of both missionaries and converts, Jonker shows the different conceptions of Modernity as they were interpreted by both groups.
A Laboratory of Modernity. The Ahmadiyya Mission in Interwar Europe
Publication by Gerdien Jonker, in: The Journal of Muslims in Europe 3: 1-25 (2014).
In this paper, Jonker retraces the history of the Ahmadiyya mission in inter-war Europe as part of the globalisation narrative. Once they gained a footing, missionaries responded and adapted to local experiments with modernity as a means to simultaneously win over Europeans and modernise Islam. The article first considers the mental map with which Ahmadiyya and other Muslim intellectuals approached Europe. It reconstructs the work of the mission organisation and illustrates the communication difficulties between the Lahore centre and the mission post in Berlin. Making use of fresh sources, Jonker then sketches out the political context in which the missionaries moved about, and traces their perceptions and adaptations of European ideas. In the larger picture of globalisation, the Berlin mission offers a telling example of local religious adaptation, emphasising the important rapport between the newcomers and the local factor.
Justifications of Islamist-terrorist violence in reference to al-Qaida’s war messages
Publication by Hüseyin I. Çiçek, in: Innsbrucker Diskussionspapiere zu Politik, Religion und Kunst 48 (September 2014).
In his article, Hüseyin I. Cicek analyses the strategies of legitimation of Islamist-terrorist activities by the group Al-Qaida. He follows the assumption that people do not primarily use violence because they feel the necessity of doing so, but rather because they know of the impact of violence on daily life and want to end it with one last strike of “final violence”. For Islamist terrorists, the connection of individual and community is central here. Terrorists knew that they were using violence against “the west” but legitimized it as a defence of the violence that has been brought upon their (constructed) community throughout time.
The Dynamics of Adaptive Globalisation. Muslim Missionaries in Weimar Berlin
Publication by Gerdien Jonker, in: Entangled Religions 1: 115-158 (2014).
This study scrutinizes a case of adaptive globalisation at the interface of colonized India and post-war colonial Europe. It examines Muslim missionaries who, after World War I, made missionary efforts in Germany. Originating from British India, the missionaries’ determination was firmly rooted in the Indian colonial past. They saw their mission as a further step in the process of adaptive globalisation, that is, the drive to adapt to and reverse Western domination.
The paper retraces missionary competition in Weimar Berlin, revealing an amalgam of pan-Islamic ideas, political strategies, and reformist religious imagery. These attempts at winning Western converts were a knife that cut both ways: Missionaries approached German ‘moderns’ in their own symbolic language, while the latter steered between the different mission offers and adapted Islam to their own needs.