Biographies of participants

Fathi el-Abed has a master degree in Business administration from Copenhagen Business College. He works as a head of department in a private consultant firm in Copenhagen. He is a member of the executive board of the Democratic Moslem Network, founded in early 2006 in connection with the caricature conflict. The Network’s declaration calls for a dialogue between cultures. Among the Network’s founding statutes is a quasi-religious call to democracy (“The Ten Commandments of Democracy”), first drawn up in 2002 by the Danish parliamentarian from the Social Liberal Party, Naser Khader. It includes the separation of religion and politics, adherence to human rights, a turning away from violence and hate, and respect for freedom of the press as well as the religious and national symbols of other cultures.

Ludwig Ammann, born in 1961, is a researcher in Islamic Studies, a journalist, and the founder of Kool Film Distribution. He studied Islamic Studies, Literature, and Anthropology in Freiburg. Amman researched the development of Islam and issues of historiography for the Essen Cultural Studies Institute. Among his publications are Cola und Koran – das Wagnis einer Islamischen Renaissance (Cola and Koran – the Adventure of an Islamic Renaissance, Herder, 2003) and, as co-editor, the volumes Islam in Sicht - der Auftritt von Muslimen im öffentlichen Raum (Islam in sight – the self-presentation of Muslims in public space, Transcript, 2004) on Muslims’ “coming out", and Der Islam am Wendepunkt - liberale und konservative Reformer einer Weltreligion (Islam at the turning point – liberal and conservative reformers of a world religion, Herder, 2006) – an appeal to go back to the “true core” of Islam, in which he sketches a reformed “Islam of the future”.

Abdullahi An-Naim, born in Sudan, is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law at the School of Law, Emory University, Atlanta (the Religion and Human Rights Project ended last year). He currently also has the Wiarda Chair at the Human Rights Institute of the University of Utrecht for 2005-2006. As a law student at the University of Khartoum in Sudan, An-Naim worked for the Islamic reform movement of Mahmoud Mohamed Taha until it was suppressed in 1984. He later published Taha’s main work in English, “The Second Message of Islam”. When Islamic fundamentalism gained ground in Sudan in 1985 and Mahmoud Mohamed Taha was executed, An-Naim left his country. From 1993 to 1995, he headed Africa Watch/Human Rights Watch in Washington, D.C. In 1995 he became Professor of Law, he went to Emory University, and was promoted to his Chair in 1999. An-Naim is an internationally recognized expert on intercultural human rights issues and on Islam. Additional foci of his work are constitutional law in Islamic and African countries and the relationship between Islam and politics. Among his more recent publications are “The Politics of Religion and Morality of Globalization”, in: Religion and Global Civil Society (ed. by Mark Jürgensmeyer, Oxford University Press, 2005, pp. 23-48), “Globalization and Jurisprudence: An Islamic Law Perspective”, in: Emory Law Journal, vol. 54/Special Edition, 2005, pp. 25-51), and “The Interdependence of Religion, Secularism, and Human Rights”, Symposium Talking Peace with Gods, part 2, Common Knowledge, vol. 11, Nr. 1, 2005, pp. 56-80).

Seyla Benhabib, born in 1950 in Istanbul, is the Eugene Meyer Professor for Political Science and Philosophy at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut and the Director of the Yale program Ethics, Politics, and Economy. She came to the USA in 1970 with a Vienna International Scholarship and initially studied Philosophy at Brandeis University in Massachusetts. Later she attended Yale, where she completed her doctorate in 1977. From 1993 to 2000, she taught at Harvard. Then she had a Baruch de Spinoza Distinguished Professorship at the University of Amsterdam. From 2000 to 2001, she had a Russel Sage Fellowship. Benhabib is interested in questions of multiculturalism and national identity. She derives her abhorrence for collectivist ideologies from the experience of the Vietnam War and her own biography. She is descended from Sephardic Jews who fled the Spanish Reconquista to Turkey in the 15th century. Among her more recent publications on the topic are Transformation of Citizenship. Dilemmas of the Nation-State in the Era of Globalization (Van Gorcum, 2000), The Claims of Culture. Equality and Diversity in the Global Era (Princeton University Press, 2002), and The Rights of Others – Aliens, Residents, and Citizens (Cambridge University Press, 2004). The most recent of her works to appear in German was Kulturelle Vielfalt und demokratische Gleichheit – Politische Partizipation im Zeitalter der Globalisierung (cultural diversity and democratic equality – political participation in the age of globalization, Fischer, 1999).

Sabine Berking is a research staff worker at the Irmgard Coninx Foundation in Berlin and organizes the international research program “Berlin Roundtables on Transnationality”. She was a Guest Lecturer at the Universities of Voronesh and Saint Petersburg, Russia, as well as at DePaul and Northwestern Universities in Illinois, USA. She currently teaches questions of migration in Europe at the Institute of International Education of Students (IES). Berking has published numerous articles on German-language transcultural and international postcolonial literature, but also on Women’s und Cultural Studies. She also works as a literary critic for radio stations and the F.A.Z. newspaper.

Hans-Günter H. Gnodtke, born in 1948 in Büderich, has been the German Foreign Ministry Commissioner for Dialogue with the Islamic World since 2005. Gnodtke studied Jurisprudence at the University of Heidelberg. From 1976 to 1979, he was a political consultant at the German embassy in Cairo, from 1979 to 1983 in London. After working for the Foreign Ministry in Bonn, he was Ambassador to Lesotho (1987-1989). After some other positions, he was Ambassador to Guinea (1995-1996), then Permanent Representative in Cairo (1999-2003), and Ambassador to Sudan (2003-2005).

Kai Hafez, born in 1964 in Bielefeld, is a Professor for Communication Science at the University of Erfurt. Hafez studied Political Science, Modern History, Journalism, and Islamic Studies in Hamburg and Georgetown/Washington, D.C. Beginning in 1995, he was a research staff member of the German Orient Institute in Hamburg. In 2003, he assumed the chair for Comparative Analysis of Media Systems and Communications Cultures in Erfurt. Then came Fellowships at Cambridge (2005) and Oxford (2005/06). His research emphases include a theory of foreign correspondence (globalization theory), the media landscape in the Middle East, “Media and Immigration”, political Islam, and in general “communication between Islam and the West”. He also works as a journalist and publishes various book series. Selected publications: Juden und Muslime in Deutschland. Minderheitendialog als Zukunftsaufgabe (Jews and Muslims in Germany. minority dialog as a future task, ed. with Udo Steinbach, Deutsches Orient-Institut, 1999), Islam and the West in the Mass Media. Fragmented Images in a Globalizing World (ed., Hampton Press, 2000), Mass Media, Politics and Society in the Middle East (ed., Hampton Press, 2001), Der Irak – Land zwischen Krieg und Frieden (Iraq – land between war and peace, ed., Palmyra-Verlag 2003)

Adel Hammouda, born in 1948, is an author and the editor-in-chief and founder of the Egyptian weekly newspaper Al-Fagr. After studying Economics and Political Science, he was editor-in-chief of various weekly magazines. He founded Al-Fagr in 2005. Along with his journalistic work, he has also published many books on the history and politics of Egypt and the Islamic world. His weekly newspaper Al-Fagr already printed the Mohammed caricatures from the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten in October 2005 – almost two months before the start of the wave of protest in parts of the Islamic world and Egypt.

Anne Knudsen, born in 1948, grew up in Tasiilaq, Greenland. She is an anthropologist and the editor-in-chief and business manager of Weekendavisen, Denmark’s largest political-cultural weekly magazine. Before that, she was head speaker on the national DR2 TV late news (1998), an editorial staff member of the daily newspaper Politiken (1994-1996), and a political commentator and critic with the Weekendavisen (1989-1994 and 1996-1998). As an expert on European culture and minority issues, Knudsen received research grants from the University of Copenhagen (1982-1994), the Carlsberg Foundation, the Center for the Humanities, the Research Council for the Humanities, and Odense University. Along with teaching positions at various high schools, she was also Visiting Professor at such universities as Oxford; Cambridge; Corte, Corsica; Nice; Siegen; Oslo; Lund; Berkeley; Santa Barbara; and Iowa City. In 1992, she received the Einar Hansen Foundation Prize, in 1996 the Svend Bergsøe Foundation Prize, in 1997 the Danish Writer's Guild Award, and in 2001 the Nathalie Zahle Foundation Travel Award. Her publications include: Hjem til Europa. 1945-1991 (“Return to Europe. 1945-1991”, with Jan Ifversen, European History, Gyldendal, 1992), Kulturelle Verdener. Kultur og kulturkonflikter i Europa (“Cultural Worlds. Culture and Cultural Conflicts in Europe”, with Lisanne Wilken, Columbus, 1993, 94, 96).

Nils Minkmar is a journalist, author, and editorial staff member. Minkmar has several times taken positions in the F.A.Z. on the caricature dispute, which he grasps, not as a “clash of cultures”, but as a “family dispute” within a dominant European culture that can no longer be conceived without Islam. Minkmar suggests a catalogue of measures, including Islam instruction at schools and a public-law status for Islamic congregations. The “line of battle”, says Minkmar, does not run “between Christians and Moslems, Arabs and ‘Whites’, Turks and Jews, but between murderers and democrats”. [quoted from: F.A.Z. Feb. 5, 06]

Ziba Mir-Hosseini, is an independent consultant, researcher and writer on Middle Eastern issues, specializing in gender, family relations, Islamic law and development. A Senior Research Associate at the London Middle Eastern Institute, SOAS, University of London, she obtained her BA in Sociology from Tehran University (1974) and her PhD in Social Anthropology from University of Cambridge (1980). She has held numerous research fellowships and visiting professorships, most recently: 2004-5 Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin; 2002, 2004, 2006, Hauser Global Law Visiting Professor at the School of Law, New York University. Her publications include the monographs Marriage on Trial: A Study of Islamic Family Law in Iran and Morocco (I. B. Tauris, 1993, 2002), Islam and Gender: The Religious Debate in Contemporary Iran (Princeton University Press, 1999; I. B. Tauris, 2000), and (with Richard Tapper) Islam and Democracy in Iran: Eshkevari and the Quest for Reform (I. B. Tauris, 2006). She has also directed (with Kim Longinotto) two award-winning feature-length documentary films on contemporary issues in Iran: Divorce Iranian Style (1998) and Runaway (2001).

Nicholas Mirzoeff , heads the „Visual Culture“-Programme at the „Art and Art Professions“ department of New York City University since 2004; before that, he was Professor of Art History and Comparative Literature at SUNY Stony Brook University, New York. After completing his doctorate in 1990 at the University of Warwick, Britain, he has been a Fellow at: the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA); the J. Paul Getty Center for the History of Art, also Los Angeles; the Yale Center for British Art, Yale, Connecticut; and the Australian National University, Canberra. Mirzoeff has published books on the theory and spread of visual cultures, for example The Visual Culture Reader (Routledge, 1998), An Introduction to Visual Culture (Routledge, 1999), Diaspora and Visual Culture: Representing Africans and Jews (Routledge, 2000), Watching Babylon: The War in Iraq and Global Visual Culture (Routledge, 2004), and Intervisuality: Working out Global Visual Culture (forthcoming).

Ashis Nandy, born in 1937 in Bhagalpur, Bihar in northern India, is a political psychologist and sociologist. He is currently a Senior Fellow and the Director of the Center for the Study of Developing Societies as well as Chairman of Committee for Cultural Choices and Global Futures in Delhi. At the moment (April-June 2006), he is a Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. He has also been a Fellow at: the Wilson Center, Washington, D.C.; the University of Hull; and the University of Edinburgh. In 1994, he held the first UNESCO Chair at the Center for European Studies (ZES) at the University of Trier. Nandy has addressed issues of national self-understanding in numerous publications, including Creating a Nationality: the Ramjanmabhumi Movement and Fear of the Self (Oxford University Press, 1995), in which he analyzed the conflict between Hindus and Muslims over the Babri Masjid [mosque], which had been destroyed by Hindu nationalists.

Farish Ahmad Noor, born in 1967 in Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia, is a political scientist and human rights activist. Since 2003, he has been a research staff member at the Centre for Modern Oriental Studies (ZMO) in Berlin. After receiving a Masters of Philosophy from the University of Sussex, Noor studied Area Studies and Southeast Asian Politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London. In 1997, he completed his doctorate at the Institute for Political Science at the University of Essex, Colchester, Britain. From 1997 to 1999, he was a Lecturer at the Centre for Civilisational Dialogue at the University of Malaya (UM), Kuala Lumpur. Beginning in 1999, he took part in the project “Modernity and Islam” at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin; in 2001 und 2002, he was Guest Lecturer at the International Institute for Studies of Islam in the Modern World (ISIM) in Leiden, the Netherlands. In the context of the caricature dispute, Noor advanced the hypothesis that the worldwide active Islamic network of Islamic parties, NGOs, civil groups, media, and political actors is a parallel globalization. According to Noor, the “clash of civilizations” is less a collision of cultures than a “contest for brand loyalty”.

Gari Pavkovic, born in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina, has been the city of Stuttgart’s Integration Commissioner since 2001. Before that, he headed a parents’ counseling center with an intercultural approach and was an elected member of Stuttgart’s Foreigners Commission. He studied Psychology from 1979 to 1986 in Germany.

Günter Piening, born in 1950 in Herzebrock, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, has been the Berlin Senat’s Commissioner for Integration and Migration since 2003. After studying Sociology, Peining was a trainee with a newspaper in Bielefeld and then worked there as an economics editorial staff member. In 1983, he founded the alternative weekly newspaper, the Bielefelder StadtBlatt, and was a member of its editorial board until 1988. In 1988-1989 and 1995, he traveled through Japan, China, and parts of Southeast Asia and West Africa. In 1991, Piening became the press spokesman of the parliamentary party of the Alliance 90/The Greens in the state parliament of Saxony-Anhalt and, in 1996, its Commissioner for Foreigners. In this function, he initiated the memorandum “Zuwanderung und Integration in den neuen Bundesländern” (immigration and integration in the new federal states, 2000). Piening is primarily interested in the phenomena of xenophobia and rightwing extremism.

Ulrich K. Preuß is a Professor of Jurisprudence and Politics at the Hertie School of Governance, Berlin, and a judge at the constitutional court of the state of Bremen. He worked on the constitutional-law re-orientation of the Eastern and Central European countries, on developing a European constitution, and on a concept for a European citizenship. Preuß has also investigated the relationships between liberal constitutional rights and the multicultural society. His more recent publications include Constitutional Revolution. The Link between Constitutionalism and Progress (1995), Institutional Design in Post-communist Societies: Rebuilding the Ship at Sea (with J. Elster and C. Offe, 1998), European Citizenship, Multiculturalism and the State (ed. with F. Requejo, Nomos, 1998). His book Krieg Verbrechen Blasphemie. Über den Wandel bewaffneter Gewalt (war crime blasphemy. the change in armed violence, 2002) addresses the legal and moral questions of the terrorist attacks of September 11 and the role of US foreign policy.

Muntaha al-Ramahi is a TV journalist for the news broadcaster Al-Arabiya in Dubai. She currently moderates a socio-political talk show, Bilmirsad, twice a week. Al-Ramahi worked for the broadcasting company Al-Jazeera for six years before starting work at Al-Arabiya. In 2005, during a discussion round with representatives of the major Arab news broadcasting companies, she said about freedom of the press in the Arab world: “At Al-Jazeera I was free in accordance with Al-Jazeera’s politics and at Arabiya in accordance with Arabiya’s politics. There is no absolute freedom in the Arab world, one can’t simply say what one wants.”

Walid Sadek, born in 1966 in Beirut, Lebanon, is an artist and lecturer in Art Theory in the Department of Architecture and Design at the American University of Beirut. As an artist, he exhibited "Les Autres" in 2001, "Al Kassal" (Indolence) in 1999 with writer Bilal Khbeiz, "Bigger Than Picasso" in 1999 and "Karaoke" in 1998. In 2001, he took part in the project curated by Catherine David, "Contemporary Arab Representations, Beirut, Lebanon" at the gallery Witte de With in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. He has published essays in magazines like Parachute, Zehar, and Al-Adab and in the volumes Tamáss (2001), Territoire Mediterranee (2005), Notes for an Art School, Documenta 6, and Nicosia (2006). Selected group exhibitions: Mediterranean Metaphors III, Borusan Sanat Galerisi, Istanbul, Turkey (2000), "Out of Beirut", Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, Britain (2006).

Werner Schiffauer, born in 1951, teaches Comparative Cultural and Social Anthropology at the Europa University Viadrina, Frankfurt am Oder. He is interested in rural and urban Turkey, questions of migration and the organization of multiculturality, and Islam in Europe. He is currently working on the research project “Die Entwicklung einer Islamischen Neo-Orthodoxie in Europa: Religion, Politik und soziale Bindung bei der Milli Görüs” (the development of an Islamic neo-orthodoxy in Europe: religion, politics and social ties in Milli Görüs). His more recent publications include: Civil enculturation: nation-state, schools and ethnic difference in the Netherlands, Britain, Germany and France (ed. by W. Schiffauer, G. Baumann, R. Kastoryano, and S. Vertovec, Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2004), “Die Islamische Gemeinschaft Milli Görüs – ein Lehrstück zum verwickelten Zusammenhang von Migration, Religion und sozialer Integration” (the Islamic community Milli Görüs – a didactic play on the entanglement of migration, religion, and social integration), in: Migrationsreport 2004. Fakten - Analysen – Perspektiven (ed. by K.J. Bade, M. Bommes, and R. Münz, Campus Verlag, 2004, pp. 67 – 96), and “Cosmopolitans are Cosmopolitans: On the Relevance of Local Identification in Globalizing Society”, in: Worlds on the move (ed. by J. Friedman and S. Randeria, I.B. Tauris, 2004).

Peter Schneider, born in Lübeck in 1940, is a writer, essayist, and literary critic who lives in Berlin. Schneider studied German, History, and Philosophy in Freiburg, Munich, and Berlin and, after being banned from his teaching profession, has been a freelance author since 1961. Schneider wrote about the caricature dispute in the daily newspaper, Der Tagesspiegel. Schneider notes that the “Clash of Civilizations” that Samuel Huntington predicted 13 years ago has long since begun, but as an internal, not an external collision of cultures in Europe. ”Islam needs an opening clause,” says Schneider, “a willingness to open up to the modern world.” Among other publications, Schneider published following novels: Skylla, Rowohlt, 2005, Eduards Heimkehr, Rowohlt, 1999, Paarungen, Rowohlt, 1992, Die Wette, Rotbuch, 1978, Lenz, Rotbuch, 1973.

Karen Schönwälder is a political scientist and private lecturer at the Free University of Berlin. She heads the project “Intercultural Conflicts and Societal Integration” at the Social Science Research Center Berlin. Before that, she worked at the Universities of Marburg, Giessen, Freiburg, Bielefeld, London, and Haifa. Her research emphases include migration, integration policy, and the experience of immigration in Germany and Britain. Her more recent publications include: “Religion, Öffentlichkeit und Politik in der multiethnischen britischen Gesellschaft” (religion, the public sphere, and politics in the multi-ethnic British society), in: Nation und Religion in Europa. Mehrkonfessionelle Gesellschaften im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert (nation and religion in Europe. multi-denominational societies in the 19th and 20th centuries), ed. by H. G. Haupt and D. Langewiesche, Frankfurt am Main/New York, 2004, pp. 343-361), “Migration und Ausländerpolitik in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland […]” (migration and policy on foreigners in the Federal Republic of Germany), in: Zuwanderungsland Deutschland. Migrationen 1500-2005 (immigration land Germany. Migrations 1500-2005), ed. by R. Beier-de Haan, Edition Minerva, 2005, pp. 106-119), “Multiculturalism in Germany: Rhetoric, Scattered Experiments and Future Chances”, in: Do Multiculturalism Policies Erode the Welfare State? (ed. by Keith Banting and Will Kymlicka, Oxford University Press, forthcoming).

Emmanuel Sivan, born in 1937 in Kfar Hahoresh, Israel, is a Professor for Islamic History at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. He completed his doctorate in 1965 at the Sorbonne in Paris. Sivan investigates contemporary Islamic fundamentalism, collective memory, and a comparative analysis of fundamentalisms. His more recent publications include “Fundamentalism: Genus and species” and “The enclave culture”, in: Fundamentalism Comprehended (ed. by M. Marty, University of Chicago Press, 1995, pp. 11-68 and 399-504), “Eavesdropping on radical Islam”, in: Middle East Quarterly, 3/95, pp. 13-24), and Strong Religion (Chicago University Press, 2003).

Jonathan Steele is a foreign correspondent for The Guardian, London. In recent years, he has reported on the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians and on the war in Iraq. Steele wrote in The Guardian that the Mohammed caricatures display “bad taste” and that they were provocative and inaccurate, because they imply “that every Muslim is a murderous would-be martyr and […] that the Qu’ran advocates suicide bombing”. Accordingly, he places the caricatures in the context of racial, religious, and ethnic discrimination. While in the USA the long history of mass immigration has taught most people to deal with a multicultural society, he says, England is in the middle and Denmark, as a mono-ethnic country, at the end of the tolerance spectrum. At the same time, Steele warns against overreactions in the Islamic world and the “black and white” reporting in the rest of the media.

Krassimir Stojanov, born in 1965 in Gotze Deltschev, Bulgaria, is a research staff member and Lecturer at the University of Hanover. He studied Philosophy, Pedagogy, and Sociology in Sofia, Bulgaria and in Hanover, where he completed his doctorate in 1997. Then he was a Research Assistant in Pedagogy at the University of the Bundeswehr (UniBwH), Hamburg. Stojanov is interested in questions of intercultural pedagogy and communication.

Bernd Ulrich is on the editorial staff of the weekly newspaper, Die Zeit. In the context of the caricature dispute, Ulrich has two hypotheses: first, there is a “new global constriction”, as the worldwide protests have shown. This means that the South and the poor are also part of this new world public sphere. Second, the world has become “multipolar” because of the economic strengthening of countries that until recently were on the periphery of Western perception. Although the West has lost its power, it claims privileges, like possession of the atomic bomb. His conclusion is that the West must not ingratiate itself to radical Islam, but at the same time it must launch a “fairness offensive”, “a program to ameliorate the double standard”.

Sabiha El-Zayat studied Medicine, Islamic Studies, and Ethnology at the Universities of Cologne and Bonn. She is a Lecturer for Islamic Hermeneutics and Didactics at the Center for Islamic Women’s Studies and Women’s Support (ZIF) in Cologne. Since 2000, she has been a member of the executive board and, since 2001, Deputy Chairwoman of the Society of Muslim Researchers in Social Science and the Humanities. She is interested in gender research and interreligious bio-ethics.

Andreas Zumach, born in 1954 in Cologne, live in Geneva, Switzerland. He is correspondent of the newspaper Die Tageszeitung (taz), as well as German, Swiss, and Austrian newspapers, radio and television. Zumach studied Economics and Journalism in Cologne. His work comprises UN-relevant topics. He is also interested in international organizations concerned with issues of security and globalization, arms control, and human rights. His special interest is in the UN’s role in the conflicts in the Gulf states and in the former Yugoslavia. Zumach has published numerous books on these issues. His most recent book, Die kommenden Kriege – Ressourcen, Menschenrechte, Machtgewinn – Präventivkrieg als Dauerzustand? (The coming wars – resources, human rights, power gains – preventive war as a permanent state), was published in Cologne in October 2005.