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A Spiritual Guidance of the Nation

In a country far, far away there once was a dictator that controlled an entire nation. He was in charge of all three branches of government, plus the economy and the media. Everybody had to do as he pleased. He was the richest man of the country. But the dictator was not satisfied, he wanted more. And so the dictator ... Read More »

The Muslims of China

2 November 2013 – last Monday, a car crashed through the heavily guarded barricades of Tiananmen Square  and burst into flames in front of the steps of the Forbidden City. Later this week, the Chinese authorities said the crash was probably a suicide attack committed by Uighur Muslims belonging to a radical Islamist organization. This claim was immediately disputed by ... Read More »

No White Christmas for Kim Jong-un?

When we hear ‘human rights violations’ and ‘North Korea’ in the same sentence, it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise. But one might be baffled to hear that in the following ski-related case, North Korea is not the one being accused of human rights violations, but the accuser. North Koreans have been working night and day on the construction ... Read More »

The Anti-Rape Blockbuster

“Killing the rapists”… is the title of an upcoming Bollywood movie which wants to address the burning issue of rape in India. It aims to represent women differently from some other Bollywood productions, where women are often represented either as mythical pure Savitri’s or as entirely negative impure beings of the lowest cast. In “Kill the Rapists” the film makers  ... Read More »

The Iranian Pariah

While the newly elected president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, is evoking hope for a new détente between his country and the U.S., there is one group of Iranians that desperately longs for change inside: Members of the Baha’i faith. Persecuted and repressed ever since, the new tone of President Rohani makes them dream about peace and official recognition in the ... Read More »

Review: The Act of Killing

How do you make a documentary of a massacre, a genocide, when there are no living survivors willing to speak about it? When the massacre itself is still celebrated and its perpetrators are deemed ‘heroes? The answer is as simple as brilliant; you make the documentary about these ‘national heroes’, the ones who proudly talk about how they killed over ... Read More »

Rape and Sexual Violence in Syria’s Civil War

The sheer brutality of the ongoing Syrian civil war is often demonstrated by two figures: 70,000 killed people and over one million refugees since the conflict´s outburst in March 2011, after an angered crowd went on the streets to show their disgrace about the arrest and torture of teenage boys who were bold enough to spray anti-Bashar slogans on a ... Read More »

Studying Abroad: Turkey 3

Even though many Europeans consider the touristic cities at the Mediterranean Sea as ‘Western’ and, therefore, as an extension of their own country – which is true to a certain extent, as you can talk in any language you desire with the local population – there are some striking differences between the ‘real’ Turkey and Western Europe. Foremost, it could ... Read More »

Marriage as Last Resort

After two years of on-going war in Syria news from crisis area leave us increasingly indifferent. But the suffering continues for those affected, whether in Syria or in the refugee camps in the neighbouring countries. Coping with the refugee life is a struggle and some families have to opt for drastic measures to ensure an income. Child marriage is becoming ... Read More »

The Successful UN Intervention

After thirteen years, the UN peacekeepers are leaving East Timor. Their job is done; peace has found its way again to the small country and seems to have taken firm root. Sadly, this is far from always the case after a peacekeeping mission – what made East Timor such a success? East Timor, 20th of September 1999. After a referendum, ... Read More »