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Cambridge Interfaith Programme


The Arabic word Qantara (قنطرة) means bridge. provides journalistic coverage connecting the Islamic world with Germany.

Qantara’s Claudia Mende interviewed CIP Academic Director Professor Esra Özyürek about her ethnographic research among Muslims in Germany. The interview is available in English and German.

Here is an extract:

“Ms. Özyürek, Germany’s President Steinmeier has asked for migrants of Arab ethnic origin to distance themselves from Hamas. Is this a shift in German policy towards migrants, or is it simply an overreaction due to heated public debate?”

Esra Özyürek: “This needs to be seen in conjunction with the assumption that Palestinians, Arabs, or even Muslims are different from other citizens of Germany: their values are different, they are not German. And one of the principal differences is anti-Semitism. For years now, we have been dealing with the idea of a new anti-Semitism, associated with people from the Middle East.

“There is also the idea that migrants are sexist and homophobic. Since coming to terms with anti-Semitism is, however, such a major aspect of modern German identity – after all, it's what makes Germany Germany as we know it – the idea is that these people are fundamentally different. We have to keep working on their anti-Semitism.

“The idea that their anti-Semitism is different from our anti-Semitism has been around since early 2000, yet in recent years I feel like it has taken on quite another dimension. I admit I would never have imagined President Steinmeier saying that all Arabs must distance themselves from Hamas. Equally worrying is the idea discussed in the German parliament that migrants who are anti-Semitic or have voiced sentiments against the State of Israel can have their citizenship revoked.”

Read the full article (

Das Interview auf Deutsch: “Wir müssen Antisemitismus und Islamfeindlichkeit gemeinsam bekämpfen” (


Deutsche Welle is an independent broadcaster aiming to support cultural dialogue with news and information “made for minds”. IfA is a federally-funded institute for cultural exchange with bases in Stuttgart and Berlin. is a cooperative web-based project, co-created by Deutsche Welle and IfA, to promote dialogue with the Islamic world. The work is funded by the German Foreign Office.

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