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Cambridge Interfaith Programme

Dark grey columns overshadow the onlooker. The title words, "Subcontractors of guilt", are superimposed.

The first major study to analyse and propose ways of improving Holocaust education programs designed for Muslims, this project reconsiders the core of contemporary debates on European identity by looking at the crucial but oft overlooked connections between Holocaust memory and the integration of Muslims into the European moral order. It examines how Holocaust education and the values of empathy and tolerance it aims to inculcate influence European Muslim minorities and bordering Muslim majorities.

The project has been funded by the British Academy, German Academic Exchange (DAAD), and Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

Principal Investigator

Professor Esra Özyürek


Subcontractors of guilt: Holocaust memory and Muslim belonging in post-war Germany. 2023. Stanford University Press.

“Muslim Minorities as Germany’s Past Future: Islam Critics, Holocaust Memory, and Immigrant Integration” Memory Studies 15(1), 2019.

“Rethinking Empathy: Emotions Triggered by the Holocaust among Muslim-minority in Germany” Anthropological Theory 18(4): 456-477, 2018.


Podcast | Ted Knudsen (Oxford University) interviews Professor Esra Özyürek for the Spaßbremse podcast, episode 53: “‘Importing’ Antisemitism, Subcontracting Guilt”. 27 January 2024. Listen to Spaßbremse on

Interview | “Germany Should Stop Outsourcing Its Shame Over Historic Antisemitism to Migrants” (Ruairí Casey). 5 December 2023.

Interview | Available in German: “Wir müssen Antisemitismus und Islamfeindlichkeit gemeinsam bekämpfen” ( and English “We must fight anti-Semitism and Islamophobia together” ( 28 November 2023.

Interview | German: “So verfestigt sich der Hass”. Zeit Online | With English summary, “How hate solidifies” (CIP) 3 November 2023.

Podcast | Dr Armanc Yildiz (Humboldt University) interviews Professor Esra Özyürek about the book, Subcontractors of Guilt. New Books Network, August 2023.

Inaugural lecture and launch: To and from Subcontractors of Guilt. Faculty of Divinity YouTube Channel. 3 May 2023.

Opinion | German Muslims’ ‘Shocking’ Response to the Holocaust. Ha' 1 February 2021. 

Press coverage

[Review] Subcontractors of Guilt—Sonia Combe. Le Monde diplomatique. March 2024.

[Review] “Memory failure”—Pankaj Misra. London Review of Books. 4 January 2024.

[German:] “Wie die Deutschen auf Israel blicken” (How Germans view Israel)—Michael Schlegel. Süddeutsche Zeitung. 4 December 2023.

“The crackdown on pro-Palestinian gatherings in Germany”—Sanders Isaac Bernstein.  6 November 2023.

“Bad Memory”—a responsa published in the Spring 2023 issue of Jewish Currents ( Reponsas form the co-written editorial column of this publication. (A version of the article is also available in German.) 

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The conference Being with Water OTHERWISE (April 15-16, 2024) brought together scholars, practitioners, and activists from diverse backgrounds to explore the intricate...

Call for papers: Seeing Muslimness

28 March 2024

An interdisciplinary conference for scholars, researchers, and practitioners, co-convened by Madiha Noman—a PhD student in the Faculty of English and affiliate of the Cambridge Interfaith Research Forum—and Abdul Sabur Kidwai of King’s College London. Deadline for submissions: 30 April 2024.