German Chancellor Angela Merkel - A crisis manager prepares for the campaign ahead | Forced Labor - An East German scandal is unveiled | Far-Right Extremism - An ongoing problem in Germany’s east | A Modern Islam - The role of Islamic religious education
Chancellor Angela Merkel has a reputation as careful crisis manager. Often she appears to hesitate when making necessary decisions, to the frustration of some. But Merkel is quite popular among the German public - her popularity ratings are higher than those of her own party. What factors account for Merkel’s success?
The records of the Ministry for State Security of the former communist East Germany have shown that political prisoners in the country were made to perform forced labor. These forced laborers produced goods for the west - including for Ikea, as the company has now admitted. We take a look at the system of forced labor in the former East Germany.
Far-right extremism remains a problem in Germany, particularly in eastern regions. The town of Zossen in the state of Brandenburg, for example, continues to make headlines due to the actions of neo-Nazi groups. In the coming days, the German government will decide whether to make another attempt at banning the far-right National Democratic Party of Germany, or NPD.
Mouhanad Khorchide is head of the Center for Islamic Theology at the University of Münster. The center also trains imams and teachers who will offer Islamic religious instruction in German schools. But Khorchide’s liberal interpretation of Islam has also elicited controversy.