Arab atheists: A demonised minority

October 2021 – Atheists are widely misunderstood by many Arabs and Muslims. There are those who believe us to be Satanists or that we have no moral compass and are debauch degenerates. But understanding and sympathy are growing.

Remembering Jewish Arabists and Arab Jews

June 2021 – In these polarised times, the social, political and cultural influence and fluid identities of Jews and Jewish Arabists is largely forgotten when it should be commemorated and celebrated.

Lessons in religious intolerance

April 2021 – Using offensive images of Muhammad in the context of a lesson on blasphemy is entirely justifiable pedagogically, intellectually and morally. Conservative Muslims protesting against it are attempting to shut down free inquiry and undermining pluralism.

Denmark's white ghetto mindset

April 2021 – The concentration of immigrants in certain poor neighbourhoods in Denmark is far more a sign of the ghetto mentality of the majority than that of minorities.

Combating racism is a race against time

April 2021 – The European Union has committed itself to dispelling the spectre of racial prejudice. But with the resurgence of and discrimination across , combating it requires urgent action, not just noble words.

How not to fight extremist in America

March 2021 – A sudden lurch from ignoring or underplaying the threat of right-wing extremism in America to treating white crusaders like jihadis and QAnon like al-Qaeda will set off the insurgency timebomb rather than defuse it.

White extinction and the mythical menace of multiculturalism

March 2021 – Despite the paranoid conspiracy theories and fear-mongering of the extreme right, cultural diversity is a beautiful and wondrous thing.

The heroes fighting online hate speech

February 2021 – Donald Trump's latest impeachment throws a spotlight on the politics of grievance, the role of social media and the dangers of hate speech spilling over into real life. Fortunately, the pushback has started.

Good riddance to Trump

November 2020 – With Biden elected, Rebekah Crawford, like much of America, is waking up from being in an abusive relationship. Sadly, millions of Americans did not mind Trump's racism, corruption and abuse of power.

Defining tyranny: Hitler, a dictionary and the death of a Jewish Arabist

July 2020 – The world's best-known Arabic dictionary started off as a Nazi propaganda project and cost a young Jewish scholar her life. It's time Hedwig Klein received the posthumous recognition she deserves.

When Muslims make merry at Christmas

January 2020 – For Western Muslims, Christmas is just outside their doorsteps. For some, Christmas even skips merrily in from the cold and crosses the threshold into their homes.

Arab exiles: Fleeing nightmares or chasing dreams

October 2019 – When Arab revolutionary dreams turn into anti-revolutionary nightmares, the fortunate ones find safety abroad. But with exile comes unprocessed trauma, guilt, fear, dealing with xenophobia and painful yearnings for home.

Bordering on inhumanity: How Slovenia and Croatia illegally deport refugees and migrants

August 2019 – Rather than being allowed to apply for asylum, thousands of refugees and migrants attempting to enter Slovenia and Croatia are being illegally and often violently spirited across the border to Bosnia, and out of the EU.

Racists exploit BDS and Israel to advance their agendas of hatred

May 2019 – As recent motions in the German Bundestag and US Congress reveal, both the BDS and pro-Israel movements are exploited by racists as fig leafs to further their agendas. These racists must be exposed and challenged.

Of crusaders and jihadis

March 2019 – Despite their conviction that they are polar opposites, white supremacists and Islamist extremists share much in common, including a hatred of minorities and the enemies within, a persecution complex, and nostalgia for past glories.

Citizenship is a universal right, even for ISIS members

March 2019 – The death of Shamima Begum's infant son underscores the injustice of depriving alleged terrorists and jihadis of their citizenship. It also sets a dangerous precedent that can come back to haunt and hurt everyone in society.

The unlikely demonisation of Salman Rushdie

February 2019 – Salman Rushdie made a very unlikely target for the fury of conservative Muslims, which is why the opportunistic fatwa issued by a Khomeini in serious decline took the novelist and the world by surprise.

The curious case of the Islamophobe who became a Muslim

February 2019 – Rather than being like a vegetarian who suddenly becomes a carnivore, a former Islamophobic politician's conversion to is more akin to a committed soda beverage drinker switching from Coca Cola to Pepsi.

Losing faith in education

February 2019 – While it is important for to learn about religion, they should not be schooled in any particular faith.

Merry Muslims at Christmas

December 2018 – Despite fears of an anti-Christmas jihad, many ordinary Muslims enjoy getting into the spirit of the season.

Steve Bannon is being amplified, not silenced

December 2018 – By providing Steve Bannon with an uncritical solo platform, the Oxford Union has failed in its mission as a forum of free and fair debate, succumbing instead to tabloid sensationalism.

The truly dangerous homegrown extremists

November 2018 – Despite the hype about Islamists and jihadis, the truly terrifying threat for the democratic future of Europe and America are far-right extremists, who are becoming both increasingly mainstream and violent.

Nostalgia… when the past is a better country

November 2018 – The majority of Europeans do not want to let bygones be bygones and pine for a past which they believe was better than their present. This is problematic for Europe's future.

Bad blood or blood libel: When is criticism of Israel anti-Semitic?

September 2018 – While critics of Israel can be anti-Semitic, many who criticise Israel harbour a deep respect of and love for Jews. Similarly, supporting the Jewish state is not necessarily a manifestation of philo-Semitism and can stem from anti-Semitic motives.

The ghettoisation of Danish politics

July 2018 – The Danish government plans to force minorities out of what it classes as “ghettos”, but its Denmark's mainstream that needs to escape its ghetto mentality.

What does being a Muslim actually mean?

June 2018 – In much of the world, ‘Muslim' is often used as a marker of ethnic origin rather than of religion. This must change.

Angela Merkel: The ‘Arab' chancellor

September 2017 – If Arabs could have voted, Angela Merkel would have won by a landslide, rather than the embattled situation she currently finds herself in following the shock gains scored by the far-right.

The adventures of Rami and his magic violin

September 2017 – Syrian Rami Basisah and his violin have been through hell and high water together. His childhood dream of becoming a world-famous musician is about to come true. But the trauma of losing is country means he cannot enjoy his success.

Unsung death on the Nile – Part II

August 2017 – Arriving in Thatcherite Britain was a shock to mother's leftist, post-colonial worldview, but she adjusted, managed to admire her new home and made friends from all walks of life.

White supremacy's inferiority complex

December 2016 – For an ideology which claims to stand at the pinnacle of humanity, white supremacy exhibits a paranoid sense of inferiority and persecution.

Multilingualism: The power of Babel

November 2016 – Speaking foreign languages broadens our horizons and can act as an antidote against toxic xenophobia.

Muslims with altitude and the fine art of terrorism

August 2016 – If you  are or look like a Muslim or Arab, whatever you do, do not read, sweat or speak Arabic when flying.

The mirage of the meek Muslim woman

August 2016 – Incurable misogynist Donald Trump has Muslim women all wrong. They are not silent and submissive.

Eutopian nightmares

June 2016 – By raising the drawbridge in the face of desperate refugees and succumbing to bigotry and hatred, the EU's utopian ideals are being abandoned for a dystopian reality.

One man's terrorist is another woman's lover

March 2016 – The surreal “lovejacking” of an EgyptAir flight adds a new dimension to the western image of the Arab man: the hopeless romantic and dedicated lover.

The myth of the European jihadist hordes

March 2016 – The terrorist attacks in Brussels will reinforce the idea that returning jihadists pose an existential threat to Europe. But the facts say otherwise.

Of crusaders and jihadists

March 2016 – Despite Donald Trump and Ted Cruz's aversion to Islam, their own beloved Bible contains troubling “Christian values” of war, misogyny and homophobia.

Sexual harassment, Islam and the politicisation of women's bodies

January 2016 – Sexual harassment in Cologne and elsewhere is not about Islam. It is about the patriarchy and the politicisation of women's bodies.

Western Muslims: The neglected link

January 2016 – Despite their under-utilisation and the suspicion they elicit, European and American Muslims can help bridge the chasm between “West” and “East”.

An ode to minorities

December 2015 – Rather than distrusted, marginalised or persecuted, minorities must be celebrated for the role they play in strengthening society and bridging chasms.

Brussels: Radicalism, surrealism and multiculturalism

December 2015 – In many ways, radicals in Brussels are more a product of the local language war than they are of global holy war.

ISIS and the mash of civilisations

November 2015 – Counterintuitive as it may sound, ISIS is proof that the clash of civilisations is a myth. The reality is that interests clash, while cultures mix.

Orientalism for kids

November 2015 – Despite the racism contained in Tintin and other classic children's tales, I believe that children should be exposed to them.

Invading Europe without invaders

October 2015 – Any objective observer can see  that the refugees of today are not the invaders of history. So why are so many Europeans afraid of refugees?

Refugees who just want to dance

October 2015 – An Iranian engineer who is seeking asylum in Europe because he wants to pursue his passion, dancing, would probably be rejected. Should he be?

The Islamic (re)conquista of the West

September 2015 – As a member of the advance guard sent out to plot the Islamisation of Europe, my mission is to pave the way for my migrant jihadi brothers and sisters.

Europe's collective refugee shame: How can it be?

August 2015 – How can it be that we Europeans greet the biggest refugee crisis in living memory with indifference, xenophobia and hostility?

Defusing the social media timebomb

July 2015 – Countering the “weaponisation of the internet” with top-down initiatives are unlikely to succeed. What we need are true grassroots efforts.

Circassian beauties and the ugly face of race

July 2015 – The curious cases of Rachel Dolezal and the Circassian ladies show just how meaningless race is, while Dylann Roof underlines the dangers of racism.

Hagia Sophia: A symbolic bridge or wedge?

June 2015 – The Hagia Sophia must not become a mosque. If its status must change, it should become a space of tolerance, where both Christian and Muslim worship.

A ‘War on Error' against radical anti-Islam

May 2015 – Given how many New Atheists, Christian fundamentalists and neo-cons share a distorted view of Islam and Muslims, it's high time for a War on Error. 

Enslaved by history

May 2015 – Failing to acknowledge the legacy of slavery on all our modern societies makes the present an unnecessary slave to history.

Making halal sexy

May 2015 – Though halal sex may sound as logical as kosher bacon, it does make ts own sense. Some Muslims are utilising the concept to break the taboo around sex.

War and peace in the Middle East and Europe

April 2015 – Europe's history of total war and mass displacement can help create more sympathy for today's refugees and keep hope alive in the Middle East.

The Viking Allah

April 2015 – A mysterious ring in a dead Viking woman's tomb shows how Northern Europeans came into contact with Muslims and Islam before even becoming Christian.

Islam's freedom of expression… and insult

January 2015 – Muhammad's self-appointed defenders take offence on his behalf, but the prophet would've tolerated Charlie Hebdo and condemned the savage murders.

Europe's invisible “Islamisation”

January 2015 – The murderous Paris attacks have reignited fears of “Islamisation”. But Islamic civilisation is encoded in Europe's cultural and intellectual DNA.

Mosul's lost diversity

December 2014 – The Islamic State's (ISIS) destruction of Mosul's ethnic diversity is more heart-breaking than the erasure of its architectural and cultural heritage.

A rebel without a pause

October 2014 – Khaled Diab, The Chronikler's founder, is the 2014 Anna Lindh Mediterranean Journalist of the Year in the press category.

The dangers of a political crusade against Western jihadists

September 2014 – Inflammatory rhetoric and a solely punitive approach to Western jihadists is only likely to make matters worst, and could threaten .

A successful caliphate in six simple steps

June 2014 – ISIS really doesn't get what restoring the caliphate means. Here's how in six simple steps, from Caliphornian wine to cultural melting pots.

Hongarije, de Viktator en ik

April 2014 – Waarom maak ik mij zorgen? Hongarije wordt nu een land van rechts-extremisme verpakt in een hip jasje. Ik zie mijn vaderland voor mijn ogen afbrokkelen.

Spain, return and the other 1492

February 2014 – Spain's recognition of the Jews it expelled ignores another historical crime: the Muslims forced out of Andalusia.

Buying camel's milk in Arabic

October 2013 – Conversing about camel's milk may not be the most useful Arabic to learn, but learning the language can open up the Arab world to Europeans.

The Christian Allah

October 2013 – Muslim and Christian bigots who don't speak Arabic believe that “Allah” is only for Muslims. They are wrong: Allah is God and God is Allah.

Egypt and the West: the liberal-Islamist paradox

August 2013 – Why do some Western liberals committed to democracy, gender equality and minority support a president and movement that respects none of these?

How iSlam made the West cool

May 2013 – Those who fear Muslim influence should raise a glass to the Sultan of Style when they freshen up, don the latest fashions or enjoy dining out.

Gay marriage but no polygamy?

May 2013 – If we can have gay and interfaith marriages in the West, then why not polygamous ones?

America and Europe's real “homegrown terrorism” threat

The Boston marathon bombings have refocused attention on the threat of “homegrown ”. But there is a much more dangerous domestic threat.

Intimate strangers in a splintering world

April 2013 – Multiculturalism is enriching and as easy as child's play. But as the winds of intolerance blow harder, it may become a liability for my son and his generation.

Defeating Hitler's legacy

April 2013 – On the 80th anniversary of Hitler's rise to power, Germany provides an inspiring role model for how societies can come to terms with their ugly past.

The clash within civilisations

March 2013 – This year marks the 20th anniversary of the clash of civilizations theory, but Samuel P Huntington was wrong.

De Europese Unie en de ‘Viktator' van Hongarije

March 2013 – De EU krijgt een keiharde middelvinger van de ‘Viktator' van Hongarije. De Unie moet nu resolute actie ondernemen om haar legitimiteit te redden.

Zwarte Piet, a bitter treat

December 2012 – Sinterklaas (Santa Claus) brings joy  to millions in the Low Countries. But his dark-faced helpers, Zwarte Pieten, are racist and a colonial throwback.

The mash of civilisations

September 2012 – There is no conflict between Islam and the West – only clashes of interests between and within them. But there is a very real mash of civilisations.

Muhammad: separating the man from the myth

September 2012 – As a clash of idiocies erupts over the depiction of Muhammad in an obscure Islamophobic film, it's time for a sober look at the man behind the prophet.

Hungary's forgotten generation

September 2012 – With the surge in polarised power politics, young Hungarians, excluded and frustrated, are falling prey to extremism and its twin menace, apathy.

The liberation of exile

July 2012 – My father's secret police file reveals that my newly wed parents were right to flee . But I'm grateful for the liberation of “exile”.

Social media and the end of nationalism as we know it

June 2012 – As social media strip away the space and time separating like-minded people, is the notion of “nationalism” becoming too small for us?

The madness of bigotry

December 2011 – Anders Breivik's “paranoid schizophrenia” may have pulled the trigger but he chose his victims through the crosshairs of far-right politics.

‘Redheads under the bed' as a substitute for good reporting

September 2011 – A story that redhead sperm is not welcome at a Danish spermbank has gone global, reflecting how good reporting is being crowded out of the media by ‘incredible free content'.

[stextbox id=”grey”]

Special report: spotlight on the far-right

August 2011 – This Chronikler special report seeks to cast a much-needed spotlight on far-right extremism, and seeks to explore the social, political, economic and cultural factors behind this troubling phenomenon.


When two tongues collide

March 2011 – No this isn't a perverse way of describing French kissing, but a new theory of how two languages can peacefully co-exist in one country.

When the chips are down

February 2011 – Arab revolutionary fever has spread to Europe as Belgians raise their freedom fries, not to bring down a regime but to ask for one to be formed.

Not so simply red

December 2010 – The Simply Red lead singer's admission that he slept with thousands of women shatters one longstanding ginger stereotype, but discrimination against redheads goes way back.

Life as an outsider

December 2010 – Among the most hated people in Europe, Roma are treated as second-class citizens at home and abroad. Nikolaj Nielsen spent some time with members of a Roma family.

Learning tolerance

November 2010 – is common in western society, so the classroom is a good place to start combating it.

The Arab man's burden

November 2010 – Some in the west are more likely to believe in elves in Middle Earth than in Arab men in the Middle East who are secular and do not oppress women.

Less Catholic than the pope

October 2010 -‘Catholic' education thrives in , but the decision between principle and pragmatism is not easy when choosing a school.

Malta's mash of civilisations

August 2010 – Malta's complex heritage is living proof that cultures mash more than civilisations clash.

The freedom of non-expression

July 2010 – Advocates of banning the face veil want to take away the only choice some women have – the choice to conform.

Europe's hidden terror menace

July 2010 – The fifth anniversary of the 7 July attacks has refocused attention on Islamist terrorism, but the neo-Nazi threat goes largely unnoticed.

Queer times in Belgian politics

June 2010 – The product of an odd political marriage between left wing Belgian unionists and radical Flemish nationalists could be the world's first openly gay male premier.

Seeing the world through new tongues

June 2010 – Being monolingual can be limiting, so why not learn another language and get a new perspective on the world?

The bold and the brilliant

May 2010 – An Arab-American Miss USA may have put Muslim beauty on the western map, but let's also recall all those women of courage and talent.

Miss USA 2010 and an Islamic cover-up

May 2010 – Rima Fakih's Miss USA win is welcomed by many Arab-Americans, but some neocons denounce it as a sinister Islamic plot.

Een verbod om te vieren

May 2010 – Het zogenaamde ‘burqaverbod' is een vrouwvriendelijke wetvoorstel.

A ban to celebrate

May 2010 – Belgium's effort to ban the face veil is a statement of female empowerment and a vote against religious fundamentalism.

Crime and privacy

April 2010 – A Belgian far-right politician is in hot water for uploading a video of an attempted break-in. Was he right or should he have gone to the police?

A question of upbringing

April 2010 – In multicultural families, deciding on where to raise your child is no easy matter and has profound implications for the future.

Zero tolerance=zero difference

February 2010 – Belgian media hysteria over crime and calls for zero-tolerance policing miss the real issue – social exclusion in the inner city.

Building intolerance in Switzerland

December 2009 – The Swiss minaret ban doesn't mean European Muslims are persecuted, but it makes me worry for the Europe my son has been born into.

Faith in our children

November 2009 – Much as we'd like our children to hold the same things dear as we do, we should have enough faith in them to let them choose their own belief system.

Beauty and the bleat

November 2009 – Are Saudi Arabian beauty shows for goats as weird and outlandish as they seem?

Closing the ‘hijab murder' file

November 2009 – The life sentence imposed on Marwa al-Sherbini's killer shows that European Islamophobia exists but is not institutionalised.

Language: the food of understanding

November 2009 – Learning Arabic is tough but it can open you up to a whole new world of cultural experiences and opportunities, not to mention build understanding.

Church and state in Egypt

October 2009 – New attempts to address the divide between Egypt's Muslims and Christians must be supported, not undermined, by the state.

The mythical European Umma

August 2009 – Given that only about 4% of the EU's population is Muslim, why is the fear of a coming Eurabia so strong in certain quarters?

Faith and desire in Albert Square

August 2009 – EastEnders is breaking new ground on gay issues by exploring what happens when Muslim boy meets boy – but marries girl.

Hijab and dagger

July 2009 – Egyptian outrage at the brutal murder of Marwa Sherbini, the ‘hijab martyr' is understandable. But If Egyptians want better justice for Muslims in Europe, then they should demand more justice for non-Muslims at home.

Integration and its discontents

February 2009 – Are religious immigrants within their rights to boycott an ‘unspeakable' integration course in Belgium?

Immigrant labours lost

December 2008 – Immigrants in Europe are more likely to be over-qualified for the jobs or unemployed than the native population.

Pale imitations

November 2008 – Why is fairness so coveted in societies with darker skin?

Murder at rush hour

September 2008 – A murder trial is delving into the mystery of why and how a young Belgian was stabbed to death for his MP3 player during rush hour in the capital's busiest train station.


For more insights

Sign up to receive the latest from The Chronikler

We don't spam!

For more insights

Sign up to receive the latest from The Chronikler

We don't spam!

You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Enjoyed your visit? Please spread the word