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Kelek, Necla

Necla Kelek is a publicist, social scientist and feminist. She was born in Turkey and grew up in Germany. Today, she does research on parallel societies and held a Mercator Professorship at the University of Duisburg-Essen.


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5 articles of this author have been cited in the European Press Review so far.


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung - Germany | 30/08/2007

Necla Kelek on "honour killings"

In Germany, a federal court has ordered a retrial of the "honour killing" of Hatun Sürücü. In the first trial, the victim's underage brother was found guilty of the killing while her two older brothers were acquitted. Necla Kelek writes: "Never before has the difference between an archaic culture dominated by religion and a modern society been as obvious as it has become through this case. Everyone knew that the trial was not just about a murder: the three shots exposed the well-meant turning of a blind eye that resulted from opposing societal structures as a deadly form of tolerance. For too long such crimes were treated as family tragedies or the result of attacks of jealousy. Or the actions of the accused were explained away by saying that their different cultural backgrounds justified their crimes."

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung - Germany | 05/06/2007

Necla Kelek on mosques

Plans for construction of a central mosque designed by renowned church architect Paul Böhm have triggered a dispute in the German city of Cologne. Sociologist Necla Kelek explains her reservations about the plans. "Even according to Muslim interpretation, mosques are not sacred buildings, like churches or synagogues, but 'multifunctional buildings'. This is often left unmentioned, as is the fact that Islam is not a religion. Islam conceives of itself not only as a spiritual view of the world but as a world view that sees everyday life, politics and belief as forming one inseparable unit. There is no binding theological teaching. In this respect many Islamic associations in Germany often function as religious parties, as political representation groups. This is why the issue of building mosques is not a matter of religious freedom but a political issue."

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung - Germany | 25/04/2007

Necla Kelek's criticism of Islam

The integration of Muslims will be discussed at the second meeting of the Islam Conference in Germany. Necla Kelek takes the opportunity to examine the different approaches to reforming Islam and formulates her main criticism of the religion: "In its 1400-year history, Islam has hardly taken root in Europe. Islam is an Arabic religion, even if it presents itself as universal. It doesn't recognise individuality and its view of mankind is incompatible with modern times, which require independent individuals. Islam pursues a very different, collective social model. Islam not only claims to be a faith; as a religion it represents the unity of life, belief, laws and politics. It's in direct conflict with secularisation. Islam tries to demand collective rights from its followers, whereas an enlightened society protects the rights of the individual above all else."

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung - Germany | 24/02/2006

Necla Kelek on immigration

Turkish-German sociologist Necla Kelek, who attracted widespread attention with her book "Die Fremde Braut" (the foreign bride) and her fight to have forced marriages banned, is one of the most controversial figures in the debate surrounding immigration and integration in Germany. Critics accuse her of exaggerating in her descriptions of the Turkish immigrant milieu and conveying a biased picture of Islam. "We forget that many Muslim immigrants here live in 'collectives' whose world views are dominated by Islam," Kelek explains in an interview led by Regina Mönch and Heinrich Wefing. "These groups, which we affectionately refer to as large families, live according to different rules. There are no individual freedoms, no 'yes' or 'no' to the headscarf, to imported brides or bridegrooms. Those who leave the group commit treason. Few dare to do this, and neither the schools nor job centres nor social security offices are sending a strong message against this that could bring about a change."

Die Welt - Germany | 03/02/2006

Forced marriages among Turkish immigrants

In an open letter, 60 migration researchers yesterday accused author Necla Kelek of using a populist approach in her book "Die fremde Braut" (the foreign bride) to reinforce prejudices about the backwardness of Islam. Today, Kelek responds to the accusations in several newspapers. "It's strange that this criticism comes from the well-endowed world of government-funded migration research. For decades, they've had the time, money and opportunity to study the issue of forced marriages, arranged marriages, honour killings, segregation and Islam. They could have asked the questions that I've asked, but they didn't because it doesn't fit in with their ideological concept of multiculturalism. In failing to do this, they have accepted this taboo and allowed others to suffer."

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