AICGS

Ufuk Topkara

Dr. Ufuk Topkara is a DAAD/AICGS Research Fellow from October to December 2018. He has been active in promoting inter-religious dialogue since 2005 as an expert on Islam for the Evangelical Academy Berlin, as a member of the Jewish-Turkish Roundtables for Dialogue, and with the Catholic Academy Berlin. Dr. Topkara was a Tour Guide at the Jewish Museum of Berlin from 2005 to 2015. He was a Humanity in Action Fellow in New York and worked in the U.S. House of Representatives as a Humanity in Action-Lantos Fellow in Washington, DC. He studied History and Philosophy at Humboldt University of Berlin and Harvard University. He completed his doctoral dissertation with the Graduate School of Islamic Theology at the University of Paderborn, Germany, analyzing the convergence of reason and faith in Islam.

While at AICGS, Dr. Topkara will conduct research on a project that emerges out of the interconnected strands of intellectual inquiry: comparing the experiences of discrimination faced by Jews in early twentieth century Germany and the experiences of discrimination faced by Muslims in contemporary Germany. By drawing parallels between the marginalization faced by these two religious minority groups, Dr. Topkara will provide a tool for combating rising anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim sentiment in both Germany and the United States today.

Dr. Topkara intends to showcase patterns of marginalization and othering of religious minorities in contemporary German society. A comparison between the Jewish community of the early twentieth century in Germany and contemporary Muslim community in Germany is particularly promising because of the inherent questions of belonging. Similar to the experience of German Jews in early modern times, German Muslims nowadays struggle with locating their place within German society. In both cases, the religious minority brought up questions of belonging that goes beyond citizenship, that is, the inclusion if not appreciation of cultural and religious differences.

Recent Content

Reset

Ufuk Topkara, DAAD/AICGS Research Fellow

AICGS is pleased to welcome Ufuk Topkara as a DAAD/AICGS Research Fellow from October to December 2018. He has been active in promoting inter-religious dialogue since 2005 as an expert on …

Islam in Germany Revisited: The Circumcision Debate

The notorious silence of the relatively uneventful summer this year in Germany was suddenly disrupted by a heated debate regarding the abolishment of circumcision—ignited by a May 2012 court ruling. …

Challenging Times: Muslims and their Role in Shaping the Future of Germany

The Muslim community is at the forefront of public debate, not only as a result of the post 9/11 era, but more so because of questions related to Islam and its convergences with a democratic, pluralistic society. Whereas some Muslims ignored these inquiries into their faith for too long, others sincerely tried to engage in discussion.