Book look: Altmann and Abdel-Samad on the Middle East

1After several light-hearted expeditions and entertaining books about these journeys, Andreas Altmann decided to travel to Palestine to create a realistic portrait of the country and its inhabitants. The author of “Gebrauchsanweisung für die Welt” and “Dieses beschissen schöne Leben” wanted to find out whether there is a chance for substantial peace in the Middle East. Altmann vowed to take a prejudice-free approach before speaking to many people about their daily struggle. Released shortly before the start of the latest military conflict in the region, the book of the Egon Erwin Kisch Award laureate presents a doomed country in which violence and injustice have stopped being extraordinary aspects a long time ago. However, Altmann also found generosity and compassion despite the various humiliations many Palestinians have to endure day by day.

Verdammtes Land. Eine Reise durch Palästina
By Andreas Altmann
Published by Piper (

Hamed Abdel-Samad has always caused much controversy with his theories. The expert on Islamism has been threatened with murder for his harsh criticism of the Muslim Brotherhood. 2But Abdel-Samad – whose autobiography “Mein Abschied vom Himmel” was released in 2009 – refuses to remain quiet. After entering the bestseller rankings with “Krieg oder Frieden” in 2011, the Cairo-born analyst hit the headlines by comparing certain actions by radical Islamist movements with the structure of the SS and other Nazi organisations. In his new book called “Der islamische Faschismus. Eine Analyse”, Abdel-Samad – who lives and lectures in Germany – disagrees with the widespread opinion that religious guidelines, rules and traditions must not be criticised. Just the usage of the term “fascism” will continue to cause outcry among conservative and radical Muslims in his home country and all over Europe.

Der islamische Faschismus. Eine Analyse
By Hamed Abdel-Samad
Published by Droemer (

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