Ibn Rushd Fund for Freedom of Thought

Prof. Dr. Udo Steinbach

Udo Steinbach was born in 1943 in Pethau/Zittau and is considered as one of the most renowned scholars of Islam and experts on the Middle East. In 1965 he started to study Classical Philology and Islamic Studies in Basel and Freiburg i. Br., where he later earned his doctorate degree in 1970. He was director of many institutes, such as the Middle East Department of Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (German Institute for International and Security Affairs, 1971-74), the German Orient Institute in Hamburg (1976-2006), the German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA) (2007), finally the Governance Center Middle East/North Africa of the Humboldt-Viadrina School of Governance (since June 2012).
Since 1991 he is honorary professor at the University of Hamburg and from 2007 until 2010 he taught at the Center for Near and Middle Eastern Studies (CNMS) at the Philipps-University of Marburg.
His main research fields are for example: political and social changes in the Arab countries, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, forms of political Islam, the Near East in the international context of system, the relationships between the Middle East and Germany and Europe as well as the central Asian states, the future of the Middle East regarding democracy and religion and also political, social and religious aspects of Islamic communities in Europe.