A Muslim Case for Liberty As the Arab Spring threatens to give way to authoritarianism in Egypt and reports from Afghanistan detail widespread violence against U.S. troops and women, news from the Muslim world raises the question: Is Islam incompatible with freedom? In Islam without Extremes, Turkish columnist Mustafa Akyol answers this question by revealing the little-understood roots of political Islam, which originally included both rationalist, flexible strains and more dogmatic, rigid ones. Though the rigid traditionalists won out, Akyol points to a flourishing of liberalism in the nineteenth-century Ottoman Empire and the unique "Islamo-liberal synthesis" in present-day Turkey. As he powerfully asserts, only by accepting a secular state can Islamic societies thrive. Islam without Extremes offers a desperately needed intellectual basis for the reconcilability of Islam and liberty. (publisher)
"A delightfully original take on Turkey and on the prospects for liberal democracy in the broader Islamic Middle East." -- Wall Street Journal
"Akyol clarifies the complexities and contradictions of Islam in this indispensable book. He demonstrates how the harsh tribal cultures of the Arabian desert shaped Islam for centuries often at odds with the Qur'an...." -- Publishers Weekly
Mustafa Akyol, an advocate of "Muslim liberalism," is a columnist for two Turkish newspapers, HÃ¼rriyet Daily News and Star. His articles have also appeared in publications such as Foreign Affairs, Newsweek, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and International Herald Tribune.
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