Islam without Extremes by Mustafa Akyol
A Muslim Case for Liberty

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Synopsis

A provocative manifesto for an interpretation of Islam that synthesizes liberal ideas and respect for the Islamic tradition.

From furious reactions to the cartoons of Prophet Muhammad to the suppression of women, news from the Muslim world begs the question: is Islam incompatible with freedom? With an eye sympathetic to Western liberalism and Islamic theology, Mustafa Akyol traces the ideological and historical roots of political Islam. The years following Muhammad's passing in 632 AD saw an intellectual "war of ideas" rage between rationalist, flexible schools of Islam and the more dogmatic, rigid ones. The traditionalist school won out, fostering perceptions of Islam as antithetical to modernity. However, through his careful reexamination of the currents of Muslim thought, Akyol discovers a flourishing of liberalism in the nineteenth-century Ottoman Empire and the unique "Islamo-liberal synthesis" of present-day Turkey. Only by accepting a secular state, he powerfully asserts, can Islamic societies thrive. Persuasive and inspiring, Islam without Extremes offers a desperately needed intellectual basis for the reconcilability of Islam and religious, political, economic, and social freedoms.
 

About Mustafa Akyol

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Mustafa Akyol lives in Istanbul and is a columnist for the Turkish newspapers Hurriyet Daily News and Star. He has written opinion pieces for the Washington Post, the International Herald Tribune, and Newsweek.
 
Published July 18, 2011 by W. W. Norton & Company. 368 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Islam without Extremes

Kirkus Reviews

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Akyol charts the course of the early tribes of Islam, fixed and unevolving, to the strict regimes and terrorist struggles of modern times.

Jul 18 2011 | Read Full Review of Islam without Extremes: A Mus...

Publishers Weekly

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He demonstrates how the harsh tribal cultures of the Arabian desert in the 7th century shaped Islam for centuries since their traditions evolved into unquestioned rules that were often at odds with the Qur'an.

Jul 18 2011 | Read Full Review of Islam without Extremes: A Mus...

The Wall Street Journal

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Top Stories in Life & Culture. 1 of 12 [http://s.wsj.net/public/resources/images ·
Pregnancy Strain on Muscles, Bones. 2 of 12 [http://s.wsj.net/public/resources/ ...

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The Wall Street Journal

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Bookshelf. Piety And Pluralism. Liberal democracy can grow on Muslim soil if
neither Islamists nor secular strongmen are allowed to mix religion with politics.

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The Wall Street Journal

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A columnist for English-language papers in Turkey, Mr. Akyol offers a delightfully original take on Turkey and on the prospects for liberal democracy in the broader Islamic Middle East.

Aug 12 2011 | Read Full Review of Islam without Extremes: A Mus...

Sugar Street Review

The author is strangely uncritical of the AK Parti who, for all the good work they have done, have a questionable record in human rights and freedom of expression, For its faults, Islam Without Extremes is an interesting and timely read, and Akyol is an engaging writer, mixing his reading of Isl...

Jan 15 2012 | Read Full Review of Islam without Extremes: A Mus...

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