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Islam without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty Hardcover – July 18, 2011
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"Informative at every turn, the author lifts the veil on the beautiful truths and harsh realities of a faith at war with itself, and ever-evolving in its interpretations and executions." -- Kirkus Book Reviews
"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... This even-handed scholarly work... makes Islam accessible to Western readers." -- Publishers Weekly
Akyol is doing important work that should have an impact well beyond his native Turkey. — Doug Bandow (American Spectator)
Starred Review. Informative at every turn. — Kirkus Reviews
From the Author
secular authoritarianism versus Islamic authoritarianism,
there is a third, and promising, way: Islamic liberalism.
Top customer reviews
It is awesome to learn how so many believes doesn't come from the Quran, but were manipulated for political reasons in the past and presented as part of the Quran. Let's hope that with traveling abroad to study , liberalization will find its way in the Middle East and as women are studying they will be a force to shape the government and attain more liberty.
The book renders a good description of the historical development of Islam and the reasons why it had problems adopting to the modern world. The custom of citing the Koran by heart, should have been mentioned as an important reason why critical analysis is lacking in the Muslim world.
The comparison between Islam and Christianity are significant, enabling us to understand why the Muslim countries were not able to develop and prosper, like their Christian counterparts. It would have been also important to make such a comparison with the first monotheistic religion. The author mentions that stoning by Muslims was influenced from the Old Testament. However, he doesn’t mention that Jewish people abandoned this custom in order to adopt to the modern world. In Islam, however, it is still employed in various countries where Sharia (Islamic laws) is practiced.
It seems at times that there is no option but that Moslem nations will be authoritarian, with little respect for individual liberties. However, Mustafa Akyol builds a hopeful case for a renewal within the nations of Islam; he shows that there has been an historical (and theological) basis for hope.
I highly recommend this very readable and informative book.
After succinct introduction to the early history of Islam, Akyol asks "Today, it is the West that is free, easygoing, and wealthy. And it is Islamdom that clearly is not. But why? What happened? If Islam enlightened the Orient so remarkably, what went wrong?" (p. 79). The rest of the book develops around these questions. Akyol discusses historic development and tensions between traditionalist and rationalists, and why traditionalist eventually prevailed. I found Akyol's discussion of why traditionalist approach to Islam thrived in some parts of the world (Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, etc) and not in the others parts (Turkey) fascinating.
Finally, Mustafa Akyol provides valuable insights into how Islam can again become free, easygoing and wealthy.
Most recent customer reviews
I was honored to borrow the author's mind & learn from a lifetime's worth of dedication to his cause.Read more