Is Liberalism Islamic?: An Interview with Mustafa Akyol


“This book is mainly about the problem of freedom in Islam. I argue that Islam, as its very core, is a religion that liberated the individual from the bond of the tribe and similar collective bodies. But I also show how the initial impetus of the faith was partly overshadowed as a result of some early theological controversies, and, moreover, political decisions. This also means that some of those early debates can be reopened, and coercive elements in Islamic law and culture can be reformed. And I am saying all these within a particularly Turkish outlook, as I explain the little known history of ‘Muslim liberalism’ that emerged in the late Ottoman Empire and modern-day Turkey.”

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