A Review of "Islam Without Extremes: A Muslim. Case for Liberty". Fethi Keles. Follow this and additional works at: tailamephyli.ml Part of the. Islam Without Extremes - A Muslim Case for Liberty - Mustafa Akyol - Ebook download as ePub .epub), Text File .txt) or read book online. religion. Islam without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty [Mustafa Akyol] on site. com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. A provocative manifesto for an.
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Houston -- In his new book, Islam Without Extremes—A Muslim Case for Liberty, Turkish columnist Mustafa Akyol attempts to lay. BOOK REVIEWS Mustafa Akyol, Islam without Extremes: a Muslim Case for Liberty (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Company, ), ISBN. pdf. Book Review: Islam Without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty Akyol's Islam Without Extreme: A Muslim Case for Liberty attempts to go beyond apology.
If the answers failed to satisfy them they beat the men and dragged them to the chief of police and testified about their immoral acts. The Hanbalis wrought discord upon Baghdad" - Ibn al-Athir Why this massive discrepancy between such interpretations of Islam?
And how did we reach the stage of "Every discussion about a thing that the Prophet did not discuss is an error" al-Mutawakkil?! The Qur'anic emphasis on reason gave birth to a school of rationalism in Islam, and with a powerful and at times controversial critique of modern schools of thought, and an attempt to rediscover an extinct one and find out what happened to it, the author advocates a rationalist method in which more emphasis is given to the Qur'an and reason, and hadith is re-evaluated critically for it's place, context and relevance to today.
I found much to disagree with, but what surprised me more was the amount I found myself nodding my head. This book could have been a powerful argument against Islamophobes who maintain that Islam is an oppressive and authoritarian religion, but it was written as much more than that; a critique of our own understanding, and a call to change the situation we are in.
An absolute must-read for all, particularly if you feel a deep sense of crisis at where we are today. It will leave you with a deeper understanding of the diagnosis, a few answers and possibly even more questions Jun 27, Lobna rated it it was amazing.
His great research effort, which combines theology, history, politics and culture, is very illuminating, intriguing and mind storming. It made me seek for more knowledge documenting and analyzing the war of ideas in Islam; a topic that I urge every Muslim to start reading about from different sources for the truth lies somewhere between the lines.
There is still so much to tell. I hope I would have the strength to write a comprehensive review soon. View 2 comments. View 1 comment. Dec 28, Abbas Djavadi rated it really liked it.
Extremely well-written. This is basically a case for liberal Muslims. Or maybe rather a good book for non-Muslims, primarily Westerners, as a tool to look at Islam a bit more differently than what is the popular approach of the "man on the street" in Chicago or Paris.
They are primarily and maybe rightly concerned about their freedom of speech and change the government, media freedom, corruption, authoritarianism, etc. And if you have free and fair elections in a typical Middle Eastern country, it is extremely hard to believe that a non-Muslim, secular type of political figure would get elected as a president or prime minister.
This is where the Turkish model may come in - though not necessarily in all cases and in the same way. Dec 02, Joel Trono-Doerksen rated it it was ok Shelves: Enough said Boy what I difference 7 years makes. This book is mostly garbage. Capitalism and Islam are completely incompatible. Feb 14, Kamran rated it it was amazing. Mustafa Akyol, rationally expressed his ideas on 'case of Muslim Liberty. So, there is a dire need of a strong current of political liberalism in the region Islamic world.
He starts his theses from 'The Beginning. Adding further the rule of 4 "Nothing is what it seems. Adding further the rule of 4 rightly guided Caliphates, he approaches to the time from where the real bone of contention took place; First during Battle of Saffin present day Syria amid Hazrat Ali and Muawiyah R. It was the time, Kharijites a form of present day IS started their campaign of imposing their own policies of Islam.
An ilk of terrorism or terrorism itself propagated through this 'political' community. Then, during Umayyad's and Abbasid's dynasty 'War of Ideas' perpetuated. The write, beyond cavil, supported Rationalists.
Islam without Extremes : A Muslim Case for Liberty
And tere is a note on House of Wisdom. Tunisias's Ennahad party, Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood. Ensuingly, he discussed Arab Spring of 21st century. In a nutshell, He as an advocate of a secular and liberal approaches in political system of middle east, fundamentally presented three pillars on which he also summarised his book; 1.
A change of religion is simply a matter of persuasion, and it should ne respected as such 2. Pluralism to live and let live with different versions of the faith. It will erode the basis of religious authoritarianism as well with other results 3. Godliness not imposing islam but proposing it effectively. Politics focused Islamists were wrong and the faith focused were right mentioning early tendencies toward politics in Islamic qorld It is based on a well-versed study of Islamic teachings and a worth book entitled to 5 stars.
Sep 17, Ahmet Kaya rated it really liked it Shelves: Oct 29, Jim rated it really liked it Shelves: This book provides a very good eye opening view of Islam! As one would expect if you stopped to remember that Islam is made up of millions of people cultures, tribes, nationalities, so.
We in the west need to be much more careful at labeling and determining that we know what people think, when in fact we are simply expressing our ignorance and worse our imperialistic attitude of This book provides a very good eye opening view of Islam!
We in the west need to be much more careful at labeling and determining that we know what people think, when in fact we are simply expressing our ignorance and worse our imperialistic attitude of not really caring about another human being. Sep 16, Phoenix rated it really liked it Shelves: Old Horizons, Renewed Beginnings Aykol observes the usual middle eastern "choice" is between authoritarian secular governments and authoritarian Islamic governments, in both backed by the military.
The Introduction chapter to Islam without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty
Going back in history, he describes two early liberal leaning Muslim factions. The first were the Postponers Murjiites who emerged after during the dispute between Ali and the 1st Umayyad caliph Muawiyah who believed that in matters of faith, religious disputes could be left to the judgement of Allah Old Horizons, Renewed Beginnings Aykol observes the usual middle eastern "choice" is between authoritarian secular governments and authoritarian Islamic governments, in both backed by the military.
The first were the Postponers Murjiites who emerged after during the dispute between Ali and the 1st Umayyad caliph Muawiyah who believed that in matters of faith, religious disputes could be left to the judgement of Allah in the next.
Secondly were the Mutazilites Reasoners who affirmed free will and were open to Greek philosophy and empiricism, which they asserted could only confirm religious belief. In opposition he places the Traditionalist, ahl al-Hadith, those who looked to the practices sunna of the Prophet and his Companions through the stories told of their lives as strict guides to daily life.
What drove each, Aykol argues, was a mix of environmental and economic determinism. The Mutazillites were merchants and artisans - liberal flexibility was to their advantage in the marketplace. The Traditionalists were usually land owners where stability and obedience to a regular schedules of receiving rent was the norm.
Relying on hadiths, even spuriously ones, was a ready guide to righteous behaviour. By A.
Caliph al Qadir labeled them heretics at the beginning of the 11th century, and that was it. The Ottomans, originally nomads from the steppes adopted the looser Hanafi school of jurisprudence which inspired the Mutazillites. Influenced by Europe, 18th and 19th century Sultans century modernized the army, abolished slavery -prompting a Wahabist revolt by Saudi tribes , land reforms , extended some rights to women, and gave Jews and Christians civil equality. A new civil code version of Sharia called Mecelle was prepared In the late 19th century which was used by successor Arab States and Israel well into the 20th.
Following Turkey and the modern era, Ataturk and his Kemalist regime are characterized as western leaning authoritarian states in the Soviet mold, but given the historic animosity between Russia and the Turks, one that leaned like neighbouring Iran, towards the West.
Aykol then summarizes the evolution of Turkish government to the present.
He's enthusiastic about Turkey's free wheeling Muslim business class who are described as Calvinist, which sound similar to American Christian Republicans! He posits that whereas an Arab oil sheikh will value tribal relations and marry off a daughter to cement a relationship, a Muslim Turkish businessman trying to navigate in a dynamic world market, would send her to a business school in the West instead.
Drawing on Turkish psychologist Erol Gungor, Aykol argues parallels between todays' Islamic communities to Jews years ago. Their homeland occupied by foreign troops and ruled by secular collaborators of Rome, many Jews "Hellenized" adopting much from their invader's Western lifestyles. Religious Jews were categorized 4 ways: Not a perfect analogy - the Americans don't crucify or decimate their opponents, nor install shrines to foreign gods, but an interesting suggestion.
One is impressed with the force of Aykol's idealism and the clarity of his writing. From his vantage in at the start of the Arab Spring before it had gone sour, many were pointing at the Turkish Model as a road to liberal democracy, He recommends that the West support political liberalization and social reforms while warning that military or political interference is likely to promote a support for fundamentalism not out of deeply held religious beliefs but as a form of resistance.
However his references to the Armenian genocide as "sporadic mass murders" are oblique - it was planned policy, the expulsion of Greek, Armenian and Bulgarian Christians as "unfair methods" leading to creating an "opportunity space for Turkish capitalists" euphemistic and his portrayal of the current government in Ankara and the Gulen movement are much too rosy.
But it may be that Aykol who lives in Turkey and saw his father arrested by the Kemalists, knows the limits of what can be said. Feb 20, Mustafa rated it it was amazing. Islam as a religion has become so sullied over recent ages that muslims living in communities that are culturally westernised are often met wth covert cynicism, media-induced paranoias and character assassinations on a daily basis.
Muslims living in non-culturally westernised societies which categorically refers to those from middle eastern regions i. This book explains w Islam as a religion has become so sullied over recent ages that muslims living in communities that are culturally westernised are often met wth covert cynicism, media-induced paranoias and character assassinations on a daily basis.
This book explains why events today are unfolding as it is by describing the historical context behind Islam's developments since its origins and puts forth a very compelling case for Islamic liberalization. One of the most brilliant sections of the book is when Akyol offers his two cents to the "Romans" of our era AKA Amurica on thwarting Islamic extremism. Akoyl argues that that the only way to truly stifle Islamism and Jihadism is if the West are able to convince Muslims around the world that Islam as a religion is not under attack.
He explains that while it seems like many Western societies are already spreading messages of world peace and respect, these messages do not get across enough for the following reasons: For instance a republican's suggestion on Fox news that America should bomb Mecca as a response to Islamic terrorism received extensive media coverage in Muslim countries triggering mass hysteria and outrage whereas President Obama's speeches of peace, respect and integration of muslim communities in Ankara and Cairo received little to no coverage.
This tendency to perceive the most radical elements in another society as its mainstream and the media's focus on lunatics have thwarted the West's attempts in engaging Muslims in the Middle East.
While Americans often think in terms of current events, which are constantly changing, people form the middle east think in terms of history. The US occupation of Iraq in was seen as a one-off event to many Americans.
To Muslims however, it was yet another invasion- after those of the Crusaders, Mongols, Napolean and European colonizers. Akyol further goes on to acknowledge that Muslims have a greater responsibility than the west in the war against Islamic extremism and the progression of the Islamic world.
He argues that the only way the Islamic world can achieve this and coexist with the Western world is if they reinvent their political system into one that is based on equality and freedom, very much like the original Medina city-state that Prophet Muhammad founded on the basis of equality with the Jews. I know the author, who was a short-term fellow in the think tank where I work and wrote a paper on a similar theme for us, and I already admired his work.
But I was impressed with this short book. It compellingly makes the case that Islam was a liberalizing force within Arabia and the Middle East in the seventh and eighth century, a faith of merchants, and that pre-existing traditions and the conservatism of the desert which triumphed by the third century of the faith are largely responsible for I know the author, who was a short-term fellow in the think tank where I work and wrote a paper on a similar theme for us, and I already admired his work.
It compellingly makes the case that Islam was a liberalizing force within Arabia and the Middle East in the seventh and eighth century, a faith of merchants, and that pre-existing traditions and the conservatism of the desert which triumphed by the third century of the faith are largely responsible for the more unsavory rules associated with it. Akyol also tells Turkey's story well as an example of the possibilities of Islamic liberalism and the risks of secular authoritarianism, and explores the reasons for the rise of ultraconservative groups across the Muslim world in the late 20th century and beyond.
But rather than being a snapshot of a moment, the book is at its core an argument in favor of a liberal Islam that can welcome true freedom of religion, with justification from the Qur'an. If I were to recommend one book about Islam to friends, it might well be this over a more straightforward introduction. I can only question Akyol's optimism given my fears that the spoilers within societies can lead us all to ruin both democracy and liberalism are necessary - all else is illegitimate in my POV - but they are fragile, and have trouble defending themselves in difficult situations.
Sep 23, Sofia rated it it was amazing Shelves: This is a truly excellent book and one I'm so glad I finally capitulated to despite wrongly assuming the book would be a volume of apologetics, on the basis of its title. I actually happened to chance upon Mustafa Akyol's TED talk in which he presented some of his ideas from this book. His language is clear, easy and accessible which is such a relief as I have often read academic books which I have recommended This is a truly excellent book and one I'm so glad I finally capitulated to despite wrongly assuming the book would be a volume of apologetics, on the basis of its title.
His language is clear, easy and accessible which is such a relief as I have often read academic books which I have recommended to others who are sadly often put off by the academic language. This book is made for everyone to access and understand. History is highly subjective and yet the Muslim narrative of Islamic history is so narrow that alternative narrations of history are near impossible to find! Thus Akyol's narration of history is not just very well researched but a fresh and essential alternative depiction.
Finally some objective history! I may have knocked half a star in rating though for the prolonged portrayal of latter politics, however I appreciate how he drew his parallels from them. He addresses apostasy, blasphemy and other "crimes" and their "punishments" with excellence. I highly recommend this book for all who wish to learn about Islam in terms of its history and politics, and to those muslims who may be watching the media and seeing muslims usurping their religion, and wondering where the religion they know as Islam has gone.
May 19, Faiz Azizan rated it really liked it. Before reading this book, i already had the idea of liberalism rationalist vs conservatism traditionist that is constantly put forward by Akyol's fellow writer, Reza Aslan.
The idea of liberalism of Akyol, along with the example of Turkey politics and its history, is very eye opening. It made me to realize, Islamic gov of Middle East is not necessarily the definition of how an Islamic government should be. In fact, Akyol even tackled some issues regarding the perception of Western powers in Before reading this book, i already had the idea of liberalism rationalist vs conservatism traditionist that is constantly put forward by Akyol's fellow writer, Reza Aslan.
In fact, Akyol even tackled some issues regarding the perception of Western powers in seeing Islam as the main threat to the idea of democracy and liberalism also with the unlikely help from present day illeberal and strict Islamic government , where of all fallen Islamic empire, the Ottoman who had achieved it. Part 2, history of politics of Turkey until today. Very complex and eventhough Akyol did a very good job in presenting the politics and history of his country, but to put all at only one part of excluding glossary would be inadequate and make it more complex for people to understand in one reading without any research.
Part 3, the best part because Akyol presented his idea and thoughts on many critical things regarding Islam such as Islamic government, Shariah laws and freedom of human beings. Jun 13, Jiwa Rasa rated it it was amazing. Wacana yang sangat segar dari kolumnis akhbar Hurriyet Turki. Mustafa Akyol membawa pandangan berdasarkan pengalaman Turki yang berlainan dengan negara Arab.
Turki moden wujud dari kejatuhan khilafah Utsmaniah Turki tahnu Turki adalah salah satu negara umat Islam yang tidak pernah dijajah. Satu lagi ialah Yaman yang memang taida yang berminat untuk menjajah.
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Penulis membawa pembaca menelusuri sejarah Islam dari zaman nabi sehingga zaman kini. In the four decades that followed, Turkish politics oscillated between militarism, secularism, and the slow, then rapid, rise of Islamist forces. Akyol presented the emergence and growth of Islamist politics in Turkey as representing an "increasing … aspir[ation] to democracy.
The book's introduction includes dismaying details unlikely to be noticed by someone not well-versed in Turkish history. The author's father was jailed by the military authorities in , and Akyol visited him in prison, which he recalls as "tyranny not in the name of Islam … but in the name of the secular state.
He also ignores its terrorist youth arm, the "Grey Wolves," notwithstanding that even today its activities threaten secularists and Alevis. Islam prior to the Ottoman era was presented by Akyol as the "curious story" of the faith and its intellectual development.
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In the author's rush to acclaim a recent, purported Turkish "synthesis of Islam and liberalism," he sacrificed nuances in Islamic historiography involving topics such as the unsettled debate over rationalism posed by the intellectual attitudes of the Umayyad and Abbasid dynasties.
Akyol appeared heavily invested in the ignorance of his readers, believing that simply repeating buzzwords such as "rationalism," "liberalism," and "democracy" would suffice to win over his audience.
Akyol advocated for nineteenth-century Ottoman reformers and their supposed heirs. The author noted correctly that the appeal of the AKP was enhanced by the development, at last, of an Islamist business class of rural origin, the so-called "Anatolian tigers.
But if capitalism in the past and in the West led inevitably to civil society and thence to democracy, it seems to have had an opposite outcome in such countries as China, post-Soviet Russia, and Turkey. Civil society has been weak in the first two, and because it was secular, civil society became a target of the AKP in Akyol's native land.
Akyol appears to be cut from this same cloth as he repeats the libel that Jews believe "they had an inherent sense of superiority over the Gentiles. Akyol benignly described "a more democratic era … apparently at dawn in the Muslim world" and the Muslim Brotherhood as "changed" into a democratic Islamist phenomenon. The mass disaffection with AKP in Turkey, the reestablishment of military rule in Egypt, and the horrific bloodshed in Syria must leave him downcast.Sort order.
This is basically a case for liberal Muslims. And how did we reach the stage of "Every discussion about a thing that the Prophet did not discuss is an error" al-Mutawakkil?! And tere is a note on House of Wisdom.
Through personal experience, the author is convinced that the only way that Muslims will flourish is through embracing liberty in all its manifestations. It will erode the basis of religious authoritarianism as well with other results 3.
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