Cover image for Islam without extremes : a Muslim case for liberty
Islam without extremes : a Muslim case for liberty
Akyol, Mustafa, 1972-
Personal Author:
1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York, N.Y. : W. W. Norton & Company, c2011.
Physical Description:
352 p.
The beginnings. A light unto tribes -- The enlightenment of the -orient -- The medieval war of ideas (i) -- The medieval war of ideas (ii) -- The desert beneath the iceberg -- The modern era. The Ottoman revival -- Romans, herodians, and zealots -- The Turkish march to Islamic liberalism -- Signposts on the liberal road. Freedom from the state -- Freedom to sin -- Freedom from Islam.


Material Type
Item Barcode
Call Number
Shelf Location
Item Holds
Book 0317540 BP173.6 .A4297 2011 Central Campus Library

On Order



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.

Table of Contents

Glossaryp. 15
Introductionp. 27
Part I The Beginnings
1 A Light unto Tribesp. 43
2 The Enlightenment of the Orientp. 63
3 The Medieval War of Ideas (I)p. 80
4 The Medieval War of Ideas (II)p. 96
5 The Desert Beneath the Icebergp. 117
Part II The Modern Era
6 The Ottoman Revivalp. 139
7 Romans, Herodians, and Zealotsp. 177
8 The Turkish March to Islamic Liberalismp. 203
Part III Signposts on the Liberal Road
9 Freedom from the Statep. 247
10 Freedom to Sinp. 262
11 Freedom from Islamp. 273
Acknowledgmentsp. 289
Notesp. 291
Indexp. 331