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Islam without Extremes
Islam without Extremes
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Details:  Islam without Extremes : A Muslim Case for Liberty, New,
*[A5] Paperback - 364 pages,
by Mustafa Akyol,
Published by W. Norton & Co. New York.

Description :

"In Mustafa Akyol’s book Islam Without Extremes, the author takes up the challenge to confront the many misconceptions and false portrayals of Islam as inherently conservative or violent by tracing back Islam’s history, the development of political Islam, and offering his own vision for a modern and more liberal political Islam. Throughout his writings, he is implicitly and explicitly guided by the question why a dominantly conservative brand of Islam is nowadays present in many governments or societies. Yet in the course of the book, he contrasts (formerly) authoritarian and secularist Turkey with other Islamic countries, concluding that Islam may not be the reason for authoritarianism but that other factors are at play.

Drawing also on his own experiences, religious beliefs, and Turkish heritage, Akyol analyzes the emergence of political Islam by deconstructing the past, meaning he sheds light on both conservative (Traditionalists) and more progressive (Rationalists) movements within Islam and supplements his evaluation of the movements with a discussion on other factors, such as the environment (desert vs. arid regions), cultural context (tribalism) or economics (commerce).

To support his arguments and interpretations, he employs quotes from the Qur’an, Hadiths, and explains the socio-cultural setting that shaped and influenced the development of (political) Islam. Akyol focuses on the origins of Islam in the first part of the book and asserts that they provided a foundation for a more liberal future, citing women’s rights (p.53) or the role of the individual (p.49). He then goes on to follow the blossoming of Islamic culture, trade and political life which all come to an end or faced stagnation from the 12th century (to a degree even earlier) on due to, among other reasons, the economic decline, and a lack of trade (pp.125-127).

Overall, Akyol presents several convincing explanations for the stagnation of Islam and the authoritarianism that is taking place in the name of Islam. Especially his use of Qur’anic verses and the history of the creation of Hadiths were excellent supplementations to his reasoning; they also explained many misperceptions that are dominant in the Western media.

As always in the course of history and arguments, there is no singular reason why Islam has developed the way it has and why authoritarian rulers are so often found in Islamic countries. Yet this is also because of the diverse nature of Islam, of Muslim countries and of the different cultural contexts that accompanied the evolution of (political) Islam. Whether or not Akyol presents all these reasons does not truly matter, the important aspect of his work in my opinion is that he offers a novice viewpoint of Islam and Islamic history. Finally, he puts forth several convincing reasons outside of the nature of the religion that explain the current political situation." ---Susan Wagner, Insight, Turkey.

Also see :
Human Rights ; In Light of Qur'an and Sunnah,
and Jihad in the Qur'an,
and Love in the Holy Qur'an.

*Dimensions : 21 x 14cm.

Current Reviews: 0

This product was added to our catalog on Tuesday 24 January, 2017.