Islam without Extremes A Muslim Case for Liberty

Author: Mustafa Akyol
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393081974
Format: PDF, Kindle
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“A delightfully original take on…the prospects for liberal democracy in the broader Islamic Middle East.”—Matthew Kaminski, Wall Street Journal As the Arab Spring threatens to give way to authoritarianism in Egypt and reports from Afghanistan detail widespread violence against U.S. troops and women, news from the Muslim world raises the question: Is Islam incompatible with freedom? In Islam without Extremes, Turkish columnist Mustafa Akyol answers this question by revealing the little-understood roots of political Islam, which originally included both rationalist, flexible strains and more dogmatic, rigid ones. Though the rigid traditionalists won out, Akyol points to a flourishing of liberalism in the nineteenth-century Ottoman Empire and the unique “Islamo-liberal synthesis” in present-day Turkey. As he powerfully asserts, only by accepting a secular state can Islamic societies thrive. Islam without Extremes offers a desperately needed intellectual basis for the reconcilability of Islam and liberty.

Islam Without Extremes A Muslim Case for Liberty

Author: Mustafa Akyol
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393070867
Format: PDF, Mobi
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A Turkish newspaper columnist examines the ideological and historical roots of political Islam, going back to the 632 AD intellectual "war of ideas" between two opposing schools of Islam, and asks whether it is compatible with freedom and Western liberalism. 13,000 first printing.

The Islamic Jesus

Author: Mustafa Akyol
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 1250088704
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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“A welcome expansion of the fragile territory known as common ground.” —The New York Times When Reza Aslan’s bestseller Zealot came out in 2013, there was criticism that he hadn’t addressed his Muslim faith while writing the origin story of Christianity. In fact, Ross Douthat of The New York Times wrote that “if Aslan had actually written in defense of the Islamic view of Jesus, that would have been something provocative and new.” Mustafa Akyol’s The Islamic Jesus is that book. The Islamic Jesus reveals startling new truths about Islam in the context of the first Muslims and the early origins of Christianity. Muslims and the first Christians—the Jewish followers of Jesus—saw Jesus as not divine but rather as a prophet and human Messiah and that salvation comes from faith and good works, not merely as faith, as Christians would later emphasize. What Akyol seeks to reveal are how these core beliefs of Jewish Christianity, which got lost in history as a heresy, emerged in a new religion born in 7th Arabia: Islam. Akyol exposes this extraordinary historical connection between Judaism, Jewish Christianity and Islam—a major mystery unexplored by academia. From Jesus’ Jewish followers to the Nazarenes and Ebionites to the Qu’ran’s stories of Mary and Jesus, The Islamic Jesus will reveal links between religions that seem so contrary today. It will also call on Muslims to discover their own Jesus, at a time when they are troubled by their own Pharisees and Zealots.

Jesus and Muhammad

Author: F. E. Peters
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199780044
Format: PDF, ePub
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Jesus and Muhammad are two of the best known and revered figures in history, each with a billion or more global followers. Now, in this intriguing volume, F.E. Peters offers a clear and compelling analysis of the parallel lives of Jesus and Muhammad, the first such in-depth comparison in print. Like a detective, Peters compiles "dossiers" of what we do and do not know about the lives and portraits of these towering figures, drawing on the views of modern historians and the evidence of the Gospels and the Quran. With erudition and wit, the author nimbly leads the reader through drama and dogma to reveal surprising similarities between the two leaders and their messages. Each had a public career as a semi-successful preacher. Both encountered opposition that threatened their lives and those of their followers. Each left a body of teaching purported to be their very words, with an urgent imperative that all must become believers in the face of the approaching apocalypse. Both are symbols of hope on the one hand and of God's terrible judgment on the other. They are bringers of peace--and the sword. There is, however, a fundamental difference. Muslims revere Muhammad ibn Abdullah of Mecca as a mortal prophet. Although known as a prophet in his day, the Galilean Jew Jesus was and is believed by his followers to have been the promised Messiah, indeed the son of God. The Quran records revelations received by Muhammad as the messenger of God, whereas the revelations of the Gospels focus on Jesus and the events of his life and death. A lasting contribution to interfaith understanding, Jesus and Muhammad offers lucid, intelligent answers to questions that underlie some of the world's most intractable conflicts.

Are Muslims Distinctive

Author: M. Steven Fish
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199792887
Format: PDF, ePub
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Are Muslims Distinctive? represents the first major scientific effort to assess how Muslims and non-Muslims differ--and do not differ--in the contemporary world. Using rigorous methods and data drawn from around the globe, M. Steven Fish reveals that in some areas Muslims and non-Muslims differ less than is commonly imagined. Muslims are not inclined to favor the fusion of religious and political authority or especially prone to mass political violence. Yet there are differences: Gender inequality is more severe among Muslims, Muslims are unusually averse to homosexuality and other controversial behaviors, and democracy is rare in the Muslim world. Other areas of divergence bear the marks of a Muslim advantage: Homicide rates and class-based inequities are less severe among Muslims than non-Muslims. Fish's findings have vital implications for human welfare, interfaith understanding, and international relations.

Being Arab

Author: Samir Kassir
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 1844672808
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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In the years before his assassination in 2005, Samir Kassir became one of Lebanon's foremost public intellectuals, a fearless critic of tyranny and an inspiring advocate of democracy. In Being Arab, his last book, he calls on the peoples of the Middle East to reject both Western double standards and Islamism in order to take the future of the region into their own hands. With the Arab Spring, millions have now answered that call.

The Great Theft

Author: Khaled M. Abou El Fadl
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0061744751
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Despite President George W. Bush's assurances that Islam is a peaceful religion and that all good Muslims hunger for democracy, confusion persists and far too many Westerners remain convinced that Muslims and terrorists are synonymous. In the aftermath of the attacks of 9/11, the subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the recent bombings in London, an unprecedented amount of attention has been directed toward Islam and the Muslim world. Yet, even with this increased scrutiny, most of the public discourse regarding Islam revolves around the actions of extremist factions such as the Wahhabis and al-Qa'ida. But what of the Islam we don't hear about? As the second-largest and fastest-growing religion in the world, Islam is deemed by more than a billion Muslims to be a source of serenity and spiritual peace, and a touchstone for moral and ethical guidance. While extremists have an impact upon the religion that is wildly disproportionate to their numbers, moderates constitute the majority of Muslims worldwide. It is this rift between the quiet voice of the moderates and the deafening statements of the extremists that threatens the future of the faith. In The Great Theft, Khaled Abou El Fadl, one of the world's preeminent Islamic scholars, argues that Islam is currently passing through a transformative period no less dramatic than the movements that swept through Europe during the Reformation. At this critical juncture there are two completely opposed worldviews within Islam competing to define this great world religion. The stakes have never been higher, and the future of the Muslim world hangs in the balance. Drawing on the rich tradition of Islamic history and law, The Great Theft is an impassioned defense of Islam against the encroaching power of the extremists. As an accomplished Islamic jurist, Abou El Fadl roots his arguments in long-standing historical legal debates and delineates point by point the beliefs and practices of moderate Muslims, distinguishing these tenets from the corrupting influences of the extremists. From the role of women in Islam to the nature of jihad, from democracy and human rights to terrorism and warfare, Abou El Fadl builds a vital vision for a moderate Islam. At long last, the great majority of Muslims who oppose extremism have a desperately needed voice to help reclaim Islam's great moral tradition.

Islam and Liberty

Author: Mohamed Charfi
Publisher: Zed Books
ISBN: 9781842775110
Format: PDF
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How to make Islam compatible with contemporary notions of democracy, legality and the state?In this brilliantly argued book, Mohamed Charfi tackles this pressing question facing all Arab-Muslim nations today. Contemporary Arab governments have yet to conceive the very idea of democracy in terms of today's criteria, and until they do so, the debate between traditionalists and democrats cannot progress. Charfi rejects the position of those who downplay Islamist violence and legitimise fundamentalist positions. But, although he is attuned to the relationship between some forms of Islamism and popular dispossession, he remains convinced that fundamentalist constructions are deeply damaging for all people, not least for women. Charfi believes passionately that those Arabs who campaign for freedom and democracy are not deracinated supporters of Western constructs. Rather, they are treading the same precarious but necessary path as thinkers such as Mohammed Abdoh and Tahar Haddad who called for a new understanding of Islam and modernity over 100 years ago. Sadly, however, the 21st century is witnessing a regression in the independence of the law from holy writ. Charfi advocates a profound revision of Islamic thought. He insists on a new reading of Islamic history and Islamic law and presses for a society that allows for dissent, secularism and freedom of belief. Above all, he stresses the overriding importance of educational reform - an area where he himself played a pivotal role in pioneering when minister of education in his own country, Tunisia, in the early 1990s. This book is an important example of the courageous voices from within the Muslim world that are calling for a fundamental rethinking of the relationship between religion and society quite independently of, and with a very different agenda from, the external pressures emanating from the United States.

The Future of Political Islam

Author: Graham E. Fuller
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 9781403965561
Format: PDF
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Looks at the developments of political Islam, offering contemporary opinions on the Islamic thought on politics, economics, and international relations. Reprint.