mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
The Islamic Case For Freedom

From Mustafa Akyol, the Burke-loving Turkish Muslim who writes about the spiritual necessity of liberal ideals for serious Muslims.

I call on my fellow Muslims to embrace three basic freedoms:

First, “freedom from the state,” or the acceptance of secular (not secularist) governments. Yes, Prophet Muhammad happened to be the head of a state, but none of us mortals are divinely guided as we believe that he was. Thus, none of us should impose our own limited understanding of Islam, via the state, as “the real Islam.”

Second, there is the need to accept “the freedom to sin.” Not because we endorse sin, but because when we try to ban it with authoritarian means, all we create is hypocrisy, not genuine piety.

Third, we Muslims should recognize “freedom from Islam.” If any of our coreligionists choose another religion, in other words, we should just respect that choice. That would be a much bigger service to our faith, rather than depicting it as a club with a free entry but no free exit.

Muslims do not need to abandon the core of their faith in order to accept these freedoms. But they certainly need to recognize them, if they wish to build truly liberating democracies.

Read the whole thing.

Features Icon
show comments
  • Winston

    Very well said… thanks for sharing this

  • David hoffman

    Akyol is right about what the Muslim world needs to do in order to catch up to the West. I am afraid, though, that he and his fellow liberals are swimming against the tide.

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service