Mustafa Akyol: A Muslim case for liberty


The debate about Islam and Liberalism has been going on for decades, if not longer. Just as the case is with any other political discourse, Muslims have also fallen into the habit of labelling themselves, which can lead to lazy categorisations instead of proper critical analysis and thought.

“Liberalism is not the fundamentals of a religion but a political idea of how a government should conduct itself,” says Mustafa Akyol, a prominent Turkish writer and journalist. “If I am on an island by myself, I don’t need liberalism,” Akyol says, “but I need my faith – Islam.”

The self-described libertarian was in Penang earlier this year to deliver a lecture titled “Is liberty an Islamic value?”

While Akyol accepts that the debate tends to put liberalism at loggerheads with Islam, in particular with conservatives, he strongly disagrees that they are incompatible.

To read the rest of the article and to access our e-Archive, subscribe to us for RM150 a year.

Related Articles

Jul 2013

Electoral system – options beyond First-Past-The-Post

Exploring the variety of electoral systems currently used around the world.

Aug 2013

China and Malaysia build joint industrial parks

Will this joint effort help stabilise the disparity in Malaysia-China foreign investment?

Sep 2016

Teaching Students How to Take Heart – and How to Have Heart

A great contribution to society is to teach others to care.

May 2015

City status is a matter of status – and expectations

Penang's city status entails great responsibility.