A Turkish writer’s detention sends a sombre message about Islam

Source: The Economist

Mustafa Akyol’s arrest in Malaysia has been linked to his views on coercion

NOT long ago, Turkey and Malaysia were often bracketed together as countries that inspired optimism about the Muslim world. In both lands, Islam is the most popular religion. In both, democracy has been vigorously if imperfectly practised. And both have enjoyed bursts of rapid, extrovert economic growth.

In their early days in office, people in Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development (AK) party always found plenty of friends in Malaysia: allies who shared their belief that governance with a pious Muslim flavour was compatible with modernising, business-friendly policies and a broadly pro-Western orientation.

All that makes doubly depressing a recent incident in Malaysia involving a prominent writer from Turkey. Mustafa Akyol is an exponent, in snappy English as well as his mother-tongue, of a liberal interpretation of Islam. In his book “Islam Without Extremes” he argues that his faith should never use coercion either to win converts or to keep those who are already Muslim in order. In other words, he takes at face value the Koranic verse which says, “There is no compulsion in religion.”

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1 reply

  1. Yes I agree Islam without Extremist Muslim will create peace, harmony, prisperity and hsppiness.
    God already say in Bible;

    Extremist deceive his followers and then bring disaster on them and others. Even his talk hurt / slander others

    I Urge strongly Muslims around the world; DO NOT CHOOSE A EXTREMIST LEADER OR CLERIC.
    You will save.

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