My Wellesley

Is Islam Compatible with Freedom?

September 7, 2017

Is the idea of individual freedom, which has flourished in the modern liberal West, alien to Islam as a religion and civilization? Does the Islamic tradition value freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and other civil liberties? And do the political troubles of the modern-day Middle East have something to do with authoritarian interpretations of religion? In this lecture, Mustafa Akyol addresses these questions “without falling for common cliches.” As a Muslim who is proud of his faith but also sees a need for reform, he calls on both his coreligionists and others to discover "the forgotten liberalism within Islam.”

Musta Akyol
Freedom Project Senior Visiting Fellow

Mustafa Akyol is a Turkish journalist and author with acclaimed books such as "Islam without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty" (2011) and "The Islamic Jesus" (2017). He is a monthly contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, a TED speaker, and a frequent voice in global live and print media.

Free and open to the public.