In a wide-ranging conversation with Newlines, Mustafa Akyol discusses what happened when he was arrested by the religious police in Malaysia; early Muslim reformers and the making of the first Muslim state; the coercive power of modern Islamic states and why he believes it is holding back the full flourishing of the Muslim world.
I stood in solidarity with the Charlie Hebdo journalists in 2015 from a Syrian rebel stronghold, where the battle for free inquiry met with a war of extermination. The real crisis is clear to me.
In the world of Islam, some philosophers went against religion. The secularist ideas that European scholars found in these thinkers’ writings shook both Muslim and Christian theologians.