September 2023: Islam and Liberty
Please join us in September/October 2023 for a Virtual Reading Group with Mustafa Akyol.
We appreciate your interest in this virtual reading group. Unfortunately, this VRG is full and we are no longer accepting registrations. We invite you to check out our upcoming events here. We hope to see you at a future VRG!
Where does Islam, the world’s second largest religion, stand on the universal idea of liberty, meaning freedom from external restraint? There is no simple answer. For some Muslims, liberty is an Islamic value established by Qur’anic verses such as the famous maxim: “There is no compulsion in religion.” For others, this only means that there should be no forced conversions to Islam, but those who happen to be Muslim are subject to laws of apostasy and religious policing, while anyone can be harshly punished for blasphemy. Whether Islam calls for states of its own, based on Muslim supremacy, or whether Muslims can aspire for liberal states with equal rights for all is another important debate.
This virtual reading group offers an introduction to the key arguments on these questions, to discuss whether an Islamically legitimate liberalism is necessary, possible and viable.
Session I: Tuesday, September 12, 2023, 10:00-11:00 am EDT, Islam and Religious Freedom
Abdullah Saeed, The Islamic Case for Religious Liberty, FirstThings.com
Daniel Philpott, "Seven Seeds of Freedom In Islam”
Mustafa Akyol, “Liberty Was Islam’s First Call,” Liberty Matters, October 2021
Session II: Tuesday, September 19, 2023, 10:00-11:00 am EDT, Sharia Matters
Ahmet Kuru, “Muslim Politics Between Sharia and Democracy”
Mustafa Akyol, “Why we need to reform sharia—now”
Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na`im, "Islam, State and Politics: Separate but Interactive"
Session III: Tuesday, September 26, 2023, 10:00-11:00 am EDT, Western and Islamic Liberalisms
Mustafa Akyol, Why, as a Muslim, I Defend Liberty, Chapter 8, "Is Liberty a Western Conspiracy?”
Edward Omar Moad, "Honored Since Adam: Islam and the Value of Human Freedom”
Joy Samad, "John Locke and Muslim Liberalism," Journal of Church and State, Vol. 53, No. 1 (Winter 2011), pp. 84-108
Virtual Reading Groups
- One Fell Swoop: Reading All of Shakespeare’s Plays
- December 2023: H.G. Wells, Technocracy and Liberty
- November 2023: Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War: the Gettysburg Address
- September 2023: Islam and Liberty
- September 2023: H. L. Mencken on Commerce, Culture, and Democracy
- August 2023: The Price of Power: Bring Up the Bodies and The Prince
- July 2023: Civil Society and Political Economy
- June 2023: The Challenges of Democracy in a Diverse Society
- April 2023: Understanding Reconstruction - the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments
- March 2023: Foundations of Modern Environmentalism
- February 2023: Bruno Leoni: Freedom and the Law
- January 2023: Oakeshott’s Moral Vision
- January 2023: The Messiness of Progress: Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and David Hume’s Essays and Histories
- December 2022: Classical Tragedy and the World of Ideas
- December 2022: J.S. Mill “Of the Liberty of Thought and Discussion"
- November 2022: The Election of 1800: Jefferson v. Adams
- October 2022: Shakespeare’s First Tetralogy
- September 2022: The Evolution of American Federalism
- September 2022: Liberty and Virtue in the Axial Age
- August 2022: Jane Austen’s Persuasion: Aristocracy, Independence, and Economics
- May 2022: THE BILL OF RIGHTS: SELECT CASES IN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW
- April 2022: Education in a Free Society
- March 2022: Mary Wollstonecraft and the Rights of Women
- March 2022: Ancient v Modern Liberty
- February 2022: Joseph Schumpeter’s “Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy”
- January 2022: James Madison and the Conflict Between the Executive and Legislative Branches
- November 2021: Pericles' Funeral Oration
- September 2021: Celebrate Constitution Day
- August 2021: Agriculture, the State, and Liberty
- June 2021: Adam Ferguson’s History of Civil Society
- May 2021: The Colonial Origins of the Bill of Rights