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Mustafa Akyol
Mustafa Akyol is an opinion writer for the New York Times, Al-Monitor and Hürriyet Daily News. In addition to The WorldPost, his articles have appeared in Foreign Affairs, Newsweek, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, The Guardian and many other publications. He studied political science and history at the Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, where he still lives. His book, Islam without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty, an argument for "Muslim liberalism," was published by W.W. Norton in July 2011. The book was long-listed for the 2012 Lioner Gelber Prize literary prize, along with other titles by Henry Kissinger, Francis Fukuyama and Niall Ferguson.

Entries by Mustafa Akyol

A Perfect Storm: The Syrian Civil War Is Spilling Into Turkey

(16) Comments | Posted October 14, 2015 | 10:33 AM

ISTANBUL -- On Saturday, Turkey suffered the worst terrorist attack in its history. Two suicide bombers blew themselves up in downtown Ankara, killing some 97 people and wounding hundreds. Most of the victims were there to attend a rally for "peace" -- in protest of the ongoing "war" between the...

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Why Erdoğan Is Fighting Two Wars -- Against ISIS and the PKK

(8) Comments | Posted July 30, 2015 | 11:50 AM

ISTANBUL -- On July 20, Turkey suffered one of the most bloody terror attacks in its history. Left-wing youngsters who had gathered to take humanitarian aid to the embattled Kurdish town of Kobani were suddenly blown to pieces. Thirty-two of them died; dozens were wounded. And the suicide...

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Why Some Muslims Like America

(140) Comments | Posted April 14, 2012 | 6:30 AM

SOUTH CAROLINA -- More than a decade has passed since 9/11, but the stain put on the American perception of Islam by that tragic event has not faded. The crime of a few fanatic Islamists still shape the image of the world's 1.2 billion Muslims. Quite a few Americans, in...

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Yet Another Not-So-Pious Al Qaeda Terrorist

(14) Comments | Posted March 28, 2012 | 5:49 PM

Last week's news from France was most atrocious. Three small children and their teacher at Ozar Hatorah, a Jewish school in Toulouse, were killed by an unidentified gunman. Soon, the identity of the murderer became apparent: Mohammed Merah, a 23-year-old French citizen of Algerian origin, who claimed to be member...

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The Shariah Was Made For Man -- And Not Man For The Shariah

(33) Comments | Posted December 19, 2011 | 3:22 PM

As Islamist parties emerge victorious from Arab ballots, some are having second thoughts about the Arab Spring. The widespread concern is that post-dictatorial Middle Eastern states will turn into illiberal democracies rather than liberal ones. And while the threat of illiberal democracy is valid for any late-democratizing country -- just...

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Muslims vs. Cartoons: What To Do Against Blasphemy?

(949) Comments | Posted November 14, 2011 | 10:49 AM

Charlie Hebdo, a satirical French magazine, recently became much more famous than it ever was. Early this month, it came out with a provocative issue whose cover presented a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad, and the headline, "100 lashes if you don't die laughing." Shortly afterwards, the offices of the...

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The Case of Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani -- Apostasy from Islam is a Right, Not A Crime

(15) Comments | Posted October 10, 2011 | 4:08 PM

The Iranian authorities are busy these days with committing a terrible attack on religious freedom: They have just given a death sentence given to Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, a former Muslim, whose only "crime" is to choose Christianity as his faith.

Although the Iranian court that has tried the long-imprisoned Mr....

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The Islamic Roots of Democratic Rebellion and Liberty

(101) Comments | Posted September 1, 2011 | 10:16 AM

"There is no god but Allah, and Gaddafi is his enemy!" So reads one of the popular mottos used by the Libyan rebels, who just put an end to Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year-long tyranny after a chaotic civil war. Similarly, most rebel fighters who captured Tripoli this...

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From Jihadism to Crusade-ism

(4) Comments | Posted August 11, 2011 | 7:00 AM

Since it became clear that the culprit of the horror in Norway was not a Muslim jihadist, but a self-proclaimed "Christian Knight," the popular perceptions of terrorism are being questioned -- as they should be.

First of all, as a Muslim, I should note that I agree with the Christian...

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The Forgotten Liberalism Within Islam

(460) Comments | Posted July 16, 2011 | 1:16 PM

Today, in most minds, the words "liberalism" and "Islam" can come together only to form an oxymoron. However, this was not the case a century ago. The Islamic world was still much less open and democratic then the West, but most intellectuals and statesmen of that world were self-declared liberals....

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