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"Religious Freedom in Islam" - Book Launch

  • Religious Freedom Institute 316 Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast, Suite 501 Washington, DC, 20003 United States (map)

Join the Religious Freedom Institute with author Daniel Philpott and Mustafa Akyol for a discussion on the current status and future of religious freedom in Muslim majority states. 

Religious Freedom in Islam: The Fate of a Universal Human Right in the Muslim World Today by Daniel Philpott is an in-depth look at the constructive middle ground in the debate about religious freedom in Islam. Instead of only providing a satellite view of the issue, Philpott offers that Islamic tradition carries “seeds of freedom” that can be cultivated to advance the universal right of religious freedom and improve relations between Western countries and the Muslim majority states. 

Read more about the book: Previewing Religious Freedom in Islam


Mustafa Akyol, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute's Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity

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Mustafa Akyol is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, where he focuses on the intersection of public policy, Islam, and modernity. A Turkish journalist and author, he is a regular contributing opinion writer for the New York Times since 2013, and has been a regular opinion columnist for Turkish publications such as Hurriyet Daily News, and for the Middle-East focused Al-Monitor.com. Akyol is the author of Islam without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty praised by The Financial Times as “a forthright and elegant Muslim defense of freedom.” The book was long-listed for the 2012 Lioner Gelber Prize, and has been published in Turkish, Malay and Indonesian. (It was subsequently banned in Malaysia in 2017 after Akyol’s short arrest by the country’s “religious police” merely because Akyol delivered a public lecture defending religious freedom.) He is also the author of The Islamic Jesus: How the King of the Jews Became a Prophet of the Muslims and of six books in Turkish, including Rethinking the Kurdish Question.

Daniel Philpott - Professor of Political Science, University of Notre Dame; Senior Associate Scholar, Religious Freedom Institute

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Dr. Daniel Philpott is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame and Senior Associate Scholar of the Religious Freedom Institute. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1996 and studies religion and global politics, specializing in political reconciliation, religious freedom, theories of the political behavior of religious actors, and Christian political theology. Among his books are Just and Unjust Peace: An Ethics of Reconciliation (2012), God's Century (2011), written together with Monica Duffy Toft and Timothy Samuel Shah, and the just-published Religious Freedom In Islam: The Fate of a Universal Human Right in the Muslim World Today (2019). He has also served as an activist for political reconciliation in Kashmir and the Great Lakes region of Africa and for religious freedom.