3 June 2023
Is Islam an Ethnic, Ethical, or Juridical Monotheism? Reflections on Revelation, Reason, and Power
REFORMING MODERNITY, by Wael Hallaq. New York: Columbia University Press, 2019, 360pp. ISBN: 9780231193887.
THE IDEA OF EUROPEAN ISLAM, by Mohammed Hashas. New York: Routledge, 2019, 312pp. ISBN: 9781138093843.
THINKING THROUGH REVELATION, by Robert Dobie. Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America, 2019, 314pp. ISBN: 9780813231334.
ARAB POLITICAL THOUGHT, by Georges Corm. London: Hurst & Co., 2020, 368pp. ISBN: 9781849048163.
THE LAW OF WAR AND PEACE IN ISLAM, by Muhammad Munir. Islamabad: Iqbal International Institute, 2019, 560pp. ISBN: 139781495506495.
The Qur’an reveals historical Islam to be a revival of primordial islam (submission to the divine will) and a restoration of Abraham’s legacy. The advent of the Qur’an marks Islam as an eschatologically climactic faith which ends history. Non-Muslims dismiss such claims as unempirical and ahistorical. While one may see Judaism as ethnic and Christianity as ethical monotheisms respectively, it is harder to classify Islam, the last universal faith. The quintet of books above shall help us to explore this question by scrutinising the nexus of law, ethics and political power, a guerrilla training terrain for the alert Muslim mind. Read more
18 January 2023
Ne Touchez pas à Mahomet !
L’exécution de toute l’équipe de rédaction du magazine satirique Charlie Hebdo en janvier 2015, ainsi que les attaques suivantes contre son siège social à Paris, montrent que la bataille pour la liberté d’expression fait toujours rage dans toute sa fureur. Le procès d’une douzaine de français musulmans accusés de complicité dans les assassinats du personnel de Charlie Hebdo a commencé en octobre 2020. Cependant, le conﬂit pour la liberté absolue d’expression a été initié en 1988 par Salman Rushdie avec son roman Les versets sataniques. Le livre Ne touchez pas à Mahomet de Shabbir Akhtar a été écrit à l’époque comme une critique classique de la provocation de Rushdie, mais reste aussi essentiel aujourd’hui qu’à l’époque aux débats sur le droit d’oﬀenser les sensibilités religieuses.
5 November 2021
‘The Quran and the Secular Mind’ with Dr. Shabbir Akhtar: A Taseel Conversation
In this engaging and innovative study Shabbir Akhtar argues that Islam is unique in its decision and capacity to confront, rather than accommodate, the challenges of secular belief. The author encourages his Muslim co-religionists to assess central Quranic doctrine at the bar of contemporary secular reason. In doing so, he seeks to revive the tradition of Islamic philosophy, moribund since the work of the twelfth century Muslim thinker and commentator on Aristotle, Ibn Rushd (Averroës).
Akhtar argues that reason, in the aftermath of revelation, must be exercised critically rather than merely to extract and explicate Quranic dogma. In doing so, the author creates a revolutionary form of Quranic exegesis with vitally significant implications for the moral, intellectual, cultural and political future of this consciously universal faith called Islam, and indeed of other faiths and ideologies that must encounter it in the modern secular world.
Be Careful with Muhammad!
29 September 2020
Killing for the sake of something called…ART: The Charlie Hebdo Affair
The trial of a dozen French Muslims, accused of complicity in the Charlie Hebdo killings, has started. The French artistic elite repeat their mantra: ‘Relax: it is only satire.’ But why should we not take this genre seriously? Humour and mockery are powerful class weapons, especially when used to demean the voiceless and inarticulate, the multitudes who have little or no secure alternative sources of self-respect and dignity other than their naked identity as human beings. To ridicule such people is hardly a noble ambition. Read more
Be Careful with Muhammad!
The Ambassador’s fiercely dogmatic dismissal of Akhtar’s claims, coupled with an absolute and continuing commitment to a narrow secularism, demonstrates the illiberal spirit of the
French government policy on freedom of expression.
whether secular or religious, to see how the Republic can move beyond the juvenile platitudes
of its inherited but discredited and obsolete secularism.
Be Careful with Muhammad!
Salman Rushdie and the Battle for Free Speech
2nd Edition with a New Preface
Available in eBook, Paperback and Hard Cover versionsI WANT A COPY!
Other books by Dr Shabbir Akhtar. Click on the cover picture for details.
Dr Shabbir Akhtar is a philosopher who was trained at Cambridge University. He has published widely on pluralism, political Islam, Islamophobia, extremism and interfaith dialogue, besides Islam and Christianity’s differing responses to the challenges of modernity.
His books include The Light in the Enlightenment (Cassell, 1990) and his well-known Be Careful with Muhammad! (Bellew, 1989) which is considered a classic critique of Salman Rushdie. Dr Akhtar has also written The Quran and the Secular Mind (Routledge, 2007) and Islam as Political Religion (Routledge, 2010).
In 2018, he published The New Testament in Muslim Eyes: Paul’s letter to the Galatians (Routledge, 2018), the first such work on the Greek New Testament in Islamic history.
Dr Akhtar has published three volumes of poetry in English, and he has also lectured at universities in Malaysia, USA and the UK. His articles have appeared both in academic journals and in the UK press. Several of his books have been translated into the major Islamic languages.
Since 2012, Dr Akhtar is on the Faculty of Theology and Religions at the University of Oxford.
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