review - be careful with muhammad - shabbir akhtar

Be Careful with Muhammad!

In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo trial, His Excellency Olivier Chambard, the French ambassador to Indonesia, lost no time in defending his country’s extremist secularist policy on free speech against the philosopher Dr Shabbir Akhtar’s rejection of it (see Jakarta Post, Oct 2 and Oct 1 respectively). 
Dr Akhtar argued that laicité (state-sanctioned secularism) was intolerant of diversity, a serious hindrance to the moral progress of a society claiming to be a multi-faith democracy.
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. 
Akhtar’s book Be Careful with Muhammad! will help the intelligent and thoughtful reader,
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 versions


Latest Article

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


Other books by Dr Shabbir Akhtar. Click on the cover picture for details.

The New Testament in Muslim's Eyes cover
The New Testament in Muslim Eyes (2018)
Islam as Political Religion
Islam as Political Religion (2010)
The Quran and the Secular Mind
The Quran and the Secular Mind (2007)
The Final Imperative an Islamic Theology of Liberation
The Final Imperative (1991)
A Faith for All Seasons
A Faith for All Seasons (1991)
Be Careful with Muhammad
Be Careful with Muhammad! (1989)

Shabbir Akhtar

Shabbir Akhtar philosopher University of Oxford photo

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. A member of Regent’s Park College, he is also a Research Associate at the Centre for Muslim-Christian Studies, Oxford.

Get In Touch

To get in touch with Dr Shabbir Akhtar, you can use the Contact Form below.

Contact Form