On October 28, 2012. Kansas State University in collaboration with The Dialog Institute of the Southwest – Kansas City proudly hosted a lecture and book signing by acclaimed Turkish columnist and author Mustafa Akyol as part of the ongoing Distinguished Speaker Series. Mr. Akyol was touring across the U.S. promoting his latest book Islam without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty. Mr. Akyol was introduced by Sarah Jane Fishback, Associate Professor of KSU Division of Continuing Education to an audience of approximately 50 people.
The author began with some biographical details regarding his upbringing and connectedness to the Islamic faith. He then gave a brief overview of its history and the development of its creed and how different cultures impacted the way the faith would come to be practiced within different geographic contexts. He presented a strong case for Turkey having emerged as a beacon of Islamic tolerance and moderation.
Throughout Mr. Akyol declared his own devotion to individual liberty and “classical” liberalism, and maintained Islam, as revealed in the Qur’an, is compatible with and supports such a view. He declared that most of the negative images regarding Islam one sees in the major media today result from lingering harsh cultural practices and not true religious doctrine. It was his contention that reformation of these practices is possible and can lead to a restoration of the true fundamentals of the faith. The event concluded with a lively question & answer session, and robust sales and an autographing of his book.