What Others Say

What Others Say About Mustafa Akyol

“An advocate of reconciliation between Muslims and the West, who is much in demand at conferences on the future of Islam...”

The Economist, April 19, 2007

"A devout but liberal Muslim who set out... a forthright and elegant Muslim defence of freedom."

Financial Times, Dec 16, 2011

“Words like that [of Akyol] might be as powerful as any drones in the war on the Islamic State.”

Christian Science Monitor, Nov 6, 2014

“Akyol’s courage should not be lost on any reader. He is one of Islam’s leading voices for religious freedom and freedom in general and has suffered at the hands not only of Malaysia but of several governments for his dissidence and his witness.”

Daniel Philpott, Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, Oct 9, 2017


“Anyone who can liberate the Malay Muslim mind is a dangerous threat. That is why the authorities had to censure Mustafa Akyol. They detained him, interrogated him and made his immediate future uncertain…. [Yet] he had already done much harm by putting the seed of critical analysis into Malay Muslim minds.”

— Op-ed in Malaysiakini (“Malaysia Today”) by columnist Mariam Mokhtar, Oct 2, 2017


“Mustafa Akyol is an exponent, in snappy English as well as his mother-tongue, of a liberal interpretation of Islam.” 

The Economist, Oct 6, 2017


“Mr Akyol shares with writers like Karen Armstrong and Reza Aslan an aptitude for writing in an engaging way about arcane theology.”

The Economist, March 26, 2017


“If there is a book for which this tumultuous moment in history cries out, The Islamic Jesus: How the King of the Jews Became a Prophet of the Muslims [by Mustafa Akyol] certainly would be a contender.”

Chicago Tribune, July 6, 2017


“Akyol excels in [his] last chapter, which will doubtless raise some eyebrows with its title alone: “What Jesus Can Teach Muslims Today.” In it, he makes a forceful argument for Jesus as the expression of the spirit instead of the letter of the law, and against the soulless legalism of both first-century Pharisees and 21st-century Islamic fundamentalists.”

New York Times Book Review, March 3, 2017


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