Latest stopover in promotion event series of Islam without Extremes by journalist-author Mustafa Akyol was Salt Lake City.
The event by Pacifica Institute Utah Branch at Marriott City Center saw the attendance of highly prominent guests including President Pro Tempore at Idaho State Senate, Brent Hill; Utah Senators, Gene Devis, Jim Dabakis; Representatives Lynn Hemingway and Eric Hutchings, Pacifica Institute President Ibrahim Barlas and several other high-profile figures of the state.
Following the live music performance along the dinner, a whirling dervishes performance by Pacifica Institute’s weekend school students was very well-received. Moreover, an air force sergeant, Robert Tjetje, was bestowed an honor following a moment of silence to commemorate Veteran’s Day. Next, Pacifica Institute Utah Director, Coskun Garipardic offered his welcoming address and left the floor to Mustafa Akyol.
Akyol started out his presentation on his book, Islam without Extremes, by sharing his motives for writing the book. He specifically spotlighted the practices in Saudi Arabia and Iran, where women are forced by law to wear headscarf and forbidden from driving, and where also stores have to be closed during prayer times. He underscored that the verses and prophetic traditions alleged as basis for such practices are superficially understood and poorly interpreted. Speaking of Turkey, regarded as a democratic one, on the other hand, he noted headscarf was banned in public institutions until recently. According to Akyol, to import a practice from France to Turkey, which differs in culture and religion, contradicts understanding of liberal democracy.
Akyol in his book argues true Islam is a universal religion free from violence, terror, coercion and autocracy; and allows individuals to freely practice their beliefs, which was best modelled by Ottomans. Akyol went on to say Hizmet Movement with its school, dorms, universities, hospitals, aid organizations and media outlets worldwide, which embrace everyone regardless of faith, language, race or gender, tops the contemporary such examples. Akyol, in this regard, thanked Pacifica Institute for their efforts. The event came to a close with Akyol’s signing his books.
Published on the Hizmet Movement Blog, November 15, 2013 - http://hizmetmovement.blogspot.com/2013/11/islam-without-extremes-at-salt-lake-city.html