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A look at how the past influences the present of Islamic faith




Around five thousand Muslim men and women converged at the Baitul Futuh Mosque in Morden, which is Western Europe's largest, to Unite against Extremism and pay vigil following a series of sectarian attacks on Ahmadi Muslims in Indonesia.
Around five thousand Muslim men and women converged at the Baitul Futuh Mosque in Morden, which is Western Europe's largest, to Unite against Extremism and pay vigil following a series of sectarian attacks on Ahmadi Muslims in Indonesia.
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

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While there may be misconceptions about Islam in the western world, one of the most prominent is the notion that Islam is a rigid religion that hasn’t changed much since its origin.

But the new book from Christopher de Bellaigue argues otherwise. In “The Islamic Enlightenment: The Struggle Between Faith and Reason, 1798 to Modern Times,” de Bellaigue explores the relatively recent changes that have occurred within Islam as Muslim reformists embraced modernity.

However, there are still sects of Islam that remained less liberal, and for more on Islamic apologists and Wahhabists, we turn to Professor Khaled Abou El Fadl, a professor at the UCLA School of Law and the Chair of the Islamic Studies Program there.

Guests:

Christopher de Bellaigue, journalist, documentarian and author of “The Islamic Enlightenment: The Struggle Between Faith and Reason, 1798 to Modern Times” (Liveright, 2017)

Khaled Abou El Fadl, law professor and chair of the Islamic Studies Program at UCLA