Islam and Liberal Democracy in Global Perspective
Are Islam and liberal democracy compatible? Ahmet Kuru's keynote speech will address this complex question from a theoretical, historical and geopolitical perspective, in dialogue with WZB director Ruud Koopmans. After presenting the definition and historical formation of the two concepts, Kuru will examine the political attitudes of Islamists and secularists in various Muslim-majority countries. Focusing in particular on Islamists’ sharia-based state projects, he will show their incompatibility with liberal democracy.
Ahmet Kuru's talk will end with policy recommendations, especially on how to challenge blasphemy and apostasy laws while promoting freedom of speech in the Muslim world. Afterwards, there will be time for discussion with the audience.
This event marks the launching of a WZB series of lectures and debates dedicated to the relationship between Islam and liberal democratic values, through the voice of Muslim and Muslim-born intellectuals. It will be opened by welcome remarks from WZB President Jutta Allmendinger, and it will be followed by a light reception.
Ahmet T. Kuru is director of the Center for Islamic and Arabic Studies and past Bruce E. Porteous Professor of Political Science at San Diego State University.
Ruud Koopmans is director of the Department of Migration, Integration, Transnationalization at the WZB and Professor of Sociology and Migration Research at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.