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Religion, Civil Society, and Legitimacy of the State in the Post-Ottoman Region

A discussion with:
Mustafa Akyol
Columnist Hürriyet Daily News,
Al-Monitor, and the International New York Times

Moderated by:
Francis J. Ricciardone
Vice President and Director, Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East
Atlantic Council 

Violent religious extremist groups like ISIS have usurped the roles that both states and civil society must play in maintaining order based on state legitimacy and the rule of law across the Middle East. They have claimed the mantle of Islam in a desperate attempt to assert their own legitimacy.  

In a region of failed and failing states and immature civil societies, who are the stakeholders in regenerating states that govern wisely, and foster healthy civil societies? How can they counter the hijacking of religion now bent to cruel and criminal purposes, and weave it back into the fabric of healthy, nonviolent societies and new, legitimate states that will serve and protect them? What lessons may be drawn from the Turkish model and other regional examples regarding the prospects for liberal governance in Muslim majority societies, particularly those in failed states now riven by violent conflict? 

Please join us to discuss these critical issues with one of Turkey’s leading intellectuals and experts on political Islam, Mustafa Akyol on Thursday, January 15, 2015, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.  Mr. Akyol is the author of the book, Islam without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty. Francis J. Ricciardone, most recently the US ambassador to Turkey, will moderate the discussion. 

DATE: Thursday, January 15, 2014

TIME: 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.  

A light lunch will be served.

LOCATION: Atlantic Council
1030 15th St NW, 12th floor
Washington, DC 20005

To RSVP, please click here.