Mustafa Akyol is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, where he focuses on the intersection of public policy, Islam, and modernity. A Turkish journalist and author, he is a regular contributing opinion writer for the New York Times, and has been a regular opinion columnist for Turkish publications such as Hurriyet Daily News, and for the Middle-East focused Al-Monitor.com.
Akyol is the author of Islam Without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty praised by The Financial Times as “a forthright and elegant Muslim defense of freedom.” The book has been published in Turkish, Malay and Indonesian. (It was subsequently banned in Malaysia in 2017 after Akyol’s short arrest by the country’s “religious police” merely because Akyol delivered a lecture defending religious freedom.) He is also the author of The Islamic Jesus: How the King of the Jews Became a Prophet of the Muslims and of six books in Turkish, including Rethinking the Kurdish Question.
Between January 2017 and June 2018, Akyol was a senior visiting fellow at the Freedom Project at Wellesley College. He studied political science and history at Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey.