Preface to the English Edition
by C. Holland Taylor
“The Illusion of an Islamic State represents a landmark achievement in the field of counter-radicalization, which demonstrates how an alliance of moderate Muslim leaders can effectively isolate, and discredit, the ideology of religious hatred, supremacy and violence that underlies and animates terrorism. As such, it warrants serious study—as well as the wide dissemination, and application, of its findings—by public policy makers, journalists and people of good will of every faith and nation, who care about the threat to humanity posed by Islamist ideology, terrorism and a rising tide of Islamophobia in the West.
“If the Muslim world, including the contemporary Middle East, is to navigate a path between the Scylla and Charybdis of temporal and religious authoritarianism—and, at long last, provide its inhabitants with the kinds of civil liberty, and rule of law, that people in the West have come to take for granted—it can only do so by applying the principles articulated in this visionary work. For the renowned Muslim theologians who authored The Illusion of an Islamic State have issued a stirring theological defense of freedom, grounded in a profoundly spiritual understanding of Islam that is capable of deepening and broadening, rather than destroying, Muslims’ faith. As such, it represents a unique contribution from Indonesia to the world, offered in the spirit of love, compassion and respect.
“For Muslim societies in the midst of intense political transformation, this book offers a model for dealing responsibly with the threat of both violent and non-violent extremists, including the Muslim Brotherhood, by using democratic methods rather than those of a brutal police state. In Europe and North America, The Illusion of an Islamic State may help to illuminate the increasingly polarized and strident debate on Islam that has paralyzed Western societies, and led to institutional deadlock in the face of a profound threat that jeopardizes the prospects of a peaceful and harmonious future for Muslims and non-Muslims alike.”