Mustafa Akyol to speak at Georgia State on the role of religion with students

Mustafa Akyol, author and political commentator, will be delivering the 2014 plummer lecture on “The Future of Islam: Lessons of Tunisia, Egypt and Turkey” on April 17th at 11 a.m. in the Speakers Auditorium.

Akyol is a prominent figure in Turkish media for his column in the Star, a Turkish daily, and appearances on Turkish television talk shows.

His focus is on the modern interpretation of Islam. He examines how the recent turn of events are affecting the Muslim community and shaping the future of the religion.

Nour Warsame, a Muslim student at Georgia State, gave his thoughts on the role that religion plays in his life as a student.

“Islam for me is everything. The way I dress, communicate. I try to be honest and have good morals. I respect modern scholars and what they do, but I don’t follow them as much as older scholars,” Warsame said. “I think one of the main things that modern scholars are missing is a connection with original teachings in their effort to modernize the religion.”

Bara Ahmad, another Muslim student, said Islam helps guide her through the decisions she makes.

“Some things like drinking, for example, are such a huge part of the college experience. I have to just decide that although this is what my friends or everyone else is doing, I don’t have to participate in that,” Ahmad said. “Part of my belief is doing what is healthy for my body. Honesty is also important. Cheating is such a big thing in college and the academics are really hard and beliefs help me to make good choices.”

She said that organizations on campus offer support for Muslims.

“Organizations such as MSA (Muslim Student Association) is a great place to find community. Older students step in as mentors to help me through my college experience. I think that modern scholars and interpretations of Islam is just taking traditional ideas and applying them to modern times. The same principles stand, but it is more relatable,” Ahmad said.