Islam’s reformers

One year after the 7/7 attacks in London, a challenge to the traditionalist, literal reading of the Koran is gathering strength. A younger generation of Muslims is seeking a less insular and more western faith

By Ehsan Masood   124

Click here to read Prospect’s interview with leading Islamic reformer Tariq Ramadan

It is a scene I won’t forget in a hurry: Jean-Marie Lehn, French winner of the Nobel prize in chemistry, defending his atheism at a packed public conference at the new Alexandria Library in Egypt. In much of the Muslim world, talking about atheism in public is dangerous.

But the Alexandria Library is run by Ismail Serageldin, a Muslim intellectual who has a bold and ambitious project for Egypt. This is to create a place for dissent in public life. He wants to encourage people to grow thicker…

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