Edip Yuksel



Edip Yuksel

Edip Yüksel in front of his home in Tucson, Arizona 4 November 2015

American-Turkish-Kurdish author and progressive activist (1957). Spent over four years in Turkish prisons in 1980’s for his political writings/activities that promoted an Islamic revolution in Turkey.

While a popular Islamist youth leader, Edip adopted the Quran Alone philosophy after corresponding with Rashad Khalifa and reading his landmark book, Quran, Hadith and Islam. This led him to experience a paradigm change in 1986. He parted ways from his comrades, including Tayyip Erdoğan and Ahmed Davudoğlu, who have been leading Turkish politics for over a decade. As a consequence, he was declared to be a heretic, an apostate deserving death. In 1989, he was sponsored for immigration to the USA by Rashad Khalifa and worked together in Masjid Tucson until his mentor’s assassination in 1990.

Edip Yuksel is the author of over twenty books and hundreds of articles on religion, politics, philosophy and law in Turkish and English. His English books include:

  • Quran: a Reformist Translation,
  • Manifesto for Islamic Reform,
  • Peacemaker’s Guide to Warmongers,
  • NINETEEN: God’s Signature in Nature and Scripture.

Edip organizes international Critical Thinkers for Islamic Reform conferences; so far in Atlanta, Oxford, Los Angeles, Almaty, and Istanbul. He is the co-editor of the annual anthology carrying the same name. He has given lectures at various universities, including University of Arizona, Emory Law, Oxford University, Middle East Technical University, TU Dortmund University International, and Princeton University.

After receiving his bachelor degrees from the University of Arizona in Philosophy and Near Eastern Studies, Edip received his law degree from the same university. Besides activism, writing and lecturing, Edip works as an Adjunct Philosophy professor at Pima Community College. Edip is fluent in Turkish, English and Classic Arabic; proficient in Persian, and barely conversant in Kurdish, his mother tongue. To promote rational monotheism and peace Edip founded Islamic Reform, 114 Organizations, and co-founded MPJP. Edip shares his documentaries and home-made videos at his youtube channel. His online books and articles are published at numerous Internet sites, including www.19.org

Here is a sample of my ENGLISH interviews, lectures and debates:

1-minute trailer:

Peacemaker’s Constitution at Princeton University

With Prof. Noam Chomsky on Politics

Debate with Dr. David Silverman, the president of American Atheist Organization

Speech at European Parliament (most of it)

With Prof. Abdullahi An-Naim

Peace Activist Cole Harrison

1-minute clip from my talk at European Parliament

5-minute Recent #FreeYuksel campaign

2-minute Kurdish rights campaign

Debate with Shamsi Ali, the imam of the biggest mosque in New York
(Starting with a big smile on his face, he ends up getting angry and escaping from the discussion; in his own mosque)

1-minute clip made by one of my fans from my videos



Ruby Amatulla of MPJP


Islamic Reform – Freedom of Expression


Challenge at Ground Zero

Charlie Hebdo Exposes the Hypocricy of East and West

I have too many Turkish public debate on TV programs and conferences. Here are just a few. They are watched by millions of Turkish people:

Live debate on Islamic Reform with the Turkish President of the Association of Muslim Theologs

(Mustafa Yazıcı keeps losing the theological arguments, and at one point, he attacks me and grabs the Quran from my hand, yanks it forcefully from my hands)

A memorable live debate with the former Chief of Turkish Religious Affairs, Dr. Süleyman Ateş. (Losing the theological arguments, he escaped from the studio twice, each time brought back by the host promising him that Edip will be softer on him)

Meeting with some popular Turkish academics who are close to our Islamic Reform movement

A theological debate on Hadith with the leader of religious order. After exposing his contradictions, the “peaceful” Sheikh, at one point, tells me that he will “chop off my neck” if I do not revert back to Sunni religion.

My friendly discussion with a popular reformist friend of mine. He is also well-known in Turkey.

Another debate with Sunni authors, which started a month-long national debate on islamic reform:

Alevilik Sünnilik Diyanet