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Management

LibForAll Foundation's board and management consist of a close-knit team of individuals whose lifelong experience, training and passions have equipped them to play a vital role in accomplishing the Foundation's mission.

Chairman & CEO: C. Holland Taylor

C. Holland Taylor is co-founder, chairman and CEO of LibForAll Foundation. An expert on Islam and the process of Islamization in Southeast Asia, he has lived, studied and worked in the Muslim world, from Iran to Indonesia, over a period of more than four decades. Although his knowledge of Islam pales in comparison with that of the powerful Muslim leaders who form the backbone of LibForAll Foundation, Mr. Taylor's unique combination of experience in the fields of international business, strategy and the forging of cross-cultural relationships has enabled LibForAll to become “a model of what a competent public diplomacy effort in the Muslim world should look like” (Wall Street Journal).

Mr. Taylor established LibForAll Foundation in December 2003, together with his close friend, the former Indonesian president Kyai Haji Abdurrahman Wahid (1940-2009), whom the Wall Street Journal has called “the single most influential religious leader in the Muslim world” and “easily the most important ally the West has in the ideological struggle against Islamic radicalism.” Under their leadership, LibForAll has grown into the leading NGO developing and operationalizing successful counter-extremism strategies worldwide.

Their inspiration lay in the heroic example of President Wahid’s own 16th century Javanese ancestors, whose deft use of soft and hard power defeated Muslim extremists, and guaranteed freedom of religion for all Javanese, two centuries before the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom and the Bill of Rights led to the separation of state and religion in the U.S.

Based on lessons derived from this struggle, LibForAll is forging a Global Rahmatan lil ‘Alamin (“Blessing for All Creation”) Counter-Extremism Network of top Muslim opinion leaders in the fields of religion, education, pop culture, government, business and the media, who are joining with people of good will of every faith and nation to confront the threat of religious extremism before it's too late.

Mr. Taylor is an acclaimed speaker whose writings have been published in major media outlets throughout the world, helping to educate government policy makers and the general public about how to counter the ideology of religious hatred that underlies and animates terrorism.

Mr. Taylor’s work with LibForAll follows a career as a successful entrepreneur and global telecom executive, during which he served as CEO of USA Global Link, and was credited by numerous leading publications as one of the essential catalysts in the deregulation of the global telecommunications industry.

Mr. Taylor was educated at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and Princeton University. He is fluent in English, Indonesian/Melayu and German.

C. Holland Taylor used to solve business problems as a telecom CEO. Now he’s aiming higher – with a goal of ending religious extremism.... Although Taylor's foundation may seem an odd follow-up to his telecom career, his background makes him a perfect fit. A military child, Taylor lived for three years in Iran as a kid, backpacked through Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey and Pakistan and has meditated since he was 18. ‘My own meditation and spirituality was key,’ he says. ‘Meditation is universal, and helps me connect with people and form a relationship of mutual understanding and trust.’ It helps that he possesses the diplomatic and persuasive acumen to broker relationships with high-level clerics, heads of Muslim organizations, university officials and political leaders like Wahid.”

~ Beth Kwon, “An Ex-CEO's Plan for World Peace,”
Corporate Leader

“[I]f effective public diplomacy is really as vital in the war on terror as everyone appears to agree it is, we need better ambassadors, better administrators and a better sense of who we need to engage and how. At least Mr. Taylor has a clue. The [Bush] administration could stand to learn from him.”

~ Bret Stephens, “Public Diplomacy for Dummies”
Wall Street Journal

 

Deputy Director of Academics, International Institute of Qur'anic Studies (IIQS) and Executive Director of its public policy division, the Center for Contemporary Islam (CCI): Dr. Ali Mabrook

Dr. Mabrook is a professor of Islamic Philosophy at Cairo University, noted expert in the field of Qur'anic Studies and regular columnist for al-Ahram, one of the oldest and most widely-read newspapers in the Arab world. A former student of the renowned Egyptian scholar Dr. Hassan Hanafi and colleague of IIQS co-founder Dr. Nasr Hamid Abu-Zayd for nearly 30 years, Dr. Mabrook is deeply involved in Egyptian and pan-Arab discourse concerning the nature and role of shari‘a in public policy, and the future of democracy in the Middle East.

Based in Cairo, Egypt, Dr. Mabrook is fluent in Arabic and English.

“I say that Islam, in our time, has fallen into the hands of a band of ignorant fanatics who manipulate it to achieve a single purpose: that is, to deprive Islam of its true spirit. And because Islam is currently in their hands, we all have a religious duty to free it from their vice-like grip and destroy the fanatics’ stranglehold on Islam, which is trapped and held in bondage by people like Osama bin Laden. They have many followers, such as those who approach other Muslims and say, “Your Islam is wrong; follow me and become a true Muslim.” To such Muslims we reply that there is a rule in the Islamic scholarly tradition: “Seek advice within your own heart, even though I may advise you.” For example, suppose a mufti issues you a fatwa. After hearing him, you should consult your own heart for guidance. Does it validate what the mufti said and instruct you to accept the fatwa, or not? And we convey this message: we have a sacred duty to use this approach, and shift the center of religious understanding from outside, to within. We must always consult our intuition and conscience, to determine whether or not what we hear from others is true.”

   ~ Dr. Ali Mabrook in LibForAll's film series Ocean of Revelations,
Episode 5, “Proselytization”

 

"The contemporary Muslim community is drowning in useless conflicts that arise from the struggle to establish a religious state, or a secular state. We can safely say that any state which oppresses its people, restricting their freedom and stealing their rights is a malfunctioning state, regardless of whether it claims to be religious or secular.

"This conflict on a symbolic level is one of the primary contributing factors, which lead Muslims to accept unjust governments merely because their rulers claim to uphold Islam, while rejecting just governments that do not assert this claim.

"This contrasts with the attitude of great Muslim jurisprudents such as Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jauziyah, a famous Hanbali scholar,and Ibn ‘Abidin, a renowned Hanafi jurisprudent from Damascus who emphasized the importance of a state’s substance, rather than its symbols. What really matters, according to them, is not a ruler’s Islamic faith or lack thereof, but rather, whether he is just or tyrannical. The beneficial influence of a just ruler, even if he is non-Muslim, is enjoyed by all of a nation’s inhabitants while the consequences of his not being a Muslim are his responsibility to bear alone."

   ~ Ocean of Revelations (film series), Episode 7, “State and Religion”

 

Director, International Institute of Qur'anic Studies, Southeast Asia: Dr. Ratno Lukito

Ratno Lukito Dr. Lukito is Director of LibForAll’s International Institute of Qur’anic Studies (IIQS) in Southeast Asia. In this capacity, he is responsible for setting the direction of Institute activities within Indonesia; developing the IIQS network and coordinating ongoing relationships with associates, institute faculty and alumni; and organizing all institute activities, including various courses and special programs.  

Dr. Lukito has extensive experience in developing and assessing academic programs, and currently teaches Islamic Law at the prestigious Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University (UIN), Yogyakarta. At the Muhammadiyah University, Yogyakarta, Dr. Lukito was responsible for developing a doctoral program in Islamic Studies, and serves as the secretary of this program. At the Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, Dr. Lukito is a member of the teaching staff in the American Studies postgraduate school where he lectures Masters students in religion and state in America and the American legal system. He has held positions of national trainer and central committee secretary on basic education projects sponsored by the Indonesian Ministry of Religious Affairs and the Asian Development Bank. He serves as an assessor for the Indonesian National Board of University Accreditation and is a member of the International Commission on Folk Law and Legal Pluralism.

Dr. Lukito is the author of 9 books and over 30 articles on Islamic Law, especially as it relates to the Indonesian context. His 2008 book on conflicts between religious and secular law, and their resolution in the Indonesian context, was distributed by the Supreme Court of Indonesia to judges throughout the country.

Born in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Dr. Lukito holds a BA from the State Islamic University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, and both an MA in Islamic Studies and a Ph.D. in Civil Law (DCL) from McGill University, Montreal, Canada. He is fluent in Javanese, Indonesian/Melayu, English, Arabic and French.

 

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