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
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.
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
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,”
“[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
Dr. Ravi Krishnamurthy
Born in Chennai, India, Dr. Krishnamurthy holds a Bachelor’s degree
in Electronics and Communication from the prestigious Indian Institute
of Technology (IIT Madras) and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering
from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, USA.
He secured the All-India rank of 32nd out of 80,000 applicants
in the highly competitive nationwide entrance exam to the IITs.
A successful technologist and businessman,
Dr. Krishnamurthy holds 18 patents in a variety of technical areas.
His business experience includes the penetration of new markets;
managing the adoption of visionary solutions; designing new and
complex technologies; and managing globally distributed projects,
executed by virtual teams.
Dr. Krishnamurthy has a profound grasp of the
spiritual essence of Islam and applies his business and technical
skills to develop LibForAll’s organization and oversee its programs.
He has been instrumental in refining LibForAll’s strategy, expanding
LibForAll’s portfolio of programs, developing detailed proposals,
elaborating work plans, executing programs, managing project teams
and creating reusable project templates. He played a key role
in the expansion of LibForAll’s counter-radicalization programs
to Europe and neighboring regions.
Dr. Krishnamurthy manages relationships with
partner organizations and presents LibForAll’s work at
public forums. He has been an expert presenter at a number
of international conferences, including: the Organization for
Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)’s conference on Preventing
Incitement to Terrorism in Vienna; the European Commission’s
conference on Preventing Radicalization through Education
in Brussels; the National Homeland Defense Foundation’s annual
symposium in Colorado Springs; and Religious Freedom Day on
the Hill in Washington, D.C. He was invited to the First Annual
Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations in Madrid.
In March 2008, he was invited to speak at COASI, the European
Union’s Working Group on Asia, where he was requested to present
“LibForAll’s general experience of how to work the anti-extremist
agenda,” and “provide suggestions on how the EU could contribute
to the promotion of moderate Islam.” He is also an advisor to
the Asia Europe Foundation on its Dialogue of Cultures and Civilisations
was one of the organizers of the historic Bali
Holocaust Conference, sponsored by LibForAll Foundation
and the Simon Wiesenthal Center, where
top Muslim leaders rejected the evils of Holocaust denial and affirmed
religious tolerance as a “blessing for all creation.”
Held in response to the December '06 Holocaust denial conference
in Tehran, the summit showcased Indonesia's ability to play a unique
role in promoting tolerance between religions, and discrediting
the ideology of hatred.
Dr. Krishnamurthy speaks English and Tamil
and reads/writes Hindi fluently.
“In 2001, [Krishnamurthy]
co-founded Enlite Networks, which made software to help companies
develop semiconductors with teams of chip designers in different
locations.... Krishnamurthy likens his work at Enlite with ‘distributed
teams’ to the efforts LibForAll makes in bringing together
Muslim leaders around the world. The end product may be different,
but the process is the same – collaborating effort from around
“Krishnamurthy points out a big distinction
between what LibForAll does and what other organizations, governments
in particular, have tried to do to deal with the Muslim extremism
problem. ‘What we deal with is ideology. We are not catching
terrorists,’ he said.
“He believes that more effort needs to be invested in
combating Muslim extremis[t] ideology compared to chasing terrorists
around the globe because LibForAll’s efforts have shown
that it is an approach that works to root out radical activity.
“‘The battle can be won, definitely,’ Krishnamurthy
said. ‘It is possible for moderate Islam to organize and
deemphasize radical Islam … It will be done. It has to be done.’”
Deputy Director of Academics, International
Institute of Qur'anic Studies (IIQS) and head of its public policy
division, the Center for Contemporary Islam (CCI): Dr. Ali Mabrook
Mabrook is a professor of Islamic Philosophy at Cairo University,
noted expert in the field of Qur'anic Studies and regular columnist
, 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
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."
of Revelations (film series), Episode 7, “State and
Director, International Institute of Qur'anic
Studies, Southeast Asia: Dr. 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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