LibForAll plans and executes its
programs in cooperation with like-minded Muslim leaders in the fields
of religion, education, popular culture, government, business and
the media, and is systematically building a global counter-extremism
network that unites top Muslim opinion leaders in each of these
fields. This, in turn, enables LibForAll to extend its reach to
a grassroots level, and helps eliminate the underlying causes of
terrorism—by creating and propagating models for a prosperous,
moderate and tolerant Islam.
LibForAll Foundation's strategy
is based on an "indirect approach," designed to reduce
religious extremism and terror by rendering them socially unacceptable,
and repugnant, to people and cultures throughout the world. This
entails mobilizing support for progressive Muslims in their efforts
to reconcile and integrate traditional Muslim societies with the
Promoting the culture of
liberty and tolerance also requires an imaginative and dynamic policy,
tailored to the needs of each country, while positing
local initiatives as a return to
truth of Islam. In
essence, LibForAll Foundation practices an "inside-out approach,"
by working with high-profile Muslim leaders to re-enliven local
traditions that promote the values of liberty and tolerance, so
that these are recognized, and accepted, as indigenous rather than
alien. This results in high-impact, cost-effective programs—especially
when compared to "outside-in efforts," which are easily
perceived as alien and inimical to Islam.
It is also critical to realize that "education" of
youth increasingly occurs through non-traditional media such as
music, TV/video, internet, etc. Recognizing this, LibForAll is
promoting a popular culture of liberty and tolerance, working
with cultural icons who have enormous constituencies, and thus
the ability to influence tens of millions.
LibForAll is operationalizing
its strategy through focused implementation of the following programs,
which are at various stages of execution, with
achievements to date:
Counter-Extremism Network: Brainchild
of LibForAll co-founders C. Holland Taylor and President Abdurrahman
Wahid (1940 – 2009), this program leverages President
Wahid’s historic call for “people of good will of every faith
and nation” to unite and defeat Islamist extremism and terror,
by assembling a global coalition of opinion-leaders in the fields
of religion, education, popular culture, government, business
and the mass media. The fundamental "building block"
of LibForAll's global expansion, this Rahmatan lil 'Alamin (Blessing
for All Creation) Counter-Extremism Network is designed to identify,
mobilize, encourage and support powerful Muslim leaders who are
opposed to the spread of radical Islam, thus laying a foundation
for the expansion of successful LibForAll program templates country-by-country
- Ocean of Revelations
Film Series: This project is breaking
new ground by creating a 26-lesson video curriculum that provides
a thorough, pluralistic and tolerant answer to the questions "What
is Islam?" and "What does Islam teach?" about a
wide variety of topics, in the words of world-renowned Muslim
theologians, intellectuals and grassroots
religious leaders from key Muslim nations/communities worldwide.
Using commercial production standards, this video curriculum is
designed for television broadcast—and
subsequent packaging/dissemination to tens of thousands of Islamic
boarding schools, with millions of students, in Indonesia, Pakistan
as to promote a pluralistic and tolerant understanding of Islam
to Muslim and non-Muslim communities worldwide. By involving
top Muslim leaders from around the world, such as the late Kyai
Haji Abdurrahman Wahid and the late Grand
Shaykh of al-Azhar, and conveying a unified message of peace
and tolerance, this project represents a key component of expanding
LibForAll's counter-extremism network.
- International Institute
of Qur'anic Studies (IIQS): LibForAll
established its International Institute of Qur’anic Studies (IIQS)
in March of 2008, in order to help lay the foundation for a renaissance
of Islamic pluralism, tolerance and objective thinking, and to
foster the necessary conditions for the development of stable
democracies and the protection of universal human rights throughout
the Muslim world. The Institute’s mission is to develop schools
of modern Qur’anic interpretation that combine classical exegetical
methods with the best of modern scholarship—enabling Muslims
to build a bridge between their traditions and the world of freedom,
democracy and human rights. Key projects include the development
of schools of modern Qur’anic interpretation; the creation of
a Qur’anic Commentary; training of preachers and activists; and
dissemination of ideas and publications to a global audience.
The IIQS operates under the legacy of LibForAll co-founder H.E.
Kyai Haji Abdurrahman Wahid and under the guidance of Dr. Syafii
Maarif. President Wahid was head of the Nahdlatul Ulama, and Dr.
Syafii Maarif was head of the Muhammadiyah. These influential
Muslim organizations have a combined total membership of 70 million.
- The Smiling Face
of Islam: Translation and publication
of key works that facilitate the spread of pluralistic and tolerant
Ideas between different parts of the Islamic world. Program helps
cross-pollinate moderate ideas and create a virtuous cycle of
tolerance in place of the vicious cycle of radicalization that
currently exists. A key component of this program is introducing
progressive Indonesian Muslim thought into the heart of the Middle
East by translating books and articles into Arabic, and elsewhere
through English translation. On-going program received funding
from the Swedish Foreign Ministry in 2008.
Jihad" Against Religious Hatred and Terrorism: Work
with Muslim pop celebrities from linguistic/cultural/commercial
music markets that cover the vast majority of the world’s Islamic
population to produce and broadcast songs and music videos that
celebrate Islam as a religion of divine love and tolerance. Program
successes to date include years of saturation media coverage for
anti-extremism messages with two best-selling albums, including
a “Musical Fatwa” against religious hatred and terrorism—whose
lyrics are based on verses from the Qur’an and sayings of the
Prophet Muhammad—which soared to the top of the charts in
Indonesia and MTV Asia in 2006. Project hailed by Washington
Post editors as "…one of the most effective programs
to reduce religious extremism since 9/11," inspiring millions
of young Muslims to declare: "No to the Warriors of Jihad!
Yes to the Warriors of Love!"
- Grassroots Pluralist
Network: This program is expanding LibForAll
Foundation’s counter-extremism network at the grassroots level.
Currently operational in Indonesia—the country with the
world’s largest Muslim population and democracy—LibForAll’s
Grassroots Pluralist Network/Indonesia project works closely with
top leaders in the fields of religion, education, pop culture,
government, business and the mass media to delegitimize extremist
ideology, spiritually revitalize key sectors of Indonesian society,
and export a pluralistic and tolerant understanding of Islam to
other key Muslim populations worldwide. Closely linked to the
production of the Ocean
of Revelations film
series, this project is creating a model for similar efforts
in other parts of the Muslim world.
- LibForAll Europe (Stichting
LibForAll): Since late 2006, LibForAll
has been advising European governments, policy makers and think
tanks on how to effectively engage in the "struggle for the
soul of Islam," while laying the groundwork for the expansion
of successful LibForAll counter-radicalization programs to Europe
and key EU Neighborhood regions. Over the past year, LibForAll’s
counter-extremism network has expanded to include associates in
Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, the
UK, France, Spain and Italy, as well as Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt,
Palestine, Iraq, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Pakistan and India.
LibForAll's operations in Europe, North Africa and the Middle
East are being conducted largely under the umbrella of Stichting
LibForAll, which is incorporated in the Netherlands and enjoys
a close relationship with the European Union, the German and Swedish
governments, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation
in Europe (OSCE), which financed and helped to coordinate LibForAll's
expansion to Europe.
USA: Help U.S. policy-makers, opinion
leaders and the general public understand the
spectrum of views within Islam, so as to distinguish between
the religion of Islam and the
extreme agenda of those who use religion as a pretext
to achieve their own political objectives—thus assisting
in the development of a coherent counter-radicalization strategy.
In this context, LibForAll is educating opinion leaders on the
need for a greater focus on—and investment of time and resources
in—the war of ideas, which is critical for a lasting solution
to current world conflicts. Key elements of this program are:
briefing of government officials and key opinion leaders engaged
in this arena; bringing top Muslim reformers to the U.S. to address
both the policy-making and Muslim communities; cooperating with
major think tanks and NGOs as part of policy "working groups,"
as well as public events; and the authoring of op-eds, and contribution
to numerous feature articles, widely disseminated through the
mass media and specialized journals.
- Civil and Economic Liberty: The developing
world is the developing world because of widespread corruption,
which severely inhibits ongoing, systematic improvement of people's
lives. Our work with government elites and other key figures in
Muslim societies is also designed to help overcome poverty, ignorance
and disease—by encouraging the growth of just, free and
prosperous societies in which universal education, the rule of
law and civil and economic liberty combine to raise everyone's
standard of living.