Islam and Liberty Summer University (ILSU) is a week-long regional residential event, to be organised in Iran between 15 July to 21 July 2018. Featuring guest speakers giving lectures, workshops, and seminars, this exercise will take up critical aspects of the debate on the intellectual foundations of economic freedom in Islam but also discussing related aspects of freedom. The faculty will include: Dr. Bican Sahin (Turkey), Mohamad Machine-Chian (Iran) and Ali Salman (Malaysia/Pakistan). The main participants will be young scholars affiliated with universities and research institutes working on relevant topics. The programme outline will be divided into a well-defined session plan with space for group work. The outline will cater for both thematic discussions and skills development. The ILSU graduates will be expected to participate in our future projects involving research and public education by becoming fellows and alumni. After the event, they will contribute through opinion articles, public lectures and media appearances in their home countries. The event will be organised at the Mofid University, Qom, near Tehran, which is one of the leading centers of Islamic Economics in Iran.

Participants of this workshop will include young scholars, researchers and writers working on issues surrounding Islam and its relationship with modern society, economic systems, politics and state. They can be associated with a university, institute or working independently but should have potential to contribute in this debate. 

To apply, please send us a cover email explaining why you are interested, with your profile and CV by 15th June 2018 to Limited travel grants are available. Local hospitality will be provided at our host university in Iran.

*We thank all applicants for their interest, however due to the high number of applications, only selected candidates will be contacted.


Dr. Bican Sahin (Turkey)

Bican Sahin is an associate professor of political science at the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey. He is also the President of Freedom Research Association, a liberal think tank based in Ankara. He received his Ph.D. at the University of Maryland, College Park in 2003. Among his research topics are classical liberal and libertarian philosophy, the relation between liberal democracy and Islam, and the relationships between state and civil society in Turkey. Currently, he is a visiting associate professor at the Center for the Study of Liberal Democracy, University of Wisconsin, Madison. He carries out a research on the relationship between liberalism and democracy.

Ali Salman (Malaysia/Pakistan)

Ali is an economist by training and author of “Discord between Social Justice and Economic Freedom in Islam”. He is a founding member of Islam and Liberty Network. He is also the founder of Policy Research Institute of Market Economy (PRIME) – Pakistan’s leading free market think tank. Earlier, he has worked as a consultant and trainer for major international development organizations, public sector organizations and non-profits; worked in the government, academia and private sector. He has held a Fulbright scholarship, Royal Netherlands Fellowship and Charles Wallace Fellowship and has master degrees in Economics, Public Policy and Business Administration. He writes fortnightly for Express Tribune, a partner publication of International Herald Tribune/New York Times.

Mohamad Machine-Chian (Iran) 

Fellow Mohammad M. Chian (Iran) is a writer and journalist. He writes and edits for a number of publications. In 2013, he co-founded Bourgeois, an online platform, initially intended to gather his writings and translations in one place but eventually flourished to become the go to source for libertarian thinking. He is the translator of The System of Liberty, The Libertarian Reader, Early Islam and the birth of Capitalism, Capitalism and Freedom, Natural law and Natural rights, Common Sense Economics, and others. Starting at early-teens, he began helping the family business and later continued to work in the Bazar which arguably constituted the foundation of his education and eventually led to a life-long passion for markets, and mechanisms and ethics of voluntary co-operation. He is also the co-founder and serving as co-governor of a charity fund leading in interest-free Islamic micro loans.

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