Third Islam & Liberty Workshop
Near Islamabad, 28-31 October 2020


Islam & Liberty Network announces its third workshop, scheduled on 28-30 October 2020 to be held near Islamabad, Pakistan. Earlier, similar workshops have been held in Iran and Tunisia.   

This workshop traces the foundations of economic, religious, and political freedoms in Islam by exploring the principles and practices of civil society, liberal democracy and market economy in the historical Muslim context and thought as well as status in prominent Muslim-majority nations with a special focus on Pakistan.

The participants will be young and senior scholars and researchers affiliated with universities, civil society and research institutes working on relevant topics in Pakistan in the fields of economics, political science, sociology, law, and Islamic studies. They are expected to have a functional understanding of English and Urdu.

Towards the end, there will be a session on follow up strategy to discuss future course of action such as opinion articles, public lectures, and media appearances. Although not obligatory, it is hoped that this gathering can lead into a potent network of individuals who can commit to contribute towards creation of a peaceful, prosperous, and free society in Pakistan.


A tentative workshop outline follows, not in the same order:

  1. General discussion on liberty and its relationship with religion
  2. Civil liberties as examples of negative liberty (Freedom of speech and thought, freedom of association, freedom of religion, and freedom of conscience) and their place in Islam
  3. Liberty, Democracy, and Islam in context of Pakistan
  4. General discussion on Islam and Economic Freedom
  5. Which kind of societies do Muslims aspire to live in? What is “islamicity index”?

A detailed outline will be shared with selected participants with a reader.


The purpose of this program is for participants to explore and discuss ideas that have shaped a free society in the context of a Socratic discussion because this format is the most conducive to a full and open exploration of ideas. It is natural that participants would like to see this in context of Pakistan however they will be encouraged to focus on abstract principles.  

Readings are distributed in advance and serve as a starting place for discussion. The purpose of the discussion is neither to convey doctrine nor to drive home certain conclusions. Each workshop challenges participants to examine, refine and extend their own ideas in the company of inquiring colleagues who also are interested in questions of liberty and responsibility.

All participants are expected to have studied the readings before the workshop.

The sessions are not driven by any individual and the role of a facilitator is to keep discussion on track and to start and finish each session on time. There are no lectures or presentations and the sessions are driven by participants through questions and comments.

Some distinguished scholars including Dr. Muhammad Khalid Masud and Dr. Mohsin Naqvi have confirmed their participation.


Ali Salman

Ali Salman is CEO of Islam & Liberty Network and author of Islam & Economics: A Primer on Markets, Morals and Justice (forthcoming) and Discord between Social Justice and Economic Freedom in Islam. He is also the founder and executive director of Policy Research Institute of Market Economy (PRIME) – an independent think tank. Recently, he has served as CEO of leading Malaysian think tank IDEAS during 2018-2020. Earlier, he has worked as a consultant and trainer for major international development organizations, public sector organizations and non-profits; worked in the government, social enterprises, academia, and private sector. Ali is recipient of Fulbright scholarship, Royal Netherlands Fellowship and Charles Wallace Fellowship and has master’s degrees in Economics, Public Policy and Business Administration. He writes regularly for Express Tribune, a partner publication of International Herald Tribune/New York Times.

Workshop registration

This workshop is open to participants from Pakistan only. Travel, hotel stay (twin-sharing) and meals will be provided by the organizer. Registration and participation are free of charge, thanks to our generous sponsors.

For registration, please click here.

Last date to register: 5th October 2020. (APPLICATIONS CLOSED)

Note: The workshop may be rescheduled or cancelled if the government imposes any lockdown measures as a safeguard against Corona virus.

Islam & Liberty Network

Islam and Liberty Network (L) Foundation is legally organised as a non-profit Labuan foundation registered in Malaysia and is governed by an international board of directors, all of whom except for the part-time CEO give their time freely. Founded in 2011, it is a platform for researchers, academics, and public intellectuals to explore and promote a Muslim case for religious, economic, and political freedom by disseminating knowledge and developing human resources. We are funded by like-minded foundations and individuals.

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