Mustafa Akyol
Global Fellow

Mustafa Akyol has been an early supporter of our network and a featured speaker in our conferences. Akyol is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, where he focuses on the intersection of public policy, Islam, and modernity. A Turkish journalist and author, he is a regular contributing opinion writer for the New York Times, and has been a regular opinion columnist for Turkish publications such as Hurriyet Daily News, and for the Middle-East focused Al-Monitor.com.

Akyol is the author of Islam Without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty praised by The Financial Times as “a forthright and elegant Muslim defense of freedom.” The book has been published in Turkish, Malay and Indonesian. He is also the author of The Islamic Jesus: How the King of the Jews Became a Prophet of the Muslims and of six books in Turkish, including Rethinking the Kurdish Question.

Between January 2017 and June 2018, Akyol was a senior visiting fellow at the Freedom Project at Wellesley College. He studied political science and history at Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey.

For details, please visit: https://www.cato.org/people/mustafa-akyol

Mohamad M. Chian
Iran Fellow

Fellow Mohamad 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.

Muhamad Ikhsan (Ikhsan)
Indonesia Fellow

Muhamad Ikhsan (Ikhsan) is the Co-founder Suarakebebasan.Org a website for freedom dedicated to disseminate and promote ideas of market economy and individual liberty. The Website had launched on March 2015 and gathered tremendous exposure from Indonesian’s youth. Beside in website, he is a faculty member of Paramadina University and senior researcher at the Paramadina Public Policy Institute (PPPI), Jakarta. He was graduated from Paramadina Graduate School major Finance and University of Indonesia, has written a book and various articles regarding public policy issues. He has the passion to promote market economy, civil society engagement and good governance to improve the quality of Indonesian public policy.

Dženan Smajić
Bosnia and Herzegovina Fellow

Dženan Smajić holds a master degree in Arabic language and literature from University of Sarajevo with one year experiance of abroad studying in Egypt. Having said that his main focus is on medieval islamic manuscripts and semitic languages in general. He is a freelance journalist in Bosnia and Herzegovina and author. He is a blog editor with aim to introduce audience in Bosnia and Herzegovina and region with traditional islamic manuscripts and heritage that is suitable for modern understanding of islamic religion.

He is an active member of a CPA, market-economy based think-thank from B&H, and as a member he co-authored the book Islam and Free Market  published in Bosnian language and an editor and translator of Socialism, Economic Calculation and Entrepreneurship written by Jesus Huerta de Soto.

Bican Sahin
Turkey Fellow

Bican Sahin is a professor of political science in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at Hacettepe University, Ankara. He is the President of Freedom Research Association. 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. Some of his publications are

Toleration: The Liberal Virtue, Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books, 2010.

“Cultural Diversity and Toleration in the Nation-State”, Co-authored with Peter Mentzel,

Hacettepe University Journal of Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences. Vol. 35, Issue 3, 103-124, 2017.

“Two Understandings of Law: Hayek vs Schmitt in the Context of Turkey”, Turkish Studies, Vol. 18, Issue 3, 2017

“Between Enlightened Exclusion and Conscientious Inclusion: Tolerating the Muslims in Germany,” coauthored with Dr. Nezahat Altuntaş, Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs

Vol. 29 no. 1, pp. 27-41.

“Toleration, Political Liberalism, and Peaceful Coexistence in the Muslim World,” The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, vol. 24, no.1, Winter 2007, pp-1-24;