Islam and Liberty Network Council

The Islam and Liberty Network Council members have fiduciary responsibilities towards the Foundation and are referred together as Council in accordance with the Malaysian laws, where the Foundation is registered. 

Ozlem Caglar Yilmaz (Chairperson)

Ozlem has significantly contributed to the advance of liberal thinking and public policy in Turkey as the executive director of the Association for Liberal Thinking (ALT) for more than 25 years. She has coordinated partnerships with various national and international organizations. Working with policy reformers, academics and students, her notable work includes specific projects on promoting Freedom of Expression; Freedom of Religion and Conscience; Democratic and Secular State and Rule of Law; Islam, Civil Society, and Market Economy; and Developing the Idea of Democratization among Opinion Leaders. She is also managing the publication of a prestigious academic journal along with translations and original books within classical liberal perspectives. Under her leadership, ALT had initiated collaborative workshops with liberal intellectual entrepreneurs of Muslim majority countries before she was involved in the foundation of Islam and Liberty Network. We look forward to her valuable contributions to our mission.

Ali Salman (CEO)

Ali Salman is a founding member of Islam and Liberty Network and works as its CEO. He is an economist and public policy expert and is based in Pakistan, where he heads a free market think tank, PRIME. Ali has worked as a consultant and trainer for major international development organizations, public sector organizations and non-profits; and has worked in the government, academia and private sector. He has held Fulbright scholarship, Royal Netherlands Fellowship and Charles Wallace Fellowship and has master degrees in Economics, Public Policy and Business Administration. He writes regularly for Express Tribune, a partner publication of New York Times.

Souad Adnane

Souad Adnane is Foreign Relations Coordinator at the Arab Center for Scientific Research and Humane Studies in Morocco.  She is a women’s rights activist. She served as a project coordinator for five years in different local and international NGOs. She is currently in charge of coordinating and monitoring a community development program aiming at improving life conditions of vulnerable populations in the MENA region.

Anggia Erma Rini

Ms. Anggia Erma Rini is a member of Indonesian parliament from the East Java VI and vice Chair of Commission VI of Parliament of Indonesia. She is the Chairperson of Central Board Fatayat- NU which is an organization of young female Muslims, a wing of the biggest Islamic organization in Indonesia, Nahdlatul Ulama. She is also a member of the World Bank Interfaith Framework Steering Committee. Ms. Anggia is an alumnus of the International Visitor Leaders Program (IVLP) USA. She holds a diploma from English Education Department, master’s degree in public health from the Universitas Indonesia and is a PhD candidate in Public Administration from the Universitas Padjajaran.

Muddassar Ahmed

Muddassar Ahmed is founding president of the Concordia Forum, a global network of cross-sector muslim leaders. He also co-founded Unitas communications, a strategic communications consultancy. More recently he founded ImamConnect, the world’s first online platform and marketplace for Muslim services. Muddassar is a Senior Fellow at the German Marshall Fund where he advises on international security, diplomacy, and inclusive leadership programmes. He sits on several boards including John Adams Society, the official UK Association for the U.S. Department of State’s IVLP alumni, of which he is the Founder and President; Global Ties U.S; International Islamic University Malaysia; European Network of American Alumni Associations; CASE Art Fund; Institute of Rural Management Pakistan; East End Citizens Advice Bureau; Bradford Literature Festival; and The Forum for Discussion of Israel and Palestine. He is also notably Chairman of one of the largest independent food banks in the UK, the Bow Food Bank.

Amin Ahmad

Amin Ahmad is the founding director of an independent research organization with a mission to provide fact-based input to current policy challenges (LEAD), which has organized leadership programs on public policy for wide ranging participants – university students and young activists. Over 400 alumni all over the country. During 2018-2022, he was a member of Malaysian parliament, where he championed critical issues in Parliament namely in areas of fiscal policy, cost of living, economic growth and actively scrutinized actions of the Government.

Linda Whetstone

Linda Whetstone left this world on 15th December 2021, as a result of a sudden heart attack, while she was attending the annual conference of Atlas Network, the organization her father Sir Antony Fisher founded, and which supports hundreds of free-market oriented think tanks around the world. Atlas Network has also supported ILN for some projects.

Around 2006-2007, Linda, alongside Lord Syed Kamall and others, was an early proponent of a network of Islamic thinkers to promote the vision of Islam’s compatibility with liberty. Her vision was realized in 2011 and the inaugural meeting of the network took place in Istanbul, so we called it the Istanbul Network for Liberty, since renamed as the Islam and Liberty Network.

She was deeply involved in its development as a co-founder and as a member of ILN’s Council. One fun fact is that when ILN was incorporated in Malaysia as a Labuan foundation in 2016, the authorities nominated Linda in a supervisory capacity. Governments rarely make good decisions, but this was certainly one of them!

On the day of her death, we also conducted a scheduled meeting of the ILN Council, not having the slightest idea that we will never see her again. Linda sent us a detailed email just two days before her death with her words of encouragement and support since she would be away attending the Atlas Network meeting. As Linda almost never missed our meetings, she made sure that her opinion reached us even on the very day when she passed away. Acting on her advice, we amended the Council meeting’s agenda to discuss possibility of expanding the Council, not knowing that we were about to lose her.

In her life, and in even in her death, she proved to be a great inspiration, a living legend. Her legacy will only grow with time. We pray that her soul rests in eternal peace and her family find comfort in the achievements of her life.

Mohammed Amin (Ex Chairman)

Mohammed Amin was born in Pakistan but has lived in the UK since the age of 2. He is a Cambridge mathematics graduate, a chartered accountant, a chartered tax advisor and an associate member of the Association of Corporate Treasurers. Before retirement, he was a tax partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, their UK Head of Islamic Finance and a member of PwC’s UK Supervisory Board. In retirement, Amin divides his time between several political and interfaith organisations, mentoring individuals, and writing and speaking in the media. His website www.mohammedamin.com contains most of his past writings and some of his media appearances.

Wan Saiful Wan Jan (Past Member and Ex-Chairman)

Wan Saiful Wan Jan is a founding member and ex-CEO of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (www.IDEAS.org.my), Malaysia. He is also Board Member of the Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry (www.micci.com), Honorary Advisor to the Malaysia China Chamber of Commerce (www.mccc.my), and member of the Advisory Board at Laureate International Malaysia. Wan Saiful lived in the United Kingdom between August 1993 and October 2009. There he worked for several organisations, including the think tank Commonwealth Policy Studies Unit, the British Conservative Party’s Research Department, and Social Enterprise London. He is a regular contributor to several national and regional newspapers. His opinion has been quoted by various media, including the BBC, Reuters, Asian Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Al-Jazeera and The Economist.

All directors contribute their time freely except a part-time paid CEO