Islam and Liberty Network Fellows

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

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.

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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.

Muhammad 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;

Dr. Husnul Amin, Pakistan Fellow

Dr Husnul Amin is currently a Fulbright Research fellow at the Stockton University New Jersey US. He is working on recent civic rights social mobilizations in the north-west of Pakistan. He is on sabbatical from his permanent position of Associate Professor of Politics and Executive Director of the Iqbal International Institute for Research and Dialogue, International Islamic University Islamabad.

Husnul Amin obtained his Ph.D. in Development Studies (with further specialization in Political Sociology) in 2010 from the International Institute of Social Studies (The Hague). His dissertation concerned the genesis and proliferation of post-Islamist intellectual and social-political trajectories in Pakistan. He has been awarded Fulbright Research Fellowship, 2019-2020 at Stockton University, Galloway, N.J, USA. He was awarded post-doc fellowship supported by the DRS-COFUND Fellowship Program of Freie Universität Berlin and the European Commission, hosted by the Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures & Societies (BGSMCS) during his research stay, March 2013 – July 2014; availed fellowship at William and Mary, Virginia, USA (January 2014), and research stay at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, USA (October 2015). Under his supervision, 8 Ph.D. and 30 M.Phil. scholars have successfully defended their dissertations, others are in submission stage. His main areas of research and teaching include: religion and politics in the Muslim world; Islamic social movements and post-Islamist trends; conflict, peace and development; neoliberal globalization and contemporary Islam, and International Political Economy. A select list of his articles published in journals of repute such as Romanian Journal of Political ScienceJournal of Islamic StudiesHamdard IslamicusPakistan Perspectives; Pakistan Journal of History and Culture; Pakistan Journal of CriminologyHistoricus etc. His recent book titles: Observing Variants of Post-Islamism: Intellectual Discourses and Social Movements. He is co-editor of Building an Islamic Case for Open Markets (2019) a volume based on a jointly organized conference with Islam & Liberty Network.

Irfan Engineer, India Fellow

Irfan Engineer has been director for the Center for Study of Society and Secularism since 1995 and
editor at the Indian Journal of Secularism since 1996. He was awarded the Peace Ambassador Award
by Universal Peace Foundation and has several project reports and different publications like Surat
Riots, Centre for Study of Society and secularism (1997). He is also part of many Indian and
international organizations like being the Managing Trustee for the Institute of Islamic Studies.

Dr. HJ Shad Saleem Farouqui, Malaysia Fellow

HJ. Shad Saleem Farouqui is the Holder of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Chair in Constitutional Law at
the Faculty of Law, University of Malaysia and many academic posts like Emeritus Professor at
Universiti Teknologi MARA. He is also the author of ten books including Islam, International Law and
the War Against Terrorism (2006, and has done many international consultancies including drafting
an NGO proposal for a UN law on Protection of Places of Worship.

Dr. Mohsin Naqvi, Pakistan Fellow

Dr. Mohsin Naqvi is an independent academic and scholar of Islamic Studies based in Pakistan. He holds a doctorate in Biblical Studies from NC State University, Chapel Hill (2003) where his main research was on Synoptic Gospel. Prior to this, he completed formal religious education from local seminaries and got higher education in Iraq from 1991-1997. Dr. Naqvi holds command in many languages including Arabic, Persian, English, and Urdu. Author of 12 books, he has served on board of Council of Islamic Ideology, an advisory body to the Government of Pakistan.

Dr. Aymen Boughanmi, Tunisia Fellow

Dr. Aymen Boughanmi is a researcher in political affairs and economic history. He has a PhD in British and American civilization. He teaches at the English Department of Kairouan College, Tunisia. Among his most notable books are: The Post-Revolution State (2012), The Arab Autumn: In the Contradiction between Revolution and Democracy (2015).