Islam is both a religion and a comprehensive code of conduct. Its interpretation has significant implications for the attitudes of Muslims and for the policies of the governments which rule them. In Muslim majority countries, societies which endorse, and practice religious, economic, and political freedom are far and few between. Furthermore, in the countries where Muslims are in minority, Islam is perceived as antagonistic to the institutions of a free society. The problem of the perceived antagonism between Islam and freedom has dire consequences for both Muslim majority societies and for the world at large. Not only do we observe high levels of authoritarianism, poverty, and religious bigotry in Muslim majority societies, we also witness waves of radicalization and violence elsewhere in the world associated with Islam. While this problem is not unique to Islam, with followers of other religions also exhibiting similar extremist and violent tendencies, what makes the Islamic connection a unique phenomenon is its global scale, political appeal and geo-strategic implications. Many, both Muslims and non-Muslims, question whether Islam is even compatible with a free society. We believe that serious intellectual efforts are needed to demonstrate how the two are compatible.
The Webinar on ‘Islam and Liberty : Political, Economic and Social Manifestations’ will be facilitated by SFL South Asia in collaboration with Islam and Liberty Network. The speakers Ali Salman ( CEO, Islam and Liberty Network) and Tasnim Idriss ( Associate Editor, Islam and Liberty Network) will talk for about the basis of liberty within Islamic traditions covering the market economy, liberal Islamic values as well as the political narrative of Islam and State vis-a-vis democracy, rule of law etc. It will be followed by a Q&A session with the speakers and the Webinar will conclude in 90 minutes.
The Webinar is intended to dispel popular misconceptions about Islam both within and outside Muslim communities and to create a Muslim case for Liberty.
Ali is an economist and public policy expert and author of “Economic Shariah- How Islam preaches small government and strong society” (forthcoming) and “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 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. Currently, Ali is based in Malaysia where he heads IDEAS and Islam and Liberty Network Foundation.
A 25 year-old Tunisian, living in Tunis.
Tasnim is an English teacher who graduated from the Ecole Normale Supérieure of Tunis in 2018. She is also a Masters student in Cross Cultural Studies at the University of Carthage.
Tasnim is the Secretary General of Al-Montada, an NGO founded by Tunisian students to foster the discussion about reforms in the Tunisian higher education. She is also a translator and a winning debater in the Munathara Initiative, an online and television debate initiative.
She is currently working with the Munathara Initiative on the first ever Tunisian presidential elections debates, also the first debates in the Arab world.
Tasnim represented post-Revolution Tunisia through organizing and delivering a leadership conference in Portugal with the Foreign Youth Association in 2014. In the following years, she worked on similar projects in Lebanon, France, Switzerland and the United Kingdom as part of the Caux Peace and Leadership Program with the Initiatives of Change Foundation. In 2016, she launched the Initiatives of Change Tunisia branch and was elected as its president. In 2019, she was chosen to represent Tunisia in the Caux Scholars Program in conflict resolution, trauma healing and sustainable development in Panchgani, India.