People at IRF
Datuk Seri Ustaz Ahmad Awang
Datuk Seri Ustaz Ahmad Awang is a renowned Islamic scholar and a former Head of Malaysian Ulama’ Association from 1981-1999. He has a Master in Sharia and Diploma in Education from the Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt. He is a former Deputy Chairman, Malaysian Chapter of the International Union of Muslim Islamic Theologians (Al-Ittihad al-‘Aalami li’Ulama’I al-Muslimin) headed by Ahmad Ar-Raysuni, the supreme authority of the Muslim Brotherhood; and also a member of the International Union of Theologians of Resistance (Al-Ittihad al-‘Aalami li’Ulama’I al-Muwqawwamah) based in Beirut, Lebanon. He is a former Director of Da’wa & Islamic Research Centre, Department of Islamic Development, Prime Minster Department; and currently the Chairman of the Alliance of World Masjid in Defence of Al-Aqsa and Chief Advisor to the Malaysian post-Islamist party, Parti Amanah Negara.
Datuk Dr Muhammad Nur Manuty
Datuk Dr Muhammad Nur Manuty is an eminent Islamic scholar and holds a Master and PhD from Temple University, Philadelphia, in Contemporary Islamic Thoughts.He was a Malaysian Senator from 2015 until 2018. He was also a former President of the distinguished Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (ABIM) from 1991-1997 and a Chairman of the Board of Directors, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA) from 2018 until 2021. He is currently Chairman of Religious Strengthening and Understanding Bureau, People’s Justice Party or PKR, a reformist political party in Malaysia.
Azrul Asmadi is a social researcher and a qualified Green Building consultant committed to bringing balance to nature. He champions and promotes sustainable living. Having earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Manchester, Azrul served an engineering outfit in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for almost 5 years where he also attended Islamic religious studies in the community. He believes the ‘Veil of Ignorance’ concept may leap our current circumstances so we can objectively consider how societies should operate. This father of five has an in-depth interest in the difference between the East and West civilisation, values, social and economic impacts. He also maintains a keen interest in human rights, civil society, politics, and international relations. Azrul promotes the concept of ‘the oneness of God’ approach as an answer to deal with the challenges faced by religion towards achieving peace and prosperity of human civilisation.
Board of Directors
Dato’ Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa
Founder and Executive Director
Ahmad Farouk Musa is an academic researcher at Monash University Malaysia and a Cardiothoracic Surgeon. He is actively involved in civil society and the emerging discourse on post-Islamism. He was a Vice Chairman of BERSIH 2.0, a powerful coalition promoting free and fair election and a founding member of the Muslim Professionals Forum. He is currently a Commissioner at the Commonwealth Initiative for the Freedom of Religion or Belief (CIFoRB) based in Westminster, London, a Director of the Centre for Combating Corruption and Cronyism (C4) and also a Research Fellow at Sekolah Tinggi Filsafat Islam – STFI Sadra, Jakarta, Indonesia.
Tuan Hassan Tuan Lah @ Abdullah
Tuan Hassan Tuan Lah holds an MBA from Drake University, Iowa, USA. Formerly a Senior Lecturer with Universiti Teknologi MARA, a founding member of Multimedia University, he has spent twelve years of corporate life with Telekom Malaysia (TM) and five-year experience doing consultancy job in Saudi Arabia. He pioneered the cyber-dakwah work since 1996, using multiple platforms; mailing list, websites and blogs. He created a world famous renaissance, tajdid and fiqh materials with al- Ahkam.net, al-Fikrah.net and msm.net which was based in the UK. Since returning from the Middle East, he is now actively developing an online content for Islamic teaching and learning using Telegram apps with Universiti Islam Telegram Online (www.uito.org), an NGO registered with the Registry of Societies Malaysia.
Shawn Syazwan is a graduate in architecture from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and is currently practicing in a leading architectural firm in Kuala Lumpur as lead designer and project coordinator. Currently, he is also pursuing a master’s in 21st century Islamic thought and mosque architecture.
Ahmad Salman Mohd Sulaiman
Ahmad Salman holds a degree in architecture from the International Islamic University of Malaysia. He was president of IIUM’s Architectural Society for two-terms from 2003 to 2005. He is currently working in an established architectural firm in Kuala Lumpur and is actively involved in current political debates.
Muhammad Syamil Dzulfida
Muhammad Syamil Dzulfida is a Civil Engineering graduate from University of Malaya and is currently a Civil and Structure Engineer at a Consultant firm. As an active member of Pertubuhan Ikram Malaysia (IKRAM), he has engaged in various kind of social and intellectual activities. He main interest is on politics, sociology and democracy.
Rizqi Mukhriz is a lawyer by training and a qualified Advocate and Solicitor after obtaining his LLB (Hons) from the International Islamic University of Malaysia and LL.M (International Law) from the National University of Malaysia. He later served as a Deputy Public Prosecutor at the Attorney General’s Chambers. He is currently pursuing his PhD in Law at the School of Law, University of Leeds, United Kingdom.
Dr Emir Hadzikadunic
Senior Research Fellow
Dr Emir Hadzikadunic is a former Ambassador of Bosnia & Herzegovina to Malaysia.He holds a PhD in International Relations from the International University of Sarajevo. His extensive experience in international relations and foreign policy includes professional service as Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the Islamic Republic of Iran (2010-2013) and Malaysia (2016-ongoing), lecturing and guest-lecturing at the International University of Sarajevo and other universities in South East Europe, Malaysia and Singapore. He has written for academic journals and media outlets, authored two books, and co-authored other publications. Throughout his professional career, he has also conducted consultancy work for EU, UNDP, OSCE and USAID during their peace building missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Senior Research Fellow
Osman Softic graduated from the Faculty of Islamic studies, University of Sarajevo and obtained masters degree in international relations from the University of New South Wales. He was named ambassador for peace by the Universal peace federation and served as secretary of the Islamic council of NSW in Sydney. His career spans business and corporate sector, academic research, journalism and charitable work. He was selected to serve on Gift Fund committee with Together for Humanity Foundation in Australia. He later worked as office manager for CEO of Bosna Bank International where he coordinated Sarajevo business forum and as a research associate for Bosniak academy of science and the arts (BANU). In addition, he worked as vice president for student services at American University in Bosnia and Herzegovina (AUBiH). His research is focused on intra Muslim discourse, Middle East politics, Islam in Southeast Asia, democratization and post Islamism. He contributed articles to various online publications such as Al Jazeera Balkans, Online Opinion, PIS Journal of politics and international studies of Ibn Sina Institute.
Senior Research Fellow
Nageeb Gounjaria has a Bachelor degree in Philosophy (minor in Islamic Studies) from the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) and a Master degree in Philosophy from the National University of Singapore (NUS). As the Learning and Development Director at Bijak Institute of Philosophy Indonesia (BIPI), he teaches critical thinking to children and adults to help them improve their life and future prospects. He is also a writer and curriculum developer, besides his role as editor-in-chief at Bijak Publishing.
Dr Hamdan Mohd Razali
Hamdan Mohd Razali is a PhD scholar in Political Science from Universiti Sains Malaysia. He started his career in 2005 with the Malaysian Institute of Information Technology, Universiti Kuala Lumpur, and later joined Universiti Teknologi MARA, Terengganu Branch in 2007. He has keen interest in electoral studies, social movement, and political Islam. His writings appeared in several journals, books, and also newspaper columns.
Ehsan Shahwahid is a social researcher. He attended Islamic religious studies at community and national schools, before completing his Bachelor Degree in Mechanical Engineering, and recently completed his Master Degree from National University Malaysia (UKM) in Sociology and Anthropology, with a focus on Religion. He was a fellow with the American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL) in 2014 to promote freedom of religion. He is committed to the study of relations between religion and society and realizes the need for a more sophisticated understanding and approach among scholars in dealing with the problems and challenges relating to religion towards progress and development of all human societies.
Imran Mohd Rasid
Imran Mohd Rasid is a graduate of Philosophy from the University of Manchester and holds a Master degree from Universiti Malaya in History. He is also Research Fellow at Strategic Information & Research Development Centre, Malaysia and currently involved in a research project under European Union called ‘Radicalisation, Secularism and the Governance of Religion: Bringing together European and Asian Perspectives’ (GREASE). His area of research includes critical theory, Malaysian political history, global political economy, and the phenomenon of transnational and translocal religio-political movements. He’s also the vice president of Imagined Malaysia.
Marilyn Ong Siew AI
Marilyn Ong Siew Ai began her professional career as a corporate lawyer in the High Court of Malaya. When she joined the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), she finally found her vocation in the multidisciplinary fields of law, business, and society. She lectured the undergraduate courses Business Law, Corporate Governance & Ethics and Investment Law and the postgraduate Corporate Master of Business Administration course, Law for Managers, in the Faculty of Economics & Business, University Sarawak Malaysia. She was appointed Founding President, Association of Business Scholars, East Malaysia, Founding Managing Editor, Journal of Business & Society, and as Research Leader, Corporate Governance Research Group. She is also active in social entrepreneurship & indigenous community development work.
Anggita Dini is the executive director of Bijak Institute of Philosophy Indonesia (BIPI). She has an MA in Applied Linguistics from the Yogyakarta State University, Indonesia. A passionate advocate of reflective education, she trains teachers to teach the Indonesian, Singapore, and Cambridge curricula to kindergarten, primary and secondary school students. Anggita previously managed the academic division of a Singapore education franchise in Jakarta. She is currently involved in publishing across a range of multimedia (website, digital, and print) for educational institutions and legal firms, besides training children in critical thinking.
Ararat Kostanian holds two Master degrees from Yerevan Hrachia Acharyan University and Australian National University (ANU) in International Relations. He is an expert on Middle Eastern studies and has worked as an expert at the Turkish Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia. He is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Oriental Studies, National Academy of Science of Armenia and a Research Fellow at Usanas Foundation. As a commentator on TV Channel programs in Armenia, Lebanon, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, and Russia; he has a good command of Arabic, Turkish, and English.
Mohamad Basil Hazman Baharom is a graduate in Economics and Social Studies from the Universit of Manchester, UK. He is also one of the co-founders of Universiti Terbuka Anak Muda (Open University for the Youths), a Malaysian intellectual movement that organizes street discussions, seminars and open weekly classes on economics and philosophy.
Ahmad Muziru Idham
Ahmad Muziru Idham is a graduate of International Studies at the Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) and holds a Master degree from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) in International Relations. He was the Secretary General of Unimas Science Social Society for the academic year of 2013/2014. He also maintains a keen interest in international relations, politics, civil society and human rights.
Mohd Hazim Kamaludin
Ahmad Hazim Kamaludin obtained his bachelor degree in Administrative Science and Policy Study from Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM). He has represented UiTM in the International Brunei Borneo VIII (KAIBVIII) Conference in 2015 and has a keen interest in public policy, social change and youth empowerment.
Mohamad Asri Mohamad Yussof
Asri Yussof is a graduate in Islamic Studies and has an interest in Fiqh Muqaran or comparative jurisprudence. He has seven years of experience in creative content, public relations, and marketing since 2014 when he joined the marketing department at PTS Media Group Sdn Bhd until 2018 to develop content in marketing for religious books for the Malaysian and Brunei market as well as the e-commerce division. He then migrated to Gerakbudaya to focus on developing digital marketing content for the past two years, believing that the future depends on technology. For him, the search for identity through reading is an adventure that he is fully content with.
Shuhaib Ar Rumy
Shuhaib Ar Rumy Ismail is a hāfiz, a graduate of Darul Qur’an, an established centre for creating huffaz – people who completely memorized the entire Qur’an. He then pursued his degree in Biotechnology from the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM). Shuhaib maintains a keen interest in democracy, social justice, and intellectualism and is actively engaged with multiple discourses on youth empowerment in Malaysia.
Dr Fuad Nurhadi
Fuad Nurhadi is an MBBS graduate from Monash University and currently a Medical Officer at University Malaya Medical Centre. He maintains a keen interest in leadership and neuroscience and has attended multiple conferences pursuant to the role of youth empowerment in the cultivation of leaders.
Saif Bhatti read Law at the University of Malaya (UM) and graduated in 2017 with first-class honours. He completed his pupillage at Messrs. Y.C. Wong and was called to the Malaysian Bar on 29 June 2018. He is currently undergoing judicial clerkship at the Federal Court of Malaysia under the Chief Justice. During his student days, he was active in UM Law Faculty’s mooting scene – simulated appellate-level hearings – as both a mooter and a student-coach. He has represented Malaysia in high-level mooting competitions at the international stage several times. He interests include in politics, law, human rights and reforming Muslim thinking.
Muhammad Adli Musa
Muhammad Adli Musa is a fellow at the Dept of Qur’an and Sunnah at the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM). He is also currently pursuing his PhD in Hadith literature at the University of Melbourne. He obtained his first degree in electrical engineering, with Honours from University College London, and his master’s degree in Hadith literature from IIUM. He also holds a certificate in Arabic language from the Language Institute in Cairo, Egypt.
Wan Aiman Khudzri
Wan Aiman Khudzri is a student of Bachelor of Homeopathy Medical Sciences (BHMS) at the Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences (CUCMS). His interest in activism was spurred by the intellectual reformist discourse as propagated by Syeikh Rachid Ghannouchi in advancing the idea of the creation of a Civil State as opposed to the utopian Islamic State. He has a vast personal experience in photography, videography, design and multimedia. He is also an active member of Pertubuhan IKRAM Malaysia (IKRAM).
International Relations Officer
Husan Ruzehaji is a graduate in sociology from the University of Otago. His interests lie in economic sociology, world systems analysis and the sociology of religion. As an active member of the Australian Muslim community, he is actively involved in interfaith programs in both Australia and New Zealand. He currently works with the Islamic Foundation Australia.
Lizawati Mohamed Hassan
Lizawati Hassan holds a Degree in Science and System Management from the National University of Malaysia. She has wide experience in managing accounts for the Asian Renaissance project under the Institute for Policy Research and Sasakawa Foundation and also School of Politicians under Konrad Adenuer Stiftung.
Dr Ahmad Nabil Amir
Head, Abduh Study Group
Ahmad Nabil Amir holds an M.A. from the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM) and a PhD from Universiti Malaya in Usuluddin. He has written extensively on the political thought of Islamic revivalists and is at present translating Muhammad Asad’s magnum opus, The Message of the Qur’an, while pursuing his post-doctoral studies.
Mohd Syazreen Abdullah
Research Fellow, Abduh Study Group
Mohd Syazreen Abdullah is a graduate of the University of Yarmouk, Jordan in the field of Theology. He is active in students’ leadership at Yarmouk University and involved in philosophical and political discourses. He is a crew member of Universiti Terbuka Anak Muda – Open University for the Youths, a platform for intellectual discourses among university students.