2012 Speaker Profiles

2012 WMLF

Dr Husna Ahmad OBE

Dr. Husna Ahmad OBE is the Group CEO of the Faith Regen Foundation. With a PhD in Environmental Law from the School of Oriental and African Studies at London University, Dr. Ahmad is the co-chair of Faiths and Beliefs in Further Education. She is a steering group member of the RLLP [Religious Literacy in Leadership Programme] in Higher Education under the auspices of Goldsmith University and the University of York. She has recently been appointed the Secretary General of the World Muslim Leadership Forum. She has recently been made a National Council Member of the Royal National Lifeboat Institute. She has co-authored a book called the Green Guide for Hajj; and written a book called Islam and Water, the Hajjar Story which were both commissioned by the Alliance of Religions and Conservation. She is a national and international speaker on faith and regeneration, peace building, women’s issues and climate change.


Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Michael Yeoh

Tan Sri Yeoh is the Co-Founder & CEO of the Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute (ASLI), Malaysia’s leading independent Think Tank and foremost Conference Organiser that brings together senior government, business and thought leaders in interactive, high-level discussions. ASLI’s Centre for Public Policy Studies was recently ranked in a Global Survey of Think Tanks to be the No. 16 Think Tank in Asia. He is also Joint Secretary-General of the Malaysia-China Business Council, the ASEAN Business Forum and the Corporate Malaysia Roundtable. He was in February 2012 appointed by the Prime Minister to be a Member of the Advisory Board of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and in April 2011 was appointed a Member of the Malaysian Competition Commission.

He was appointed by the Prime Minister and Government of Malaysia to be Malaysia’s Representative (with Ambassadorial status) on the ASEAN High Level Task Force set up by the ASEAN Heads of States and Governments which developed the ASEAN Connectivity Master Plan focusing on ICT, Education, Human Capital Development, Transport, Power and Energy, adopted at the 17th ASEAN Summit.

He graduated in Economics & Accounting from Monash University and did his practical accounting training with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Melbourne. He has attended the Aresty Institute of Wharton School in USA, the Melbourne Business School and UCLA’s Graduate School of Management. He was conferred the Doctorate of Laws Honoris Causa by Britains’s University of Nottingham.

Tan Sri Yeoh has written several books on Management and Leadership such as Vision & Leadership, Management Strategies for Malaysian Companies, Globalization and the New South and the Malaysian Chinese.

He has consulted for the World Bank, UNIDO and Nomura Research Institute and has spoken at high level conferences organized by the World Economic Forum, the Asia Society New York, the China Development Institute and the Confederation of Indian Industries as well as the University of Michigan and Monash University.


Tan Sri Razali Ismail

Razali Ismail, 73, retired from government in 1998 after a career in the Malaysian Diplomatic Service for over 35 years. He held various posts; Ambassador to Poland concurrently German Democratic Republic, Czechoslovakia and Hungary, High Commissioner to India, Deputy Secretary-General (Political Affairs) and Permanent Representative to the United Nations. At the UN Razali Ismail served in various capacities: Chairman of the Group of 77, President of the UN Security Council, Chairman of the Commission on Sustainable Development and President of the United Nations General Assembly. Razali Ismail was involved in articulating and developing positions in various bodies on issues such as development and sustainability, poverty and marginalisation, political reforms in the United Nations and issues of human rights and the environment. He continues to keep abreast on these subjects at home and abroad, through participation at seminars etc. and interacting with personalities and bodies, ties established earlier. He was the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Myanmar for more than 5 years (from 2000-2005).

In Malaysia Razali Ismail is involved in IT and environmental industries specifically in renewable energy and solar, is the Pro Chancellor of the University Science Malaysia, Chairman of the National Peace Volunteer Corp (Yayasan Salam), was Chairman of a grant organization on Natural Disaster, Force of Nature (FON), heads an NGO project, Yayasan Chow Kit, supported by government on street and displaced children; sits on the Board of the Razak School of Government. He is an on the ground environmentalist especially over the protection and replanting of mangroves. He was also for a period President of the WWF Malaysia. He was recently appointed Chairman of the Global Movement of Moderates Foundation. He writes for the Ginger Group and Foreign Policy Study Group.



Datuk Seri Mohammad Iqbal Rawther

Datuk Seri Mohammad Iqbal is the vice president of the ASEAN Business Forum and Executive Director of the Farlim Group Berhad. He joined Farlim Group (Malaysia) Bhd as a Director in 1982. He was recently elected as Chairman of the Governing Council of the Malaysian Institute of Management.

He obtained a Certificate in Education from the University of Birmingham in 1964. Subsequently, he obtained his Bachelor of Economics Degree (Honors) and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration in 1971 and 1973 respectively, both from the University of Malaya. He then furthered his studies and obtained the International Management Teacher’s Programme certificate from the joint programme organized by the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration and the Centre D’Enseignment Superior Des Affairs, Paris, France in 1978. In 1993, he received a Doctorate in Management from La Salle University, USA.

He started his career with the Ministry of Education from 1965 to 1969. During this period, he also served as the National Education Officer of the National Student Union of Teaching Professionals. In 1971, he joined Malaysian International Merchant Bank Berhad as Corporate Finance Officer during which he pioneered leasing and produced a research volume on “Leasing in Malaysia” before leaving in 1974. In 1974 when the University of Malaya implemented the policy of using Bahasa Malaysa for tertiary education, he responded to a call from the University and joined the Faculty of Economics and Administration as a lecturer.

His many achievements include being awarded the Sir Frederick Gallahan Memorial Award by the Australian-Malaysian Association of Australia in 1976 in recognition of his entrepreneurial management in Malaysia. Also, a team led by him to promote entrepreneurial management in Malaysia won the Malaysian Young Managers Competition in 1997, and subsequently the Asian Young Managers Competition in the same year.

When Bank Negara set up the Institute of Bankers in 1979, he took up the appointment as Executive Director. He relinquished the position in 1985 and has since been involved in the private sector, including his current commitments to Farlim Group (Malaysia) Bhd. He also served on the Council of the Malaysian Institute of Management (“MIM”) from 1984 to 1991 and concurrently held the positions of MIM’s Vice-Chairman and Chairman of its Management Committee from 1989 to 1991. He also served as an Advisor to the Peace and Happiness through Prosperity Institute in Japan from 1984 to 1990 and Japan’s Foundation for Asian Management Development from 1989 to 1992. Currently, he is an Executive Director of Farlim Group (Malaysia) Bhd. He is also the Asian Regional Adviser of Faith Regen Foundation UK and a Board Member of Muslim Agency for Development and Enterprise (MADE) in Europe.


H.E. Baroness Manzila Pola Uddin

Baroness Uddin has been a pioneer for social justice, human rights and equality for more than two decades. In recognition of her dedication to the advancement of women’s rights, she was appointed to the Lords in 1998 and became the first Muslim to enter the House of Lords.
Baroness Uddin began her activism in the early 1970’s when national front regularly barged down Brick Lane. She became involved in the co-op / labor led community coalition against the fascist activities. Subsequently immersing in the anti-racist movement of the 80’s which eventually saw the transformation of the East End of London. She led alongside her colleagues, many campaigns which radically changed the position of healthcare, education and housing available to the local community, especially women. With her friends and colleagues she set up the Jaronari Centre, the UK’s first purpose built Asian Women’s education and training center and assisted in the development of numerous community advocacy projects which remain today as benchmark public services.

Many of the organisations Baroness Uddin pioneered have since come to be accepted as models for sustainable development and community empowerment. Baroness Uddin was elected as a counselor in Tower Hamlets in 1988 whilst completing her social work qualification. She served two terms and was the Deputy Leader of Tower Hamlets council for three years.

Baroness Uddin has worked on the Select Committee on European Affairs and chaired several Government Task Forces including on Forced Marriage. She is a board member of Autism Speak UK and is a patron of Orbis International, Student Partnership Worldwide, Bethnal Green and Victoria Park Housing Association, Women’s Housing Forum, Women’s Aid, Brit-Bangla and The Dame Vera Lynn Trust.

She runs a national pilot project, Breaking the Cycle, which is working with families to prevent generational cycle of substance misuse.

Since May 2008 she has been the Chair of the Government Taskforce, a cross party campaign to increase minority women’s participation in public life. In her role as Chair, Baroness Uddin has set out to change the face of political institutions and address the gross under representation of minority women in public life.

Farooq Murad

Farooq Murad is the Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, the largest representative umbrella body of the Muslim organisation in the UK. Its 500 affiliates include national, regional and local organisations, mosques, charities and specialist bodies.

He graduated in engineering and management and works as a management and training consultant. He has a rich and varied background in organisational, community and international development. He has pioneered and developed a range of training programmes in cross-cultural understanding, organisational and personal development, community leadership and strategic planning. Farooq has been a trustee of Muslim Aid and served as its Chairman from 2004 to 2008. He is a member of the Board of Governors at the University of Management and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan, a Director of the Markfield Institute of Higher Education.


Muhammad Mamdani

Mohammed is a serial social entrepreneur, who began his career in the voluntary sector at the age of 18 years, as founder of the award winning national charity, Muslim Youth Helpline. MYH provides faith sensitive and confidential emotional support by telephone, email, web-chat and letter to over 5,000 young Muslims every year. Following the success of MYH’s core service, Mohammed launched the first online forum for British Muslim youth in 2004, which challenges cultural stigma around social issues and promotes civic engagement amongst young people.

From 2005-2007 Mohammed was appointed to the Board of Trustees of UnLtd, the Foundation of Social Entrepreneurs, which holds an endowment of £100 million from the Millennium Trust. In 2005, he also setup Ansar Youth Project, a community based model in faith and culturally sensitive youth-work, where he worked until 2009. Thereafter he worked as Capacity Building Manager and Head of Youth Services at Queen’s Crescent Community Association.

His awards include Volunteer of the Year from BT & the Telephone Helplines Association (2003), Whitbread Youth Achievers Award (2004) and CSV Year of the Volunteer Medal for Innovation (2005). Mohammed is a graduate in Arabic and Islamic Studies from St. John’s College, Oxford. He is currently studying towards a Master’s in Arabic and Islamic Studies from SOAS, University of London.

Mr Anwar Choudhury

Bangladesh-born, Anwar Choudhury, is the first British Muslim to be appointed High Commissioner to Bangladesh. He took up his new appointment in April 2004. Choudhury was previously Director of Technology Policy in the Office of the e-Envoy, Cabinet Office, with responsibility for leading the Markets, Technology, and Innovation vision and policy for the UK’s ambition to become the leading knowledge economy. Born in Sunamgonj in 1959, Anwar graduated in electrical engineering from Salford University in 1985. He worked in industry as a design engineer and IT strategist. He then obtained a post at the Ministry of Defence where he managed a large team of civilian scientists and senior military personnel. He developed MOS strategies and policies in a wide range of IT and Communications areas, with the aim of integrating Defence systems within the MOD, NATO, and Allies. Choudhury has varied research interests including policy for radical change in government and the potential of the information revolution for developing world economies.

Lord Sheikh of Cornhill

Lord Sheikh was born and brought up in East Africa. He was the first Muslim to be appointed a member of the House of Lords by the Conservative Party. He is very active in the Parliament and speaks on a variety of subjects. He is the founder and Chairman of the Conservative Muslim Forum. Lord Sheikh was the Chairman of a large Lloyds insurance broking organisation which won or were highly commended on thirteen major insurance awards over a period of three years which has not been achieved by any other company. He is Chairman of four companies dealing with insurance, financial services and properties.

Lord Sheikh has been the President of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Croydon and Chairman of the British Insurance Brokers Association and held a number of positions in other associations. He is a Freeman of the City of London. He is actively involved in interfaith work and is a patron of several Muslim and non-Muslim organisations. He has set up and funds a charity named after his father. He was awarded an honorary doctorate in recognition of his humanitarian and social work.

H.E. Mr Rauf Hakeem

Rauf Hakeem received the Navodhaya Scholarship in 1972 and enrolled as an Attorney-at-Law in the SupremeCourt in 1984. He passed his final examination for enrolment as a Solicitorconducted by the British Law Society in 1987.

Rauf Hakeem’s vast political career includes being elected to Sri Lanka Muslim Congress – Working Committee Secretary (1989 – 1991), Deputy General Secretary (1992), and General Secretary (1993 to 2000).

He was a member of the All Party Conference Sub Committee on Human Rights, and the Drafting Committee which formulated the Draft Bill based on the consensus reached at the All Party Conference.

In 1994 Mr Hakeem was elected to the post of Deputy Chairman of Committees – Parliament (Youngest Member to be elected to a Presiding Officer’s post in the history of the Sri Lanka parliament, at the age of 34 years.)

Mr Hakeem was elected in 2000 and 2010 to Parliament as a Member representing Kandy District at the General Election, and as a member representing Ampara District (Digamadulla) at the General Elections held in April 2004.

Also in 2000, he was appointed as a Cabinet Minister to hold the portfolio of Internal & International Trade & Commerce, Shipping & Muslim Religious Affairs. Then in 2001, Rauf Hakeem was elected as a National Leader for the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress.

His other elected posts include, Chairman for the Public Accounts Committee of the Parliament, Cabinet Minister to hold the portfolio of Post of Telecommunication of the People’s Alliance Government in 2007, Leader of the Opposition Eastern Provincial Council in May 2008, Cabinet Minister to hold the portfolio of Justice of the People’s Alliance Government in 2010 and Chairman of Asian African Legal Consultative Organisation (AALCO) in 2011.

Dato Dr Vijay Eswaran

Dato’ Dr. Vijay Eswaran, the Executive Chairman of the QI Group of Companies, is a successful entrepreneur, a bestselling author, well known speaker and a prominent philanthropist. The QI Group, co-founded by Dato’ Vijay in 1998 is an e-commerce based conglomerate with businesses diversified into retail and direct sales, telecommunications, lifestyle and leisure, luxury and collectibles, training and conference management, and property development.

He is an early 90s entrepreneur who built a successful e-commerce business into a multi-national conglomerate with regional offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand and a presence in nearly 30 countries through a wide range of subsidiary companies. He is also the Chairman of the University Council of Quest International University in Perak.

A highly respected speaker, Dato’ Vijay lectures around the world on a variety of subjects ranging from spirituality to business. He has spoken at leading universities, management and business leadership forums including the World Economic Forum events. As an author, he has four successful books to his credit of which his first book, In the Sphere of Silence is an international success with translations in 7 different languages and endorsements by international authors. He also regularly contributes to newspaper columns in Malaysia and Sri Lanka.

Dato’ Vijay is also a prominent philanthropist, recognized for his immense contribution to the community through his two foundations. He was hailed by Forbes Asia in 2011 in its annual listing of Heroes of Philanthropy and has received the lifetime achievement award for Regional Philanthropy from the World Chinese Economic Forum.

Mr Mirza Sarajkić

Mr Sarajkić holds degrees in Islamic studies and Arabic language and literature from Al-Imam University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as well as degree in Muslim History and Civilisation from the University of Cairo, Egypt.

Since 2004 he has been working as Assistant Lecturer of Modern Arabic Literature and Middle East Studies at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Sarajevo. He is member of Centre for Advanced Studies in Bosnia and Herzegovina and researches for various fields including; Qur’anic studies, contemporary Islamic issues, and philosophy of Islamic law or theory of maqasid. He is member and trustee of the Foundation “Source of Hope” working simultaneously on the field of education, social network, charity activities and returnee issues.

He has published book about Bosnian Literary Tradition Written in Arabic Language (2011) as well as several translation from Arabic and English, such as; Madarij as-Salikin of IbnQayyim al-Jawzi, La tahzanof Aid al-Qarni, and the books of Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Tariq Ramadan, M.H. Kamali, Charles le Gai Eaton/ Hassan Abdul Hakeem, Muhammad Chapra, Lueyy as-Safi and the others. He is the author of several studies in modern literature, Middle East history, and Islamic philosophy. He served as EXCO member of FEMYSO (Brussels) and MUSLIM AID (UK) field representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Ali Gümüsay

Ali Aslan Gümüsay is a Doctoral Researcher at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. His current research focus is on academic entrepreneurship and on the intersection of faith and business. Previously, he was a strategy consultant for the Boston Consulting Group and an Affiliate at the Institute for Science, Innovation& Society at the University of Oxford. He is Founding Chairman of the Social Incubator Zahnräder Network and member of the Think Tank 30, Club of Rome.

Rahma Ahmed

Rahma Ahmed is an advocate and promoter of sustainable communities with a focus on the Somalia question. She works as Coordinator for Somali Relief and development, a platform for collaboration, dialogue and capacity building for Somali NGO’s in the UK. Rahma founded and Chairs United for Somali Students, a youth led charity that empowers other youths through the promotion of volunteering and mentoring in the UK and in Somalia and works through widening access to higher education in Somalia. Rahma is a final year student at Kingston University perusing a BA in Human Rights and History.

Mr Khalek Awang

En Khalek Awang is the Chief Executive Officer of Global Movement of Moderates Foundation. From 1992 to 1997, he served as a Law Lecturer at the Law Faculty, International Islamic University, where he taught courses including Public International Law and Corporate Law. In 1998, was admitted to the Malaysian Bar as a qualified advocate and solicitor and founded a legal practice and became the principal partner of Messrs Khalek Awang & Associates. Successively, he was elected as the President of International Islamic University Alumni Association and the Chairman of the Malaysian Muslim Students Foundation. Additionally, he is active in various civil societies such as the Malaysian Franchise Association, PersatuanUsahawanMuda Malaysia, Lions Club International, and MATRADE.

Mr Hayu Prabowo

Hayu Prabowo holds a range of academic qualifications, including; a degree in Petroleum Engineering, a Diploma in International Gas Business Management, a Master degree in Business Law and he is now a PhD candidate in Islamic Economics and Finance at Trisakti University.
Mr Prabowo is currently the head of a Post Graduate Program for Islamic Economics Study at Azzahra University. He is the Chairman of Environmental and Natural Resources Body, The Indonesian Council of Ulema. He is also a lecturer of Post Graduate Studies on Islamic Economics at Azzahra University and Islamic Economics & Finance at Trisakti University. Furthermore, he is the Vice President of Economic and Planning at PT Energi Mega Persada, Tbk.

Dr Fachruddin Mangunjaya

Dr. Fachruddin Mangunjaya is a conservationist, researcher and writer. He has been involved for about 23 years in conservation activities starting from 1991 as project officer in WWF Indonesia Program. He is the author of several environmental books and more than 150 articles on topics including; the environment, Islamic environmentalism, climate change, sustainable development, biodiversity and environmental management in the Indonesian media. In 2004, Dr.Mangunjaya lead a Conservation International (CI) Indonesia Program initiative entitled ‘Religion and Conservation Initiative.’ As an activist, he was hailed as a “Muslim Eco Warrior” according to islamonline.net. He lectures in the Faculty of Biology UniversitasNasional, Jakarta, Indonesia since 2007.


Zaufishan Iqbal is an eco-friendly British Muslim, currently studying Sustainable Architecture and Islamic law. Born in the rural rolling hills of Yorkshire in North England, Zaufishan lives all things organic and Islamic; growing her own produce, baking halal delights, designing cartoons for children and learning the languages of multi-cultural England. “Mujhe Urdu bhiaatihai: I also know Urdu.”

Zaufishan has a background in teaching science while her speciality is in graphic design. She works with some of the world’s leading people to tie the branches between ‘green’ faith and social action, and makes du`a’ (supplication) that her generation of adult Muslims will be fearless in healing their malnourished communities.

Zaufishan Iqbal runs her own environmental lifestyle site on eco-mosques and halal eating: www.TheEcoMuslim.com, and can be found sharing British Muslim news and Islamic studies’ tips on www.zaufishan.co.uk.



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