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SPEAKERS

SOUTHEAST ASIA

Nik Nazmi bin Nik Ahmad is a Malaysian politician who has been actively involved with Parti Keadilan Rakyat, the Malaysian opposition party led by Anwar Ibrahim, since he was a teenager. He was elected to the legislature in Selangor state in 2008, as a member of the Pakatan Rakyat coalition, and as the youngest candidate to contest a seat in those elections. He currently serves also as Political Adviser to the Chief Minister of Selangor, and is a member of the Executive Committee of his party's youth wing. He studied law at King's College, University of London. In the UK, Vice Chairman of the UK Executive Council for Malaysian Students (UKEC) and was a representative to the National Union of Students in 2005, where he was active with other British Muslims in the Federation of Students Islamic Societies for the UK and Ireland. He has had his own website since 1997 and began blogging in 2001. He also contributes a regular column to Malaysian Insider, an online news source and will soon publish a book on how Malaysian Muslims need to move forward in the 21st century.
 
Muhamad Ali is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of California-Riverside. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Hawaii where he wrote about the dissemination of Islamic knowledge in Aceh and the Malay state of Kelantan during the colonial period. His recent research has looked at varying manifestations of contemporary Islam in Indonesia, focusing particularly on religious pluralism, as well as the meanings of state reactions to radical or heretical movements.

SOUTH ASIA

Haroon Moghul is the author of an influential and popular blog focused on issues concerning South Asia, the Middle East, Islam and Muslim Americans. His novel, The Order of Light, was published in 2006, and translated into French in 2007. He is the Director of Public Relations for the Islamic Center of New York University, and is currently also pursuing a Ph.D. in Middle East Studies at Columbia University. His field of study includes the intellectual history of Islam in colonial India, the Indian Ocean economy and the modern Muslim world. In 2009, he was nominated for the Presidential Award for Best Teaching by a Graduate Student at Columbia.
 
Huma Yusuf is the Features Editor of Dawn.com, the website of Pakistan's leading English-language daily. She reports on media trends, terrorism, and human rights for Dawn, The Christian Science Monitor as well as other news organizations. She is a graduate of MIT's Comparative Media Studies program, where she worked as a researcher for the Center for Future Civic Media. Her recent writings examine the interplay of new media and democracy in Pakistan as well as the importance of community radio stations in combating terrorism.

MIDDLE EAST

Mohamed Abdel Dayem is Program Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa for the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) in New York. Before joining CPJ in 2008, Mohamed Abdel Dayem worked for the Save Darfur Coalition; for the National Endowment for Democracy, where he managed the Endowment's Iraq portfolio; and for Human Rights Watch, where he conducted research and media outreach on countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Abdel Dayem has an M.A. from the School of Advanced International Studies at the Johns Hopkins University.

MODERATOR

Wajahat Ali is a Muslim American of Pakistani descent. He is a writer and attorney, whose work, The Domestic Crusaders is the first major play about Muslims living in a post 9/11 America. He is the Associate Editor of Altmuslim.com. He is a frequent contributor to the Washington Post, The Guardian, Huffington Post, Counterpunch and Chowk. He was honored as an “An Influential Muslim American Artist” by the State Department and invited to their Annual Ramadan dinner. He was also recently honored as a “Muslim Leader of Tomorrow” for his journalism work and invited to participate in the “Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow” conference in Doha, Qatar. He is the recipient of Muslim Public Affairs Council’s prestigious “Emerging Muslim American Artist” recognition of 2009.