C. Holland Taylor is an expert on Islam and the process of Islamization in Southeast Asia, having lived, studied and worked in the Muslim world, from Iran to Indonesia, over a period of more than four decades.
Mr. Taylor established LibForAll Foundation (www.libforall.org) in 2003, together with former Indonesian president Kyai Haji Abdurrahman Wahid, whom the Wall Street Journal has called "the single most influential religious leader in the Muslim world" and "easily the most important ally the West has in the ideological struggle against Islamic radicalism." Under their leadership, LibForAll has grown into the leading NGO developing and operationalizing successful counter-extremism strategies worldwide.
Their inspiration lay in the heroic example of President Wahid's own 16th century Javanese ancestors, whose deft use of soft and hard power defeated Muslim extremists, and guaranteed freedom of religion for all Javanese, two centuries before the Bill of Rights led to the separation of church and state in the U.S.
Based on lessons derived from this struggle, LibForAll is forging a Global Rahmatan lil ‘Alamin ("Blessing for All Creation") Counter-Extremism Network of top Muslim opinion leaders in the fields of religion, education, pop culture, government, business and the media, who are joining to proclaim, with one voice, that radical Islam has no theological validity, and thereby mobilize the "great silent majority" of moderate, peace-loving Muslims to reject the extremists' ideology of hatred and violence.
This strategy has resulted in a number of world-class achievements, causing Wall Street Journal foreign columnist Bret Stephens to proclaim: "LibForAll is a model of what a competent public diplomacy effort in the Muslim world should look like."
In his presentation, Mr. Taylor will explain key elements of LibForAll's ground-breaking strategy and present examples of world class achievements, including: a "musical jihad" against religious hatred and terrorism; development of the first part of a unique 26-episode counter-extremism television/video series (Ocean of Revelation); and convening an historic religious summit where top Muslim leaders condemned the evils of Holocaust denial - generating worldwide publicity that effectively countered the December 2006 Holocaust denial conference in Tehran.
Mr. Taylor's work with LibForAll follows a career as a successful entrepreneur and global telecom executive, during which he served as CEO of USA Global Link, and was credited by numerous leading publications as one of the essential catalysts in the deregulation of the global telecommunications industry.