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MFI Personnel

Officers and Board of Directors

Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, Ph.D. (President, director) is an internationally known interdisciplinary scientist of Palestinian descent, born at sea and raised in the United States. He is author of Signs in the Heavens: A Muslim Astronomer's Perspective on Religion and Science, a senior lecturer at the University of Maryland and he teaches a course on Islamic religion, history and civilization at Wesley Theological Seminary. He also teaches an course on Islamic history and civilization for the summer interns program at the International Institute of Islamic Thought. Dr. Ahmad has received the “Star Cup for Outstanding Public Service” award from the Montgomery County Civic Federation, the “Champion of Democracy Award” from Marylanders for Democracy, the “Samuel P. Chase Freedom Award” from the Libertarian Party of Maryland, and the “Sentinel Award” from the Montgomery County Civic Federation.

Kevin Duewel, (Secretary, director) is an
entrepreneur and founder of Duryan, a start-up connecting investors abroad with entrepreneurs in developing markets. Through his work abroad, he advocates for entrepreneurship and private investment as the alternative to state development projects and international aid. He studies conflict studies and religion studies at the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University. As a student activist, he works with student groups in the Students for Liberty network worldwide to promote the principles of liberalism and competitive markets. In 2010, Kevin was a Charles G. Koch Summer Fellow at the Minaret of Freedom Institute.

Safei-Eldin Hamed, Ph.D. is a scholar of environmental policy, landscape architecture, urban planning, and Arabic-Islamic Studies who has taught at Virginia Tech, University of Maryland, Texas Tech, the University of Georgia, and Chatham University in the United States; University of Guelph and the University of Nova Scotia in Canada; and King Faisal University in Saudi Arabia. Dr. Hamed has authored and co-authored several books, among which is “Planning Objectives for the Arid Middle East: An Approach to Setting Environmental Objectives, “Ecology and Islam”, “The Eleventh Commandment”, “Environmentalism in the Muslim World” “Islam in America”, “The American Empire”, “The Calamity of September”, and “ Janat wa Oyoun (in Arabic).  He has worked as an Environmental Assessment Specialist at the World Bank in Washington, DC.  Currently, he lives in Washington, DC Metro area and practices as a consultant of international development.   

Shahid N. Shah, M.S. (Treasurer, director) is a co-founder of the Minaret of Freedom Institute. He has been a thought leader, Islamic political evangelist, and influential memberof the Muslim community in America for more than 15 years. He is the founder of ISL Software Corporation  and Chief Architect of The Alim Islamic Knowledge Platform, the world's most popular English-based Islamic software which is a staple in homes of hundreds of thousands of Muslims  worldwide. He is also the Founder & CEO of Netspective Communications LLC, a software development firm that provides the tools and skills necessary for enabling mission- and safety-critical enterprise software. He serves as a director on several corporate and non-profit boards and as the Chairman of the IEEE Computer Society's Northern Virginia Chapter.

Prof. Antony T. Sullivan, Ph.D. (director) is an internationally recognized senior scholar who holds an honorary position as Associate at the Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Michigan. He is the author of or contributor to five books and some 100 journal articles and academic reviews focusing on the Arab and Muslim world. Dr. Sullivan has played a major role in bringing together moderate Muslim intellectuals and their appropriate Western counterparts to address contemporary challenges that are common to both the West and the Islamic world.  Currently, he is a Senior Fellow, Mediterranean and Near East Programs at the Fund for American Studies in Washington, D.C., and serves as Director of Faculty at the International Institute for Political and Economic Studies (Greece) that the Fund operates in conjunction with Georgetown University.

Board of Advisors

  • Sharmin Ahmad, M.A. is a Bangladeshi writer on socio-political and Islamic issues and an human rights activists with a special interest women's rights and author of The Rainbow in a Heart.
  • Omar Altalib, Ph.D. is an international author, speaker and trainer, a former adviser to the Iraqi Ministry of Education and co-author of the book Parent, Child Relations published in English and translated into Arabic, Bosnian, Malay, Farsi, Hebrew, Russian, Spanish, and German.
  • Prof. Charles Butterworth, Ph.D. is a leading scholar of Islamic studies at the University of Maryland. 
  • Prof. Sulayman Nyang, Ph.D. is a distinguished Muslim scholar of international affairs at the African Studies Center of Howard University.
  • Abdul Hafiz Shaikh, Ph.D. is a federal minister for privatization and investment the government of Pakistan. 


 Kevin Duewel                                                                                                                                  Safei-Eldin Hamed                         


Antony Sullivan

Staff and Fellows of the Institute

The Minaret of Freedom Institute is now assembling a team of highly qualified academics and policy experts with an interest in promoting liberty, free markets, and a better understanding of Islam to serve as fellows to write academic papers, policy advisories, and op-ed pieces. Click here for further information.

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