Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore
Lee Hsien Loong has been Singapore's Prime Minister since 2004. Mr Lee is the Secretary-General of the People's Action Party (PAP). He was first elected Member of Parliament (MP) in 1984 and has been re-elected eight times. Mr Lee also chairs GIC, Singapore's sovereign wealth fund, and the Research, Innovation and Enterprise Council, an international panel that provides strategic direction for Singapore's Research and Development efforts. Before becoming Prime Minister, Mr Lee had held various Ministerial appointments, including being Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Finance, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, Minister for Trade and Industry and Second Minister for Defence. He was concurrently the Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore from 1998 until 2004.
Minister for Social and Family Development, Second Minister for Health, and Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs, Singapore.
Mr. Masagos Zulkifli is Singapore's Minister for Social and Family Development, Second Minister for Health and Minister in-charge-of Muslim Affairs.
Prior to entering politics, Mr. Masagos was working in Singapore Telecommunications Limited and last held the position of CEO, SingTel Global Offices. In 2006, he was elected as Member of Parliament for Tampines Group Representation Constituency and appointed Senior Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Education. From 2008 to 2014, Mr Masagos held other positions in the Singapore Government, within the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs. He was appointed Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs in May 2018. From October 2015 to July 2020, Mr Masagos was Minister for the Environment and Water Resources. He took on his current appointment on 27 July 2020.
Mr. Masagos graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (First Class Honours), majoring in electrical and electronic engineering from the Nanyang Technological University. He obtained a Master of Science in electrical engineering from the National University of Singapore.
Chief Executive, Muis, Singapore
Mr. Kadir Maideen was appointed as Chief Executive of Muis in November 2021.
Prior to becoming Chief Executive of Muis, Mr. Kadir spent 26 years in the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) where he held both command and staff appointments, including Commander of SCDF's Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (DART), 2nd SCDF Division and SCDF's National Service Training Institute. He was appointed the Deputy Chief Executive of Muis in 2021, where he provided guidance in policy development, execution and coordination efforts of the Education, Strategic Engagement and Human Capital clusters and was involved in stakeholders and community engagement in tandem with the outreach efforts of Muis.
Mr. Kadir graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering from the Nanyang Technological University and has a Master of Science in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management from the University of Leicester, United Kingdom.
Mufti of Singapore
Ustaz Dr. Nazirudin Mohd Nasir was appointed as Mufti of Singapore in March 2020. He chairs the Fatwa Committee and takes the lead in providing guidance for the Muslim community's religious life. He sits on the Bioethics Advisory Committee Singapore.
Prior to becoming Mufti, Ustaz Dr. Nazirudin was the Director of Religious and Policy Development in Muis. He has served in different areas of work in Muis, such as in part-time Islamic education, fatwa and religious policies and the development of contextual religious curriculum and content. He was instrumental in developing fatwas such as organ donation and joint-tenancy, and in formulating ethical positions on biomedical issues.
Ustaz Dr. Nazirudin obtained his degree in Islamic law from the Al-Azhar University in Cairo, and graduated with an M.A. (with distinction) in comparative law from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London and M.St. in religion at Oxford. He was conferred D. Phil in the study of Abrahamic religions from University of Oxford, UK. He has published academic work in interreligious studies and regularly speaks in interfaith events.
Secretary General of Religions for Peace International
Professor Dr. Azza Karam is the first female elected as the Secretary General of Religions for Peace International. She is currently a member of the United Nations Secretary General's 'High Level Advisory Board on Effective Multilateralism'. She served in the United Nations (UNDP and UNFPA), including as a Coordinator of the Arab Human Development Reports, a Senior Advisor on Culture, and Lead Facilitator and Trainer for the UN Strategic Learning Exchanges on Religion, Development and Diplomacy. She was the Founder and Convenor of the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Religion and Development and its Multi-Faith Advisory Council, and has engaged over 500 faith-based organizations worldwide.
Professor Dr. Karam holds a Professorship of Religion and Development at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, Netherlands. She taught and lectured in various academic institutions in Europe, North America and in the Arab region, and has published widely on international political dynamics, including democratization, human rights, gender, and religion and development. She is a recipient of several awards including an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from John Cabot University, Italy.
The Grand Mufti Emeritus of Bosnia, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Sheikh Dr Mustafa Cerić is currently the Honorary President of the World Bosniak Congress and the President of the Senate of the Bosniak Academy of Science and Arts. Schooled at the Gazi Husrev Beg Madrassa in Sarajevo, Al-Azhar University and the University of Chicago (PhD in Islamic Studies), he sits on various interfaith councils throughout Europe and the Middle East and was the Grand Mufti of Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1993-2012.
Sheikh Dr Mustafa Cerić issued the Declaration of European Muslims to the European Union in 2006. He has received several awards for his exceptional contribution in strengthening democracy, promoting peace, and pursuing interfaith dialogue, including 2003 UNESCO Felix Houphouet-Boigny Peace Price, 2003 International Council of Christians and Jews Annual Sternberg Award, and 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Association of Muslim Social Scientists UK. He was named among The World's 50 Most Influential Muslims 2009 by The Muslim 500.
Muslim Chaplain at Harvard University and Co-founder of the Islamic Seminary of America in Dallas, United States
Dr. Khalil Abdur-Rashid is the first full-time University Muslim Chaplain at Harvard University, Instructor of Muslim Studies at Harvard Divinity School, and Public Policy Lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He was the first paid Muslim Chaplain for Columbia University and Barnard College in New York City and served as an advisor to the NYPD Police Commissioner. He also served as Imam in New York City and Scholar-in-Residence at a major Islamic Center in North Dallas. He is the co-founder of the Islamic Seminary of America in Dallas, whose work involves capacity-building for the education, training and development of the local Muslim leadership.
Dr. Khalil earned his bachelor's degree in Social Work from Georgia State University and worked for the state of Georgia as a social worker. He holds a Master of Arts in Islamic law and Middle East Studies and a Master of Philosophy in Islamic Law and Middle East Studies from Columbia University in New York City, as well as a master's degree in Comparative Islamic Law and two advanced Islamic seminary doctoral licenses (ijaza) in Islamic Sciences from Marmara University in Istanbul.
OBE, Professor of Islamic and Interreligious Studies, University of Edinburgh and the Jane and Aatos Erkko Professor at the Helsinki Collegium, Scotland
Professor Mona Siddiqui is the Professor of Islamic and Interreligious Studies and Assistant Principal for Religion and Society, and Dean international for the Middle-East at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Amongst her most recent publications are, Human Struggle: Christian and Muslim Perspectives based on her 2016 Gifford lectures (CUP, 2021), Hospitality in Islam: Welcoming in God's Name (Yale UP, 2015). She focuses primarily on the field of Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) and ethics and Christian-Muslim relations. She was awarded an OBE for her interfaith work, and the Archbishop of Canterbury's Hubert Walter Award for Reconciliation and Interfaith Cooperation. She has held visiting professorships at several Dutch and American universities, with the most recent at the Helsinki Collegium of Advanced Studies, Finland.
Professor Mona is internationally known as a public intellectual and a speaker on issues around religion, ethics and public life. She was invited by the Home Office to lead an independent review of sharia councils in the UK, and served as a member of the Nuffield Council of Bioethics and British Medical Associations' Medical Ethics Committee. She spoke on religion and politics at the World Economic Forum, and was listed in the 2017 Debretts top 500 list of the most influential people in the UK. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, holding six honorary doctorates and an honorary fellowship of the Royal Society of Scottish Architects for her contributions to public life. She was elected honorary member and first speaker of the Royal Scottish Academy and Vice-President International for the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
Expert on Qur'anic exegesis and former Minister of Religious Affairs in the Fourth Development Cabinet, Indonesia
Professor Dr. Muhammad Quraish Shihab is an Indonesian expert on Quranic exegesis who regularly preaches on national television. He is noted as a progressive scholar who teaches Quranic exegesis using context and simple language. He is an author of many Islamic books including Tafsir Al-Misbah, and a member of the Muslim Council of Elders.
Professor Dr. Quraish was the Chairman of Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), and a member of Lajnah Pentashih Qur'an at the Department of Religious Affairs and the Advisory Board of National Education. He served as a Director of State Islamic University, Syarif Hidayatullah from 1992 to 1998, and the Indonesian Minister of Religious Affairs in 1998. He was also appointed as The Indonesian Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador to Egypt and accredited to Djibouti in Cairo from 1999 to 2002.
Professor Dr. Quraish graduated with a Master's degree in Tafseer of the Qur'an and doctorate in the sciences of the Qur’an from the Al-Azhar University. He was awarded a medal for his achievements by Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly in 2020.
Chairman of National Heritage Board and Senior Advisor to the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, Singapore
Ms. Yeoh Chee Yan is the Chairman of the National Heritage Board and Senior Advisor to the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY), Singapore. In 2012, she was appointed Permanent Secretary of MCCY. Under her leadership, MCCY embarked on new strategic plans for sports, heritage and the arts and championed capability building in citizen engagement across the Public Service. She has also led the Ministry in several successful national initiatives, including the coordination of the SG50 celebrations, the establishment of the National Gallery, the inscription of Singapore Botanic Gardens as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the successful hosting of the 28th SEA Games. She chaired the Committee on Citizen Engagement under the PS21 Executive Committee, which provides strategic guidance and coordination on whole-of-government engagement issues.
Ms. Yeoh began her public service career in 1985, and served in various appointments, among them Head of the Scenario Planning Office in the Public Service Division, where her team developed the first set of National Scenarios, Permanent Secretary (Education Development) in the Ministry of Education, Deputy Secretary (Policy) in the Ministry of Defence, and Deputy Secretary (Development) in the Public Service Division, Prime Minister's Office. She received a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in Philosophy and Psychology and a Master of Science degree in Social Psychology (with Distinction) from the London School of Economics, University of London, United Kingdom.
Secretary of Egypt's Fatwa Council (Dar al-Iftaa), Egypt
Shaykh Dr. ‘Amr Mostafa Hassanein Elwrdany is the Secretary of Egypt's Fatwa Council (Dar al-Iftaa) in Religious Rulings and Guidance. He has been serving the Fatwa Council since 2004. He is also currently the Director for the Center of Marital Guidance. In 2018, he was appointed as member of the Committee of Legal, Citizenship and Human Rights Culture in Supreme Council of Culture, Ministry of Culture of Egypt.
Shaykh Dr. 'Amr obtained his bachelor's degree from Dar Al-Uloom, Cairo University in 1993. He holds a master's degree in Islamic Jurisprudence from the University and has a PhD in Islamic Jurisprudence and its Principles and was awarded First-Class Honours.
Sultan of Oman Professor of Arab and Islamic Studies and Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor at the University of Melbourne, Australia
Professor Abdullah Saeed is currently the Sultan of Oman Professor of Arab and Islamic Studies and Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor at the University of Melbourne, Australia. He also serves as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities, a Member of the Order of Australia (AM), and an Advisor to the Studies in Inter-Religious Relations in Plural Societies Programme of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Professor Abdullah holds a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Melbourne. His research focuses on contemporary Islamic thought with particular reference to negotiation of text and context, ijtihad (independent reasoning) and interpretation. Among his recent publications are: Contemporary Approaches to the Qur'an and its Interpretation in Iran (co-author, 2020); Islam and Human Rights (2018); Reading the Qur'an in the Twenty-First Century (2014); Islamic Political Thought and Governance (edited, 2011); and The Qur'an: An Introduction (2008).
Former Premier of Western Cape and Founder of the World for All Foundation, South Africa
Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool is the founder of the World for All Foundation, which rethinks intellectual tools for co-operative relations between faiths, cultures and communities at a global level and establishes dignity, inclusion and equity for those marginalised and excluded. In 2013, he convened a Muslim Minority Leaders' Colloquium in Paris under the banner "Living Where We Don't Make the Rules" (also a book he edited in 2022) to find formulae for co-existence in shared spaces for Muslim minorities. He is an Associate of the Albright Stonebridge Group, Founder of OneAfrica.Org, Council Member of the University of the Western Cape, and serves on the Board of the Maqasid Institute. He is the founder of The Call of Islam, and was instrumental in leading the Interfaith Movement founded by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. He convened the National Muslim Conference which defined the future of a Muslim minority in a free and democratic South Africa, as well as two National Interfaith Conferences to help shape the emergent South African Constitution.
Ambassador Rasool was the Former Premier of the Western Cape Province. He was a Member of Parliament in South Africa's National Assembly and Special Advisor to the State President, and served as South Africa's Ambassador to the United States of America (2010 to 2015). He was the recipient of various awards, among others: "Social Services Leader of the Year" from the African Investment Group (1995), "Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights" by the Kaiser Family Foundation (1998), "Visionary Leadership and Public Good" from the World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists (2008) and "Indonesian Diasporean of 2012" by the President of Indonesia. In 2014, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa, by the Roosevelt University in Chicago, USA, and the Doctor of Public Service, Honoris Causa from Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA. He is a Senior Fellow at both Georgetown and Rutgers Universities in the USA, and a Council Member at the University of the Western Cape.
Deputy Mufti, Singapore
Ustaz Dr. Mohammad Hannan Hassan is currently the Deputy Mufti of Singapore, who oversees the development of religious teachers, Islamic discourses, and Muis Academy. He is also the Programme Head for the Postgraduate Certificate in Islam in Contemporary Societies (PCICS). He has held various portfolios in the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis), including the Islamic and Madrasah education. He was the former Deputy Director for Capacity Building and Interfaith Engagement. He specialises in Muslim-Jewish relations, interfaith relations, and the history and philosophy of Islamic law in the Malay Archipelago. He is actively involved in speaking and presenting papers in seminars and conferences, conducting training and workshops, and organising summer schools locally and internationally for youth, teachers, and social activists. His educational contribution extended to countries in North America, Middle East, Australia, and Southeast Asia. He is an active contributor to op-eds, journal essays, commentaries, and chapters of books.
Ustaz Dr. Hannan completed his PhD at the Institute of Islamic Studies, McGill University, Canada with a dissertation titled “Islamic Legal Thought and Practices of Seventeenth Century Aceh: Treating the Others”. He received his MA (Islamic Civilization) from the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (ISTAC), Kuala Lumpur. He holds B.Ed (Hons), First Class with Distinction from Kuwait, majoring in Arabic Language and Islamic education, and was granted Amir of Kuwait Award.
Director of the Education & Student Development, Muis, Singapore
Ustazah Sharifah Farah Syed Mahamood Aljunied currently oversees student and curriculum development of the Education Cluster. She leads the development and implementation of the revised Joint Madrasah System's (JMS) primary, secondary and pre-university level Islamic Studies Integrated Curriculum; supervises the three JMS madrasahs and the Mosque Based Kindergartens as well as the management and development of Singapore students in Islamic Universities overseas. Due to her experience and strong background in education and early childhood, Ustazah Farah is also actively involved in various Islamic parenting talks and seminars like Islamic Parenting Seminar in 2014, and Parenting IRL: Raising the Snapchat Generation in 2016.
Ustazah Sharifah Farah has a bachelor's degree in Communications and Islamic Revealed Knowledge from International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), and a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education and Teaching from University of South Australia. She has also attained two MSc in Sociology and Education from The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and National Institute of Education (NIE), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) respectively.
Second Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Social and Family Development, Singapore
Mr. Esa Masood is currently Second Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Social and Family Development where he oversees policies and programmes related to the areas of family development, early childhood and social sector development. He also serves on the Boards of the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, and the National Council of Social Service, among others, and is a member of the National Wages Council.
Mr. Esa has served for 20 years in the public sector, in various government agencies including the Early Childhood Development Agency, Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Trade and Industry. In his last appointment from 2019 to 2021, he was the Chief Executive of Muis, a statutory board overseeing the administration of religious affairs for the Singapore Muslim Community, including mosques, Islamic religious schools and the administration of Zakat and Wakaf, among others. He graduated from Massachusetts Institution of Technology, USA in 2002, and holds a Master’s and Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.