“C. Holland Taylor doesn’t look like a man radical Muslims should fear. He is trim, unassuming, and speaks with a faint southern accent. His stylish blond haircut and trim suit give him the appearance of a fortysomething European businessman. He possesses no arsenal of weapons, holds no government post, and operates no intelligence service. Yet he runs the world’s most potent and innovative anti-extremist network and may hold a key to defusing the ticking bomb of Islamic terrorism.”
~ Jennifer Rubin, “In Defense of Moderation,” The Weekly Standard
C. Holland Taylor is co-founder, chairman and CEO of LibForAll Foundation, as well as the co-founder, deputy chairman and COO of its sister organization, Bayt ar-Rahmah li ad-Da‘wa al-Islamiyah Rahmatan li al-‘Alamin (Home of Divine Grace for Revealing and Nurturing Islam as a Blessing for All Creation). Mr. Taylor also serves as special Emissary to the United Nations, Americas and Europe for Gerakan Pemuda Ansor, the youth (young adults) movement of the world’s largest Muslim organization, the Nahdlatul Ulama.
LibForAll and Bayt ar-Rahmah are incorporated in Winston-Salem, NC, to which Mr. Taylor’s ancestors immigrated in search of religious freedom in the mid-18th century. The son of a U.S. military officer in the Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps, Mr. Taylor was raised primarily in Europe and Asia, including Germany, Iran and South Korea.
An expert on Islam and the process of Islamization in Southeast Asia, Mr. Taylor has lived, studied and worked in the Muslim world, from Iran to Indonesia, over a period of more than five decades. Although his knowledge of Islam pales in comparison with that of the powerful Muslim leaders who form the backbone of LibForAll Foundation, Mr. Taylor’s unique combination of experience in the fields of international business, strategy and the forging of cross-cultural relationships has enabled LibForAll to become “a model of what a competent public diplomacy effort in the Muslim world should look like” (Wall Street Journal).
Mr. Taylor established LibForAll Foundation in December 2003 together with his close friend, the former Indonesian president Kyai Haji Abdurrahman Wahid (1940-2009), 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 Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom and the Bill of Rights led to the separation of state and religion in the U.S.
Based on lessons derived from this struggle, LibForAll and its sister organization, Bayt ar-Rahmah, are forging a global network of top Muslim leaders in the fields of religion, education, pop culture, government, business and the media, who are joining with people of good will of every faith and nation to confront the rapidly metastasizing threat of religious extremism before it’s too late.
Mr. Taylor is an acclaimed speaker whose writings have been published in major media outlets throughout the world, helping to educate policy makers and the general public about how to counter the ideology of religious supremacism, hatred and violence that underlies and animates Islamist terrorism.
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.
Mr. Taylor was educated at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill and Princeton University. He is fluent in English, Indonesian/Malay and German.