Louay Safi

Louay Safi

Louay Safi


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Louay M. Safi is professor of political science at Hamad bin Khalifa University and senior fellow with the Center for Muslim Christian Understanding, Georgetown University. Dr. Safi has taught at several universities, including Wayne State University (WSU), Michigan, (1988-92), the International Islamic University of Malaysia (1994-99), George Washington University (2001-2002), Indiana University and Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI) (2009-2010), and Georgetown University (2010-2011).

Dr. Safi has been active in defending human rights and promoting democracy for over two decades. He is a founding member of the Syrian National Council (SNC) and the Syrian National Coalition (2011-14). He is also co-founder and first chair of the Syrian American Council (2005-2011), and co-founder and former board member of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (1999-2007).

He is a prolific author and frequent speaker on issues of human rights, the Middle East, peace, leadership, and Islam and the West, and an advocate of human rights and civil liberties.  He is the author of fifteen  books, including The Qur’anic Narrative (Praeger 2008), Tensions and Transitions in the Muslim World, (University Press of America, 2003), Peace and the Limits of War (IIIT 2001), and The Challenge of Modernity (University Press of America, 1994).

He has served as Dean of Research and member of the University Senate at the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM) (1997-99), Executive Director (1995-97) and Director of Research (1999-2003) of the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), Editor of the American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences (1999-2003), and President of the Association of Muslim Social Scientists (1999-2003).

He has a long experience in developing communication strategy as the communication director of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), and the official spokesperson of the main Syrian Opposition (2012-14)

He has appeared on numerous radio and TV programs, including CNN, BBC, Monte Carlo, Fox News, Sky News, Voice of America, PBS, Middle East TV (MBC), Al-Jazeera News, Al Arabiya News, Russia Today, Alhurra, Malaysian TV, Turkish TV, Syrian TV, Canada TV (CTV), Future TV, and others.


BS, Civil Engineering, Wayne State University; MA, PhD, Political Science, Wayne State University

Areas of Expertise

  1. Islamic Politics and Jurisprudence
  2. Democracy and Human Rights in the Middle East


  • Compassionate leadership is the legacy of those special individuals who were called upon to transform their communities and to bring hope, enlightenment, and justice to places where despair, confusion, and exploitation became entrenched. Prophets and leaders with prophetic vision provided throughout history the example of...

  • Islam is in need of a new interpretation and Muslim societies are in need of serious reform. Such reform is already underway, and, for more than a century, Muslims have been engaged in an internal struggle to redefine modern Islamic societies in ways that aim...

  • Dr. Louay Safi provides a systematic analysis of the Qur’anic reference and the prophetic traditions on peace and war. He critically examines the views of classical and modern Islamic scholars in light of the original intent of the Shar’iah. While his views on this subject...

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