Ethno_Keynote Speakers

Professor Emma Clark

Professor and Senior Tutor/Lecturer of MA VITA (Visual Islamic and Traditional Arts)

The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts        

Emma Clark is a garden designer specialising in Islamic gardens and gardens of other sacred traditions. She is Senior Tutor on the Masters Programme at The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts in London where she focuses on teaching the universal and timeless principles of sacred and traditional art. She has published two books on Islamic gardens: The Art of the Islamic Garden (new edition 2010), and a monograph, ‘Underneath Which Rivers Flow’, The Symbolism of the Islamic Garden, (1996) as well as many articles on Islamic art and architecture, gardens and the garden carpet.


Professor Datuk Osman Bakar

Distinguished Professor

Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Centre for Islamic Studies (SOASCIS) Universiti Brunei Darussalam

Professor Datuk Dr Osman Bakar was appointed Chair Professor at SOASCIS, UBD on 5th September, 2012 and its first full-time Director on 1st January, 2013. A former mathematician, he earned a doctorate in Islamic philosophy from Temple University, Philadelphia, USA. An Emeritus Professor of Philosophy of Science at the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, he was also its former Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) (1995-2000), Malaysia Chair of Southeast Asian Islam (2000-2005) at the Prince Talal al-Waleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University, Washington DC, Professor of Islamic Thought and Civilisation at ISTAC, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) (2005-2008), and Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO), International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies, Malaysia (IAIS) (2008-2012).

A Fulbright Visiting Scholar at Department of History of Science, Harvard University (1992), Dr Bakar is an author of 18 books and more than 300 articles on various aspects of Islamic thought and civilization, particularly Islamic science and philosophy and Islam in Southeast Asia. Several of his writings have been translated into numerous languages, including Spanish, Arabic, Turkish, Chinese, Persian, Indonesian Malay, Urdu, and Bosnian. He was a member of the Council of 100 Leaders of the West-Islamic World Initiative for Dialogue founded by the World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland. In 2009 he was included in the list of Malaysia’s twenty leading intellectuals and in 2010 and 2012 he was named among the 500 most influential Muslims in the world. In 1994, he was made a Dato’ by HH the Sultan of Pahang, and in 2000 a Datuk by DYMM the Malaysian King.


Professor Zhari Ismail

Professor in Pharmaceuticals

Universiti Sains Malaysia

Professor Dr. Zhari Ismail was pivotal in the formulation of anti-obesity, weight loss supplement prototype. Universiti Sains Malay­sia researchers have successfully created a prototype weight loss supplement using the Kacip Fatimah (Labisia pumila Benth. & Hook. F) herb. The prototype, named Labeesity, even won the gold award at the Malaysia Technology Expo.


Professor Dr. Jasser Auda

Distinguished Professor

Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Centre for Islamic Studies, Universiti Brunei Darussalam

Professor Jasser Auda is a world-recognized authority on Islamic law, in particular, the study of the higher purposes or maqasid of the Sharia. He has authored works that have been translated into twenty five languages. He previously worked as: Al-Shatibi Chair of Maqasid Studies at the International Peace College South Africa, a Visiting Professor for the Study of Islam at Carleton University in Canada, Founding Director of the Maqasid Center in the Philosophy of Islamic Law in London, and a professor at the University of Waterloo, Alexandria University, Islamic University of Novi Pazar, Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies, and the American University of Sharjah in the UAE. He lectured and trained on Islam, its law, spirituality and ethics in dozens of countries around the world. He is currently the President of Maqasid Institute, a network of think tanks with educational and research projects in a dozen countries.

He has achieved PhD in the philosophy of Islamic law from University of Wales in the UK, and a PhD in systems analysis from University of Waterloo in Canada. His research interests include objectives/Maqasid of the Islamic law, Qur’anic studies, Islamic legal thought, Fundamentals of Islamic law, Family law, Islamic political theory.


Professor Dato Haji Mohamed Abdul Majid

Emeritus Professor

Rimba Ilmu, Universiti Malaya, Universiti Sains Malaysia

Prof Haji Mohamed obtained his B.Sc. (Hons.) from Universiti Malaya in 1975 and his Ph.D  from Glasgow University in 1978. He was appointed as an Assistant Lecturer at Universiti Malaya in 1975 and lecturer from 1979 till  1985; Associate Professor, University of Malaya from 1985 till 1992; Professor  1992 till 2007. In 2007 he was appointed as Professor of Biodiversity, Universiti Brunei Darussalam from 2007 till 2016. At present he is an Emeritus Professor at Rimba Ilmu, Universiti Malaya.

He has a wide experience working in leading biodiversity centres of the world, and has published widely on bryophytes, ferns, biodiversity and medicinal plants. He has edited 7 books and published 86 papers in journals such as Taxon, The Bryologist, Journal of Bryology, Lindbergia, Memoirs of New York Botanical Garden, Smithsonian Contributions to Botany, New Phytologist, Cryptogamie, Bryologie, Lichenologie and many other journals. He has received numerous awards and recognitions for his contributions. He is a Fellow of Linnaean Society since 1994 and Fellow of Malaysian Academy of Science (2003). He was awarded the Darjah Yang Amat Mulia Bintang Sarawak (Panglima Setia Bintang Sarawak) which carries the title ‘Dato’ (2008); University of Malaya in 2009 awarded Emeritus Professorship to him in recognition of his contributions.


Pg Dr. Norhazlin binti Pg Hj Muhammad

Director of SOASCIS

Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Centre for Islamic Studies, Universiti Brunei Darussalam

Pg Dr Norhazlin Pg Haji Muhammad is currently the Director of SOASCIS. She obtained her early education at Arabic Schools in Brunei Darussalam and completed her doctorate in Islamic Studies from the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom in the area of Educational Systems in Brunei Darussalam in the light of Al-Attas’ Philosophy of Education. Her publications include a book titled Islam and Western Philosophy of Education: A Comparative Study.

She is has led a research project on child protection in the Islamic context. Pg Dr Norhazlin was also a Visiting Research Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, United Kingdom.  Her research was titled Transitional Learning of Islamic Studies in the West: Its Philosophy, Curriculum, and Challenges.