2009 meeting of LibForAll Foundation board members and senior advisers, which led to the founding of Bayt ar-Rahmah. Counter-clockwise from bottom right: H.E. KH. Abdurrahman Wahid, Indonesia’s first democratically-elected President and former Chairman of the Nahdlatul Ulama Executive Board; Dr. Ahmad Syafii Maarif, former Chairman of Muhammadiyah, the world’s second largest Muslim organization; KH. A. Mustofa Bisri, former Chairman of the Nahdlatul Ulama Supreme Council; and C. Holland Taylor, an expert on Islam and the Islamization of Java in the 15th and 16th centuries, who co-founded LibForAll with President Wahid

Bayt ar-Rahmah and its sister organization, LibForAll Foundation, are U.S.-based 501(c)(3) organizations established by American businessman C. Holland Taylor and spiritual leaders of the world’s largest Muslim organization, Indonesia’s Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), which has over 50 million followers and 14,000 madrassahs. These renowned Muslim leaders include Abdurrahman Wahid (1940 – 2009); Mustofa Bisri; and Yahya Cholil Staquf.

Bayt ar-Rahmah works with a group of closely-affiliated organizations, including the Nahdlatul Ulama; Gerakan Pemuda Ansor, the NU’s 5-million-member young adults wing; and LibForAll. Together, they have established a global movement (“Humanitarian Islam”) that seeks to block the weaponization of Islam for political purposes, which fuels Islamist extremism and terror. Their efforts have been extensively cited by sponsors of an international campaign to award the Nobel Peace Prize to the Nahdlatul Ulama. Bayt ar-Rahmah also has access to the world’s largest political network (CDI/EPP) via Indonesia’s largest Islamic political party, PKB, which was founded by senior NU leaders including President Wahid and Mustofa Bisri.

Chairman, Board of Directors:
Kyai Haji Ahmad Mustofa Bisri, “Gus Mus”
  • Former Chairman of the Nahdlatul Ulama Supreme Council and preeminent spiritual figure in Muslim Southeast Asia
  • Co-founder of Bayt ar-Rahmah and the global “Humanitarian Islam” movement
  • Senior Advisor to LibForAll Foundation and its International Institute of Qur’anic Studies (IIQS)
  • Founder of the “Mata Air” (“Living Spring”) interfaith community, whose membership is open to all who share its essential values: “Worship God; respect elders; treat those who are younger with loving kindness; open your heart to all humanity”
  • Chairman of Majma’ Buhuts an-Nahdliyyah
  • Renowned visual artist and Indonesia’s “President of the Poets”
  • Hailed as “a firewall against terrorism in the name of Islam” (Aftonbladet, Sweden) and “one of the most influential liberal Islamic scholars worldwide” (Der Spiegel, Germany) who “defies every Western stereotype of an Islamic leader” (Washington Post)

“Gus Mus is a true mufti [a master of Sunni Muslim scholarship and jurisprudence]. But he is too humble to pride himself on this fact. Yet al-mufti is indeed his quality, and his spiritual station in life.”

~ Indonesian composer, musician and author/Sufi mystic Emha Ainun Nadjib

Director of Religious Affairs
Kyai Haji Yahya Cholil Staquf
  • General Secretary of the Nahdlatul Ulama Supreme Council
  • Member, Presidential Advisory Council, Republic of Indonesia, with a protocol rank equivalent to Minister of State
  • Co-founder of Bayt ar-Rahmah and the global “Humanitarian Islam” movement
  • International emissary of Indonesia’s largest Islamic political party, PKB (Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa), which is rooted in the Nahdlatul Ulama
  • Emissary to the Islamic World, Gerakan Pemuda Ansor (the Nahdlatul Ulama Young Adults Movement)
  • Drafted the foundational documents of the Humanitarian Islam movement, establishing a theological framework for the renewal of Islamic teachings

“In the bloody and intractable conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, Nahdlatul Ulama has done the seemingly impossible and forged a path towards peace through a mission initiated by Gus Dur and recently continued by K.H. Yahya Cholil Staquf.”

~ Two Peacemakers: The Role and Contributions of the Muhammadiyah and Nahdlatul Ulama to Peace and Democracy

Deputy Chairman & COO
C. Holland Taylor
  • Expert on Islam and the Islamization of Java in the 15th and 16th centuries, with over five decades of experience in the Muslim world
  • Co-founder of Bayt ar-Rahmah and the global “Humanitarian Islam” movement
  • Under the leadership of Mr. Taylor and his Nahdlatul Ulama colleagues, LibForAll and Bayt ar-Rahmah have become the premier NGOs developing and operationalizing counter-extremism strategies worldwide
  • Emissary to the United Nations, Americas and Europe, Gerakan Pemuda Ansor
  • Co-drafted, with KH. Yahya Cholil Staquf, the foundational documents of the Humanitarian Islam movement, including the Gerakan Pemuda Ansor Delcaration on Humanitarian Islam, the Nusantara Statement and Nusantara Manifesto
  • Former telecom CEO, widely credited as one of the essential catalysts in the deregulation of the global telecommunications industry

“If the world’s major religions ever learn to coexist, they may have C. Holland Taylor to thank. ‘. . . .Holland was on the cutting edge in the Islamic world,’ recalls the Wiesenthal Center’s Rabbi Abraham Cooper. . . ‘He impressed me immediately with the depth of his contacts as well as his realistic approach: This was no pie-in-the-sky person who thought he could change the world just like that. Kudos to Holland for being a man of clarity, courage and vision.”

“Peace, Love, and Understanding,” Lifestyles Magazine

Treasurer:
F. Borden Hanes, Jr.

F. Borden Hanes, Jr. is  a founding board member and Treasurer of Bayt ar-Rahmah. He is also Vice Chairman of Bowen, Hanes and Company, Investment Counsel, and serves as Chairman of the John Wesley and Anna Hodgin Hanes Foundation, and the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts.

Mr. Hanes is the immediate past Chairman of the board of trustees of Old Salem, Inc., and past president of the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art and SciWorks in Winston-Salem, NC.  He is also a long-term board member of the Cancer Center of Wake Forest University Medical Center, the North Carolina Museum of Art, LibForAll Foundation, the National Development Council of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Friends of the Library at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Secretary:
H. Emilie Taylor

H. Emilie Taylor is Secretary of Bayt ar-Rahmah. Born and raised in Denmark, she lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. A life-long mystic, Emilie is intimately familiar with the “common ground” shared by all religions, namely, their spiritual and ethical dimensions. She is also Secretary and Treasurer of LibForAll Foundation and its International Institute of Qur’anic Studies.