Professor Shafique Virani is an award-winning author and internationally recognized public speaker who has addressed people from over 50 countries and audiences of over 15,000. Describing him as “a visionary,” the United Nations honored him for dedicating his efforts “to the cause of extending the frontiers of knowledge and the welfare of humankind.”
After receiving his PhD from Harvard University, he served on the faculty at Harvard, was the Head of World Humanities at Zayed University in the UAE, and is now the Chair of the Department of Historical Studies and a tenured Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Toronto, where he has received the title of “Distinguished Professor.” Through his scholarship, teaching and humanitarian work, he champions the cause of pluralism, fostering greater mutual understanding between the West and the Muslim world. He has received awards from scholarly organizations around the world, including an International Book of the Year prize and recognition from the Middle East Studies Association of North America, the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies, the Foundation for Iranian Studies, the Organization of the Islamic Conference. The Laurier Institution and the University of British Columbia have described him as one of “the world’s most renowned scholars in Islamic studies.”
In his spare time, Professor Virani also enjoys volunteer work. His activities take him from around the corner to around the world, volunteering his time from North America to South Asia, from Europe to Africa. He sits on the governing committee of the Madrasa Resource Centres of East Africa, which administers over 200 schools and reaches out to disadvantaged communities in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Zanzibar. The University of Toronto selected Virani from over 2500 faculty members as one of only 26 to be highlighted as “Professors Who Lead the World.” The citation states: “Shafique Virani’s insights into Islamic history, religious persecution and spiritual survival provide an understanding that could build a road to tolerance. His inspired teaching and writing may be more relevant today than ever.” Read more...