- About Us
- For Scholars
- For Hosts
- IIE-SRF Forum
Dr. Maimul Ahsan Khan
Area of Study:
One of IIE-SRF’s first fellows, Dr. Khan is a noted author and professor of law, specializing in human rights, religious studies, and Muslim cultures. Since embarking on his academic career in 1988, he has served as a law professor at the University of Dhaka while publishing over 20 books and scholarly articles on law and Islamic history.
Before IIE-SRF was founded, Dr. Kahn faced hostility in Bangladesh after speaking out against government interference in higher education and advocating against corruption. He left Bangladesh to continue his studies in the U.S. as a visiting Fulbright scholar. After realizing that his home country remained too dangerous and that he lost his professorship, Dr. Khan applied for and received an IIE-SRF fellowship. Partnering with the Scholars at Risk Network (SAR), IIE-SRF arranged for Dr. Khan a joint position at the University of California, Davis and the University of California at Berkeley.
After completing the IIE-SRF fellowship in 2003, Dr. Khan was able to return to Bangladesh and resume his position at the University of Dhaka as a law professor and academic adviser. He explains the impact on his life of the safe haven provided by IIE-SRF and its partners: “[IIE-SRF] was very instrumental to save me. For a person who thinks that academic freedom is the most important area where he can make a life of worthy of living, it was lifesaving, heaven-sent help.”
During his IIE-SRF fellowship, Dr. Khan taught courses including Introduction to Human Rights in Islamic Perspectives, Muslim Culture and Human Rights, and Law and Economic Development in China and India. He also supervised Ph.D. and Master’s Degree theses on issues related to globalization, Muslim refugees, and human rights violations.
Invited to continue beyond the IIE-SRF fellowship as Professor in the School of Law at UC Davis, he taught there until 2006 and completed a Master’s degree in International Commercial Law. While in the U.S., he also served as a Country Specialist on Afghanistan for Amnesty International.
Since his IIE-SRF fellowship, Dr. Khan has researched and published several articles on topics including law theories and the role of Islam on the development of Middle Eastern governments. He also published the book Human Rights in the Muslim World: Constitutionalism, Fundamentalism, and International Politics, which provides an in-depth view of Islam, as well as the relationship between the religious practice and opinions on democratization in Muslim countries.