Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, (also know as Dean Ahmad), (born August 11, 1948) is an American Muslim scholar and the president of the Minaret of Freedom Institute, a libertarian Muslim think-tank. He also is president of the Islamic-American Zakat Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt religious and charitable organization which primarily serves poor and needy Muslims in the United States.
Born at sea as his mother fled from Palestine, Ahmad was raised in Pennsylvania and earned a bachelor's degree from Harvard University (1970) and a doctoral degree in astronomy and astrophysics from the University of Arizona (1975).
Dr. Ahmad teaches religion, science and freedom at the University of Maryland, College Park. He also has taught courses at Georgetown University, the Johns Hopkins University, School for Advanced International Studies, and the Prince Alwalid bin Talal Georgetown Center on Christian-Muslim Understanding
Ahmad is the author of the book Signs in the Heavens: A Muslim Astronomer's Perspective on Religion and Science, co-editor of Islam and the West: A Dialog, and co-author of Islam and the Discovery of Freedom. His address on "Islam, Commerce and Business Ethics" was published in Nicholas Capaldi’s Business and Religion: A Clash of Civilizations? He has been published by Middle East Policy, American Muslim Magazine, Economic Affairs and Georgetown Journal of International Affairs.
Dr. Ahmad has been a frequent guest lecturer at the Foreign Services Institute. He is also the Islamic chaplain at the Perkins Hospital, Imam of the Dar-adh-Dhikr Mosque and arbitrator for the Coordinating Council of Muslim Organizations in the Greater Washington Metropolitan Area.
Dr. Ahmad has written and spoken on Islam and legal and religious freedom, democracy in the Muslim world, Islamic civil society, property rights in Islam, women in Islam and female circumcision, Middle East conflicts in Palestine and Iraq, Palestinian human and property rights, terrorism and jihad, and American civil liberties. Ahmad has been an outspoken critic of the role of neoconservatives in shaping United States' foreign policy, especially in the Middle East.
During the 1990s Dean Ahmad participated in Maryland and national Libertarian Party activities, including as platform committee chair and member of the judiciary committee. In 2001 Dr. Ahmad joined a delegation of American Muslims participating in the "First Conference on Jerusalem" in Beirut which was "dedicated to the liberation of Jerusalem. He was a member of Academics for Ron Paul during congressman Paul's run for the 2008 presidential nomination.