Haidar Bagir is the president director of Mizan Group, which he founded in 1982. Mizan is ranked among the biggest publishing houses in Indonesia. It has also won several awards for its movie productions such as Laskar Pelangi, Garuda di Dadaku, 3 Hati 2 Dunia 1 Cinta.
Bagir has helped launch Compassionate City initiatives in several Indonesian cities, beginning with Bandung. He is now developing curricula and other programs designed to promote Compassionate Education in schools across Indonesia.
Bagir teaches at the Islamic College for Advanced Studies (ICAS) London in Jakarta, is the chairman of the Lazuardi Hayati Foundation for Education (an umbrella organization of a network of pre-K to K-12 schools in several cities in Indonesia), Founder of YASMIN (a foundation for philanthropic works on community education and health in Jakarta), and chairman of IIMaN Center for the Development of Positive Sufism.
Bagir has been a recipient of several grants from U.S. institutions, including a Fulbright Grant for Graduate Studies at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University, a Fulbright Grant for Doctoral Research in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at Indiana University, and the CTNS Award for Religion and Science Curriculum Development. He has taught Islam in the University of Sciences in Philadelphia as a visiting scholar within Fulbright’s Direct Access to the Muslim World program and was appointed as the Misher Professor of Humanities 2005 by the university.
With some prominent Indonesian figures such as Professor Komaruddin Hidayat, Professor Franz Magnis Suseno, Dr. Seto Mulyadi, and Abdillah Toha, he declared a movement called Gerakan Islam Cinta (Loving-Islam Movement), which to remind Indonesian Muslims (and the world) that Islam is not merely about rules and laws, but also about loving others. In the declaration Bagir quoted his professor at Harvard University, Annemarie Schimmel, that Islam has been misunderstood as a religion of law, even as religion of violence and war; that many orientalists and historians and even Muslims themselves tend to forget the loving aspects of Islam.
Bagir’s name has also been included in the list of the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World. 2009 and 2010 editions issued by the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University and the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center in Amman, Jordan.