TOP 15 influential Islamic leaders24 october 2012, 12:13
A poll was held among residents of 40 countries prior to the Istanbul World Political Forum. The respondents selected 15 most popular politicians of the Islamic world. The list was published in the blog of the chairman of Salamworld Corp. and chairman of the public sector of Russia’s Muftis Council Abdul-Vahed Niyazov. Here are the results of the poll:
1. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime-Minister of Turkey. His “moderate Islamic” path is currently very popular in the Arab world. Erdogan’s policy is often considered an example of the future development of the Islamic world.
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. ©AFP
2. Mahathir Mohamad, Prime-Minister of Malaysia in 1981-2003. During his rule Malaysia turned from the country with weak agrarian economy into one of the “Asian tigers”.
Former Prime-Minister of Malaysia Mahathir Mohamad. ©AFP
3. Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Emir of Qatar. Many major regional processes are linked to his name. Al-Thani was a mediator in reconcilement of two conflicting Palestinian political parties Fatah and Hamas and actively supported Libyan rebels in their fight against Moamer Kadhafi’s regime. Qatar also supports the protests against Bashar Assad in Syria.
Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani. ©AFP
4. Mohamed Morsi, President of Egypt and former chairman of the ruling Freedom and Justice Party. Mohamed Morsi also has an impressive political career. Being a leader of the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, he used to be an independent deputy in Egyptian parliament in 2000-2005. Morsi is the first Egyptian president who was elected in an open democratic vote. A secular leader with a significant academic background, he is also hoped to weaken the position of the military rounds of Egypt. Morsi lifted the military regime that was in effect in the last 31 years in Egypt.
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi. ©AFP
5. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran and main political leader of the Alliance of Builders of Islamic Iran. Born in a poor family, Mahmoud made a breathtaking political career. Ahmadinejad won presidential elections in 2005. He is world-known as a vigorous critic of Zionism and American neocolonialism. He actively cooperates with the leaders of Latin American states and particularly with Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. ©AFP
6. Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstan, awarded with the Leader of the Nation title, is the first and incumbent president of independent Kazakhstan. Farsighted politician and author of many books Nursultan Nazarbayev is one of the brightest political figures in the post-Soviet space. During his rule Kazakhstan has become a regional superpower and a self-sufficient participant of the global political processes. Remaining a major ally of Russia, Nursultan Nazarbayev has brought Kazakhstan's international status to a new quality level. Kazakhstan has taken an active position in the Islamic world (Kazakhstan chaired the OIC in 2011). Nursultan Nazarbayev is the ideologist of the Eurasian Union and Eurasian integration.
Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Photo by Vladimir Dmitriyev©
7. Rashid al-Ghannouchi, popular politician and a spiritual leader of the major Tunisian Ennahda Movement. Following popular unrest in which Tunisian President Ben Ali was ousted, Ghannushi returned to Tunisia on January 30, 2011, after spending twenty two years exiled in London. He then became an unofficial leader of the country.
Rashid al-Ghannouchi. Photo courtesy of israelmatzav.blogspot.com
8. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King of Saudi Arabia and the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. The fact that King Abdullah is the Custodian of the Teo Holy Mosques, Mecca and Medina. Headquarters of the major Muslim interstate Organization for Islamic Cooperation is located in Jeddah. That’s why King Abdullah got the 8th place in the ranking of the most powerful Islamic leaders.
Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. Photo courtesy of bikernews1.blogspot.com
9. Ekmeleddin ?hsano?lu, OIC Secretary General. Professor ?hsano?lu headed the Organization for Islamic Conference in 2005 and did everything to make the organization a real political power in the Islamic world. This is the second international organization by number of members; it is the Islamic United Nations. That’s why a new name, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, better reflects the changes in its format: from conference and meetings to real cooperation between its members.
OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin ?hsano?lu. Photo courtesy of undhimmi.com
10. HH Lieutenant General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. Al Nahyan is the next in line to become the president of the UAE. During his ruling, Abu-Dhabi emirate became the world’s trade center for military industry. Being head of the Economic Development Council, he spent all his energy on increasing wealth of his emirate. Besides, Al Nahyan is actively involved in charity. He heads the world’s biggest fund AbuDhabi Investment Authority that exceeds $1 trillion. In 2011 it donated $50 million for purchase of vaccines for children in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Photo courtesy of flickr.com
11. Hassanal Bolkiah, is the 29th and current Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei. He is also the first and incumbent Prime Minister of Brunei. He was the richest person in the world for a long time and, thus, he made the whole business world talk about him. He made a small sultanate an island of prosperity in South-East Asia.
Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah. ©AFP
12. Abdelilah Benkirane, Prime Minister of Morocco, leader of the Justice and Development Party. Benkirane is one of the bright political leaders of the Arab world. Positioning itself as a progressive force, the Justice and Development Party strives to establish relations with the West and EU in particular, functioning as a bridge between Islamic and Western worlds. Rapidly getting on the political Olympus of the major Western-Islamic country, Benkirane has become a powerful politician of the Arab world, Africa and the Mediterranean.
Prime-Minister of Morocco Abdelilah Benkirane. Photo courtesy of tizimaroc.org
13. His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV, the 49th and current Imam of Nizari Ismailism, a famous international business magnate and founder of Porto-Chervo tourist destination. Founder of Aga Khan Fund, Aga Khan University and the architecture award, he is an active public person, organizer and sponsor of numerous charity projects in many countries, including in the post-Soviet Central Asia. He manages Aga Khan Development Network that includes a range of social-economic, education and cultural organizations. He holds many state and international awards and titles.
His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV. Photo courtesy of simerg.com
14. Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein, King of Jordan. King Abdullah II is the 43rd-generation direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammad. This Arab leader is popular in the West thanks to his European education and style. A skilled diplomat, Abdullah II is successfully floating between the Arab world and the West. It is quite notable that the Arab spring has skirted Jordan thanks to the preventive measures of the King.
Jordan's King Abdullah II. ©AFP PHOTO / PETRA / YOUSEF ALLAN
15. Ramzan Kadyrov, President of Chechnya, member of the United Russia party’s supreme council, hero of Russia. Currently one of the most influential politicians of Russia. In spite of the fact that he rules a relatively small part of the Russian Federation, Ramzan Kadyrov is normally met in the Arab-Islamic world as an influential head of the Muslim state.
President of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov. Photo courtesy of peoples.ru