President Nasheed among RISSC’s 500 most influential Muslims

Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed has been listed among the world’s top 500 most influential Muslims in 2010, by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre (RISSC) of Jordan.

Nasheed was under the category ‘Environment’, for being “one of the most environmentally conscious state leaders in the world.”

“In the earliest stages of his political career, Nasheed was imprisoned for his criticism of his country’s government and became an Amnesty Prisoner of Conscience. Today, Nasheed has [promised] to make the Maldives carbon-neutral within a decade by moving the country’s energy reliance to wind and solar power only,” the RISSC report said.

State Minister of Islamic Affairs Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed was also listed under ‘Administrative’.

Dr Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, who visited the Maldives in May to deliver a sermon at the invitation of local NGO Jamiyyathul Salaf, was listed under ‘Media’.

RISSC described Philips as “a notable convert and Islamic scholar, Philips is founder of the virtual educational institution Islamic Online University and Discover Islam, an Islamic center based in Dubai.”

The report added that “In May 2010, Philips was the subject of a letter-writing campaign in the Maldives which condemned his preaching as a promotion of religious extremism. He was subsequently banned from entering the United Kingdom.

Dr Abdul-Karim Zakir Abdul-Karim Naik, who presented a sermon the Maldives in May on invitation of the Islamic Ministry, was also listed in top 500 under ‘Preachers’. He was described as “an Indian public intellectual teaching about Islam. He hosts huge public events where he speaks on Islam, highlighting misconceptions and promoting understanding about the faith.”

RISSC also noted that in June 2010, “Dr Naik was banned from entering the United Kingdom due to ‘unaccebtable behavour’. His public statements on terrorism and Osama bin Laden have contributed to his reputation as a controversial televangelist.”

His Majesty King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, King of Saudi Arabia and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, tops the list of most influential Muslims.