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Influencing Muslims: The 500 Most Influential Muslims

AMMAN, Jordan, December 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

2013/14 release of 'The Muslim 500' highlights those world's most influential Muslims and highlights changes going on in the Muslim world.

2013 has been a tough year for Islamists parties. Both ruling Islamist parties in Egypt and Tunisia have been replaced, Erdogan faced massive protests, and even the embattled Assad has made a military comeback against rebels, lead mainly by Islamists. In Bangladesh the International Tribunal Court has found many leaders of the Islamist Jamaat i-Islami party guilty of war crimes for their roles in the 1973 civil war.

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Covering these changes, and much more, is 'The Muslim 500', an annual publication of the five hundred most influential Muslims in the world. The 2013/14 issue has just been released and is available for free download at

Significant Changes

While the 2012 edition highlighted the ascent of the Muslim Brotherhood, the latest edition records its fall with many Islamists dropping significantly.

New at the top of the list this year is Sheikh Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, head of Al-Azhar, the world's largest and revered Sunni educational institute with nearly 2 million students under its patronage. Al-Tayyeb's astute decision making over the past couple of years have preserved the traditional approach of Al-Azhar which faced threats from Islamists and Salafis in the tumultuous years that have followed Mubarak's fall.

Amongst the list of new additions to the list are Malala Yousufzai, the teenage advocate for women's education; President Hasan Rouhani of Iran; Nawaz Sharif, the new Prime Minister of Pakistan; Dr Bassem Yousef, "Egypt's Jon Stewart"; Nouman Ali Khan, the popular American preacher, and dozens more.

The US dominates the list again with forty-one inclusions including Muhammad Ali, Dr Oz, Rep. Keith Ellison, Yasiin Bey (Mos Def), and Fareed Zakaria. Representing the UK are Mo Farah, Yusuf Islam, Riz Khan, Lady Warsi, Cambridge's Dr Timothy Winter and eighteen others.

About The Muslim 500

This annual by RISSC sets out to ascertain the influence some Muslims have on or on behalf of the Muslim community (there are 1.7 billion Muslims in the world today, making up approximately 23% of the world's population). The publication selects Muslims from a range of thirteen categories, including scholarly, political, social issues, business, arts, media, celebrities and even extremists.

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