DUSHANBE, November 28, 2012, Asia-Plus  - The Royal Islamic Strategic Center in Amman published The 500 Most Influential Muslims 2012 last Sunday.

This publication sets out to ascertain the influence some Muslim have on the worldwide Muslim community.  Influence is: any person who has the power (be it cultural, ideological, financial, political or otherwise) to make a change that will have a significant impact on the Muslim World.  The influence can be of a religious scholar directly addressing Muslims and influencing their beliefs, ideas and behavior, or it can be of a ruler shaping the socio- economic factors within which people live their lives, or of artists forming popular culture.

The publication notes that the Top 50 are dominated by religious scholars and heads of state.  Their dominant and lasting influence cannot be denied, especially the rulers, who in many cases also appoint religious scholars to their respective positions.  This doesn’t discount the influence from other sectors of society.

The publication selects Muslim individuals from a range of categories of influence, 14 in total: (Scholarly, Political, Administration of Religious Affairs, Preachers and Spiritual Teachers, Philanthropy/Charity and Development, Social Issues, Business, Science and Technology, Arts and Culture, Qur’an Recitors, Media, Celebrities and Sports Stars, Radicals, and Issues of the Day).

Tajik President Emomali Rahmon is also named among the world’s 500 most influential Muslims.  The publication, in particular, notes that Emomali Rahmon has done much to establish a distinct Tajik identity, and has called for closer ties with other Muslim nations in the region.  Tajik president was listed on TIME Magazine’s “Top 10 Autocrats in Trouble,” the publication says.