The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre, an international Islamic non-governmental organization, recently released its report of the most prominent Muslim leaders of 2011. The Muslim 500 is an annual publication that provides insight into some of the most influential Muslims in the Islamic world. The selected individuals range across 14 categories including the sciences, business, technology, media and the arts. Those nominated were reviewed based on their qualitative and lasting effects in their field and many have demonstrated cumulative achievements over their lifetime.
This year several prominent Muslim environmentalists have been featured including:
Sheikh Ali Goma’a, the Grand Mufti of the Arab Republic of Egypt, has been mentioned for his recent work in environmental sustainability. He has advocated for Muslims to safeguard our environment as a religious duty and that pollution and global warming pose a greater threat to humanity than war. In 2009 he unveiled the Muslim Seven Year Action Plan to make Medina a model “green’ city as part of the Celebration for the Environment organized by the United Nations Development Program.
Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, an Islamic Studies professor at George Washington University, has published over fifty books and over five hundred articles focusing on a variety of topics including, Islamic civilization, the spiritual void in society and the impending environmental crisis that faces humanity. He has researched into the religious commitment towards the natural environment has and has lectured widely on historical perspective of Islamic environmentalism.
Fazlun Khalid, one of the most prominent Muslim environmentalists in the United Kingdom, is the founder of the Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences. The organization conducts research and produces training materials, books and journal articles disseminating the Islamic perspective on environmental issues.
Nasheed Mohamed is the president of the Maldives and is known as one of most environmentally conscious leaders on the world stage. Rising sea levels have threatened the island nation with destruction and Mohamed has called on the international community to deal with the impending climate refugee crisis. The country has taken the lead and is on the path to becoming carbon neutral, relying solely on wind and solar power for its energy needs.
The Sultan of Oman, Qaboos bin Sa’id Aal Sa’id has also been given an honorable mention for his work in promoting environmentalism in his country. These include recognition of the Arabian Oryx Project, which saved that species from the brink of extinction, and protecting the Dimaaniyat Islands, the breeding ground of several migratory bird and sea turtle species.
For more information about the Muslim 500 Project, please visit. http://www.themuslim500.com/