New York- King Mohammed VI ranked fifth most influential personality among 500 personalities in the Muslim world, according to the Jordanian Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre.
The first on the list is Egypt’s Professor Dr. Sheikh Ahmad Muhammad Al-Tayyeb, Grand Sheikh of the Al Azhar University, Grand Imam of the Al Azhar followed by King Abdullah Bin Abdelaziz, of Saudi Arabia, who was the most influential Muslim leader in the 2011 and 2012 reports. He is followed by Iran’s Grand Ayatollah Hajj Sayyid Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran and King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein, King of Jordan.
According to the Jordanian Think Tank, the choice of Mohammed VI as fifth most influential leader in the Muslim world is not fortuitous. It is due to “his control of the network of Muslims following the Maliki school of Islamic jurisprudence and as a leading monarch in Africa.”
Mohammed VI is also the leader of “one of the most stable constitutional monarchies in the region, which is also the center of a moderate, flourishing Muslim culture” says the report.
The center mentions also the religious influence of Morocco over several African countries, due to its being home of the tomb of Sufi Sheikh si Ahmed Tijani, who played an instrumental role in the spread of Islam in these countries.
“Besides political links, Morocco maintains strong spiritual ties with Muslims all over Africa. Morocco is the site of the tomb of a highly revered Sufi sheikh, Mawlana Ahmed Ibn Mohammed Tijani Al Hassani Al Maghribi (1735- 1815 CE), the founder of the Tijaniyya Sufi order, whose shrine attracts millions from across the continent. Morocco is also recognized as a source for the spread of Islam through West Africa.”
Moreover, the Centre mentions the prominent role played by Morocco throughout history in the defense of Jerusalem, since the 12th century, as well as the King’s support to the holy city through its chairmanship of the Quds Committee.
“The King and indeed all Moroccans show strong support for Palestinians and for Jerusalem. The Moroccan link with Jerusalem has been strong since Salah al-Din’s son endowed the Magharbeh Quarter, next to the Buraq Wall, to North African pilgrims in 1193,” added the report.
The Centre also highlights the reforms introduced by King Mohammed VI immediately after his enthronement, especially as regards the status of women.
“King Mohammed VI has implemented major reforms in response to the Arab Spring protests. These have included a new constitution which has transferred many powers to a freely and fairly elected government. The Justice and Development Party (PJD) emerged as the largest party in the 2011 elections and heads the current government. The gradual reforms established by the king have been hailed as a model for other Arab countries to follow,” the report said.
“King Mohammed VI is lauded for his domestic reform policies and pioneering efforts in modernizing Morocco and countering terrorism. He tackles issues of poverty, vulnerability and social exclusion at home, and has improved foreign relations,” it added.
The Centre also highlights the reforms introduced by King Mohammed VI immediately after his accession to power in 1999, especially as regards the status of women.
“Since early in his reign, King Mohammed VI has implemented the Mudawana family law code that gives rights to women in divorce and property ownership, as well as citizenship to children born from non-Moroccan fathers. He has also commissioned the Islamic Affairs Ministry to train women preachers, or Morchidat, who are now active chaplains to Moroccans across the globe.”
In the 2012 report, King Mohammed VI was ranked 3rd most influential leader in the Muslim World.
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