April - June 2010, Islam

Among the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World

Among the Muslims listed in the book “The 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World” were Muslims from the following countries: El Salvador, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Spain, and Portugal.


Qattan, Dr Ahmad
Qattan is a Muslim convert from Palestinian origins. He is the co-founder of the Arab Islamic Center in Salvador. Qattan has been an educator and da’wa activist for the past 17 years, and has published more than 100,000 copies of a book introducing Islam, which has been read by an estimated 250,000 people.

Al Salvadori, Mustafa
Mustafa Al Salvadori is the president of the Shi”Ëœa community in El Salvador. His work, besides that with his own community, has tended to involve education about Islam to the mainly Catholic population of El Salvador who have become fearful of Islam over the past decade.

Rojas, Isa
Rojas is a da’wa activist and author of numerous articles about Islam in Spanish and French. He is also a student of religion at Al Madina University, Saudi Arabia. Around 4 million people or more have read his articles and translations that are published on various Islamic websites. He is one of the writers and editors at Islamweb.net.

Weston, Omar
Weston is a British convert and the head of the Islamic Mexican Cultural Center. He is a founding member of Organizacion Islamica Para America Latina y el Caribe, the Caribbean Muslim Forum, and Campañia Libertad Religiosa y Derechos de Expression, an active group that focuses on religious tolerance and freedom of religious practices. Weston is the director of: Dar as Salam Centre Mexico, Centro Cultural Islamico de Mexico, Viva Halal which assesses and certifies Mexican companies.


Garcia, Prof. Muhammad Isa
Garcia was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He studied Arabic language and Islamic studies and theology at Umm Al Qura University in Mecca. He is a specialist in the origins of prophetic traditions. Garcia has translated numerous books, with many only available to a Spanish-speaking readership in his translation. He is also the author of a series named “ËœKnow Islam.’

Hallar, Muhammad Yusuf
Hallar is an active figure in Argentina involved in community development for Latino Muslims. He has conducted comprehensive research on the Muslims in Latin America and holds a number of positions including secretary general of the Islamic Organization of Latin America and also director of the Office of Islamic Culture and a member of the Expert Committee on Minority Rights for the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC).

Othman, Abdul-Baqi Sayed
Othman is the director of the Charitable Society of Muslims (Sociedad de Beneficiente Muçulmana) of Rio de Janeiro. He has represented Brazilian Muslims in many international conferences. He is also a da’wa activist, and runs the IQRA publishing center in Brazil where he helps publish translations of various Islamic books.

Saifi, Ahmed
Saifi is a very active da’wa activist in Brazil. He is considered a distinguished member of Al Ikhwan Al Muslimeen. He has been sent to several conferences as the representative of the Brazilian Muslim community.

Torres, Sheikh Ismail
Ismail Torres is a distinguished sheikh and da’wa activist in Chile. The Muslim community in Chile remains a small but growing pocket in South America, with communities particularly in Santiago, Temuco and Iquique.

Al Colombi, Dawood Abdl Ghafur
Al Colombi is one of the most well respected Muslim scholars in Colombia. He is the most active and influential da’wa activist in Colombia, being present at the conversions of over 1000 people. He is the founder of a mosque in the city of Pereira and of the Centro Cultural Islamico Colombian’s da’wa project. He hosts conferences and awareness lectures for Muslims and non-Muslims, and he is acknowledged for his talent for conveying the principles of Islam to non-Muslims. He is also the author of several articles in Spanish and has created the only library of Islamic books in Colombia.

Dassum, Dr Layla
Dassum is the vice president and co-founder of the Islamic Centre of Ecuador and the director of the Muslim Ladies Committee. A well-known da’wa activist in Ecuador, Dassum hosts conferences and awareness lectures locally and internationally and teaches women about Islam and the Qur’an. Dassum has also represented her country in many conferences in the Islamic world.

Suquillo, Juan
Suquillo is an imam and the director and co-founder of the Islamic Centre of Ecuador. He has been awarded for his services to the nation, and has translated many books into Spanish. These have become very popular since the 9/11 attacks when non-Muslims became interested in learning about Islam. His books have become bestsellers since then. He is very well respected by South American Muslim scholars.

Khan, Faizul
Faizul Khan has been credited with founding an Islamic school in Guyana at the age of 17 and has played a strategic role in developing Muslim institutions both locally and abroad particularly in the US, where he is chapter member of the Islamic Society of North America.


Muhammad, Mustafa
Muhammad has been the president of the Islamic Council of Jamaica for the past 14 years. His work involves education and halal certification. He oversees the eleven mosques in Jamaica. An estimated 5,000 Muslims regularly attend mosques in Jamaica.

Tijani, Marufat
Tijani is the principal of the Islamiyah Basic School with the Islamic Council of Jamaica. Although it is a one-room school, its role as the only basic school for Muslim-specific education dedicated to teaching Arabic and other basic skills is important.

Ali, Imam Yacoob
Ali is the president of the largest and most influential Muslim organization in Trinidad and Tobago, the Anjuman Sunnat ul Jamaat Association (ASJA) which was founded in 1936. The Muslim community in Trinidad and Tobago is largely comprised of people of Indian descent. His organization runs numerous schools and focuses on the importance of education for Muslim youth.

Escudero, Dr Mansur A
Escudero is secretary general of the Islamic Commission of Spain, which is outspoken against terrorism perpetrated in the name of Islam, and is a founding member of multiple Islamic institutions in Spain. He gained international attention when he lobbied for permission for Muslims to pray at the former Great Mosque at Cordoba in 2007.

Munir, David
David Munir has been the imam of the Central Mosque of Lisbon since the age of 23. A key representative of the Muslim community in Lisbon, Munir is involved in interfaith dialogue with members of other Abrahamic faiths present there.


Esposito, John, and Ibrahim Kalin. “The 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World.” 1st ed. The Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre, 2009. Print/Web. <http://www.rissc.jo/muslim500v-1L.pdf>.