Time magazine’s “Most Influential People” list is an annual compilation that highlights the top 100 influential individuals worldwide. The magazine selects and compiles this list based on several factors, including a person’s ability to influence public opinion, their accomplishments, and their potential to make an impact in the future. The list is divided into six categories: Leaders, Artists, Titans, Pioneers, Innovators, and Icons. In the 2022 edition of this list, six Muslims have made their mark. Let’s get to know these remarkable individuals who have earned their place on the list.
Samia Suluhu Hassan
Samia, nominated in the Leadership category by Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former Liberian President Sirleaf, made history in 2021 as Tanzania’s first female president. Since taking office, she has taken significant steps in establishing communication with rival politicians and rebuilding confidence in Tanzania’s democratic system. In September 2021, she became the fifth African woman to address the United Nations General Assembly.
Khurram is the president of the “Khurram Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances,” a federation of human rights organizations working directly on the pressing issue of forced disappearances, a major concern in several Asian countries. Khurram’s voice is much needed, especially in a climate where the treatment of Muslims in India is worsening day by day. Khurram, who was arrested in 2016 and 2021, is a prominent figure who faces obstacles in his human rights efforts and advocacy against injustices in Kashmir. Journalist Rana Ayyub nominated Khurram, describing him as “the voice of families forcibly disappeared by the Indian state and a spokesperson for the rebellion and betrayal of the people of Kashmir.“
Umar Ata Bandial
Another nominee in the Leadership category is Umar Ata Bandial. He assumed the role of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in February 2022 and wasted no time in initiating reforms, including the Case Management System, to expedite the delivery of justice. He reorganized administrative and judicial bodies dealing with administrative and judicial powers, including the formation committee, the record committee, the High Court research department, and the registrar program. Most notably, he declared unconstitutional Prime Minister Khan’s move to dissolve the Parliament.
Hoda Khamosh, nominated in the Icon category, hails from Afghanistan. Since the withdrawal of U.S. troops, Hoda has been working to advance women’s rights and break the taboos surrounding women’s health issues. Her efforts have made her a target for arrest. Hoda was invited to participate in a conference with the Taliban in Oslo. She used this opportunity to demand the release of her two detained colleagues and said at the conference, “I feel their pain from thousands of kilometers away, and I hear their cries under the torture of the Taliban.“
Mazen Darwish and Anwar al-Bunni
Mazen and Anwar were jointly nominated in the Pioneer category. In 2014, Russia and China used their veto power in the United Nations Security Council to prevent the International Criminal Court from prosecuting the atrocities in Syria. This veto meant that the victims would never receive justice. In an effort to prevent this, Syrian lawyers Anwar Al Bunni and Mazen Darwish filed a lawsuit against the veto.
In Koblenz, Germany, a court found former intelligence officer Anwar R. guilty of crimes against humanity for overseeing systematic torture of prisoners. Anwar R. was sentenced to life in prison. Al Bunni and Darwish not only testified in court but also played a vital role in collecting evidence and witnesses for this historic trial, contributing to the exposure of the torture carried out in Syria.
These six individuals, who come from diverse backgrounds and have made a significant impact in their respective fields, deserve recognition for their dedication and efforts in making a positive change in the world.