President Halimah ranked 33rd most influential Muslim in the world

One of three women in the top 50.

Matthias Ang | October 31, 2022, 02:27 PM

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President Halimah Yacob is ranked 33rd on a list of the world's 500 most influential Muslims, according to a ranking compiled by The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre for 2023.

This is the highest ranking Halimah has received yet since she first made an appearance on the list in 2018, a year after she became president in 2017.

She was previously ranked 36th in the 2022 ranking.

Only Singaporean in the top 50

Halimah is the only Singaporean who made it into the top 50, and one of three women to have done so this year.

The others being Syria's Munira Qubeysi, who is ranked 25th, and the president of Tanzania, Samia Suluhu Hassan, who came in at 38th.

Halimah also ranked higher than most Southeast Asian world leaders, barring Indonesian president Joko Widodo, who came in 13th.

Meanwhile, Malaysian politicians Anwar Ibrahim and Mahathir Mohamad received honourable mentions.

The Russian former professional mixed martial artist, Khabib Nurmagomedov, also received an honourable mention.

First place went to the King of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdul Aziz, who had the most influence as "King with authority over 35 million residents of Saudi Arabia and approximately 14 million pilgrims annually".

Egyptian footballer player Mohamed Salah came in at 39th, six places below Halimah.

Halimah has a "strong international profile"

The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre's citation noted that Halimah was both Singapore's first female president, as well as Singapore's first female Speaker of Parliament.

She was recognised for promoting "initiatives for supporting a cohesive society, strengthening interfaith and recognising all workers who contribute to Singapore's growth".

Halimah was also said to have a "strong international profile, regularly meeting world leaders".

In addition, the centre highlighted her advocacy, noting that in 2019, she had called on companies to embrace gender equality during her speech at the Women's Forum Asia.

It also referenced her public condemnation of "local media" for offensive remarks against women and asking those responsible to apologise.

Other Singaporeans on the list

Three other Singaporeans were also featured on the list.

Zainul Abidin Rasheed

Zainul is Singapore's ambassador to Kuwait and Special Envoy to the Minister of Foreign Affairs to the Middle East.

He is recognised for fostering Singapore's diplomatic relations with the Muslim world, and for sharing Singapore's expertise in inter-cultural and inter-religious relations with nations that have substantial Muslim populations.

Syed Hassan al-Attas

Syed sits on the Presidential Committee of Minority Rights, according to The Straits Times (ST).

He has been recognised for being a "pillar of strength and unity" in building religious harmony in Singapore and throughout Southeast Asia.

Mohamed Faizal Mohamed Abdul Kadir

Faizal is a deputy chief prosecutor and senior state counsel at the Attorney-General's Chambers, according to ST.

He is the only Malay-Muslim senior counsel in Singapore and is recognised for conceiving scholarship programmes for lower-income students.

Top Photo by MCI via Halimah Yacob/Facebook