Pakistan Prime Minister and cricketing legend Imran Khan has been declared as Muslim Man of the Year 2020 by Jordan’s Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre. Imran won the title in the recent list of the most persuasive Muslims in the world issued by the Centre.
The centre is an autonomous research entity with the Royal Aal Al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought in Jordan. The institute has named American Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib is this year’s Muslim 500 Woman of the Year. She is the first Palestinian-American woman and joint first Muslim woman to be elected to the American Congress as member of the House of Representatives.
Professor S Abdallah Schleifer, a Professor Emeritus of Journalism in the American University in Cairo, who chose both the winners for the titles, said that if the Muslim 500 was in print back in 1992 and he was then Chief Editor he would have nominated Imran as ‘Muslim Man of the Year’.
“Because of his brilliant performance in cricket, which culminated in Pakistan winning the 1992 Cricket World Cup — a sport I have always admired for its combination of elegance and intense competitive play,” Schleifer further said.
The professor continued that Imran’s role in cricket was not the only criteria for him being bestowed with the title. “I also was touched when Khan launched a successful fundraising campaign to establish a hospital devoted to both the care of victims of cancer as well as research. This was his magnificent response to the loss of his mother to cancer in 1985.”
Schleifer further said that what is particularly to Imran’s credit is that upon assuming office last year, he had made his top priorities to work for a lasting peace with India.
“What is particularly to his credit is that upon taking office in August 2018, Imran Khan made it quite clear that one of his top priorities was to work for a lasting peace with India. He wanted to normalise relations through trade, and settling the Kashmir dispute.”