Thursday, May 10, 2007

Amr Khaled in "The TIME 100"

Amr Khaled
By Asra Nomani

Amr Khaled is not a household name in the West. But for a segment of the Islamic world, the 39-year-old Egyptian is a rock star. At a time when conservative clerics have become primary arbiters of power, Khaled, a layman, has one of the Arab world's most popular websites; regular shows on Iqra, a Saudi-owned religious satellite channel; and an influence that prompts comparisons with everyone from Dr. Phil to Pat Robertson. But Khaled may be most like Rick Warren, who has built an empire around his "purpose driven life" philosophy. Khaled's model, "life makers," encourages Muslims to implement action plans for transforming their lives and communities through Islam. It also urges them to get along peacefully with the West.

What really put Khaled on the world stage was his decision to host an interfaith conference in Copenhagen in March 2006, after the controversies over the Danish cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad. Muslim clerics criticized him for extending an olive branch to the Danes. But Khaled didn't back down. An accountant by training who favors Hugo Boss shirts and designer suits, he maintains some traditional views—he believes women should wear headscarves, for example—but Khaled is a needed voice for moderation from within the Muslim world. "[Osama] bin Laden is saying he is talking on behalf of Muslims," he says. "Who asked him to talk on behalf of us? Nobody."

(Nomani, a journalist and author, wrote Standing Alone in Mecca)

I'd have to say, I think the most interesting thing about this is that they chose Asra Nomani (of all people) to write his blurb. Maybe there is hope for unity with the "Progressive Muslim" crew?


Angie Ellaboudy said...

Ya, you can tell that it's her by the tone in which she writes the article. soooo PMU.

On a bright note, I couldn't agree more.. he's extremely influential and has had an AMAZINGLY STRONG impact on Egypt.. and just the Muslim World in general I can imagine.

Affad Shaikh said...

no not really...they couldnt or didnt know anyone else to go to for writing this blurb up...they chose her and you can tell by the way she writes how she is "hesitant" in presenting him... yeh, progressives have a long way to go before their militancy will allow them to approach and have a decent conversation with the rest of the Ummah.

Huda Shaka` said...

Let's forget the "progressives" for a minute and focus on the real story: how one man's sincerity, hard work, optimism, and complete faith and trust in Allah (swt) allowed him to literally change the world he lives in. That's not an exaggeration. At least in the Arab world, his shows and lectures have been instrumental first in bringing people (especially the youth) closer to Allah (swt) and His deen and then in putting that faith into action. May Allah (swt) bless him and his efforts, ameen.