Muslim Role Models (Share)

Muslim Role Models (Share)


By  Euro-Muslims Editorial Desk


Muslims in Europe have been remarking positively.

Starting as predominantly post-World War II immigrants who arrived as laborers, Muslims in Europe have been remarking positively on their European societies.

European Muslims continue to redefine themselves in their communities, discussing choices and decisions to help in forming a healthy environment for more understanding of Islam and integration of Muslims into their European countries. In Europe, a lot of Muslims of both European and non-European origins have proved gradually that they can overcome many cultural and socioeconomic obstacles to achieve remarkable success.

Some say that European Muslims are moving forward from a community that barely fulfills its essential requirements
, to a steady one that is going beyond many expectations.

European Muslims Zone is presenting the profiles of some European Muslim role models who have clearly drawn attention to their valuable success and uniquely state, observing their religious identity as Muslims and their European identity as active citizens.

Take a look at the profiles and if you have any suggestion for more European Muslim role models, kindly add their profiles below or e-mail them toEuro-Muslims Email and we will post them online.

Salma Yaqoob

Tariq Ramadan

Muhammad Ali

Yusuf Islam


Salma Yaqoob
Salma Yaqoob is a prominent anti-war activist and the UK’s party Respect’s cofounding member and vice-chair. With a total of 10,498 votes, she came second with 27 percent of the vote in Birmingham’s Sparkbrook and Small Heath constituency in the May 2005 general election. In May 2006, she was elected councilor for the Sparkbrook ward in Birmingham.

Born in Bradford but raised in Birmingham, Salma Yaqoob has proven to be a remarkable icon not only for Muslim women, but also for Muslims in general and activists throughout the UK. Being a mother of three boys never stood in the way of Ms. Yaqoob campaigning tirelessly for what she believed in and for positive change in her local community and way beyond.

Salma Yaqoob has addressed numerous demonstrations and meetings all protesting against the Iraq War and the Israeli occupation of Palestine. She has continued to fight for civil liberties in the UK and against all policies that target those freedoms and liberties, including the anti-terrorist law recently proposed. She is a strong advocate for the right of Muslim women to wear the hijab. Her campaigning for the rights of the elderly and those most in need, has already won her widespread support.

She has continued to fight for civil liberties in the UK and against all policies that target those freedoms and liberties, including the anti-terrorist law recently proposed. She is a strong advocate for the right of Muslim women to wear the hijab. Her campaigning for the rights of the elderly and those most in need has already won her widespread support.


Salma Yaqoob is the author of several books. Among her books are:

  • Global and Local Echoes of the Anti-war Movement: A British Muslim Perspective.” International Socialism Journal. Autumn 2003.
  • The “War on Terror” and Racism, Asylum and Immigration. Pluto Press, 2005.
  • British Muslim Radicalism Post 9/11 in Islamic Political Radicalism: A European Comparative. Edinburgh University Press, 2006.

Tariq Ramadan  


Tariq Ramadan was born in Switzerland in 1962. He is the grandchild of Imam Hassan Al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

Ramadan holds a master’s degree in philosophy and French literature and a doctorate in philosophy in Arabic and Islamic studies from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. In Cairo, Egypt, he received one-on-one intensive training in classic Islamic scholarship from Al-Azhar University scholars.

He is a professor of Islamic studies. He is currently a senior research fellow at Saint Antony’s College (Oxford, UK), Doshisha University (Kyoto, Japan), and at the Lokahi Foundation (London, UK.)


He is a visiting professor (in charge of the chair: Identity and Citizenship) at Erasmus University, the Netherlands.

Through his writings and lectures, he has contributed substantially to the debate on the issues of Muslims in the West and Islamic revival in the Muslim world. He is active both at the academic and grassroots levels lecturing extensively throughout the world on social justice and dialogue between civilizations.


Ramadan is currently president of the European Muslim Network (EMN) think tank in Brussels, Belgium.


To visit Ramadan’s website, click here.




Dr. Tariq Ramadan is the author of several books. Among his books are:

  • Muslims in Secular Societies, Responsibilities and Rights of Muslim People in Western Societies, Tawhid, Lyon, 1994 (3rd ed. 2000)
  • Islam, the Encounter of Civilizations, What Project for Which Modernity?, Les Deux Rives, Lyon, 1995 (4th ed. 2001), translated into English: Islam, The West and The Challenges of Modernity, Islamic Foundation, Leicester, UK, 1999.
  • To be a European Muslim, by C. Dabbak, Tawhid, Lyon, September 1999.
  • Muslims in France, Islamic Foundation, Leicester, UK, April 1999.
  • Muslims of the West, to Build and to Contribute, Tawhid pocket books, Lyon, 2002.
  • The Western World, Space of Testimony, Dar ash-shahada, Tawhid pocket books, Lyon 2002.
  • Muslims in the West and the Future of Islam, Actes Sud, Paris, January 2003.


Muhammad Ali  


Originally from Tunisia, Muhammad Ali was born into a conservative Muslim family born and bred on Islamic beliefs together with the freedom of following his own dream and visions.


Muhammad Ali, through creating ingenious and practical television that complements the definition of good programming and transmission as well as delivering against viewers needs has marked a milestone for a Muslim voice in the media. He heads Islam Channel (a television channel presenting the Islamic perspective)


His academic background includes studying in both the East and West. Initially having studied engineering, his curious mind and inquisitive nature led him on to study philosophy and theology in Iran, politics and geography in the UK, followed by a master’s in both linguistics and diplomacy.


Aside from this, he has memorized a good portion of the holy Qu’ran and has attended circles of prominent Islamic scholars, going on to further studies in comparative Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) in addition to comparative fundamentals of belief (`aqeedah) at traditional schools of knowledge in Tehran.


Currently he is studying for a doctorate in Islamic political thought. Muhammad Ali has vast experiences in many cultures and customs around the world, his travels have taken him to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bosnia where he worked for da`wah (Arabic for: raising awareness for Islam) and charity projects.


As CEO of Islam Channel, Muhammad Ali has been able to put his experience and visions on screen by creating a platform for Muslims generally. Through this channel he has numerous achievements to date including bringing together many world-renown scholars and Islamic programs, as well as screening political debates, news, and current affairs into the homes of both Muslims and non-Muslims. Having conquered the UK, Muhammad Ali has taken Islam Channel to viewers across Europe, Africa, and Asia.


Muhammad Ali, through Islam Channel, has proven himself to be a highly ambitious and successful entrepreneur. This relatively new enterprise offers an invaluable

source of da`wah, making Islam Channel the leading light for millions of Muslims, guiding the Ummah (Arabic for: Islamic nation) toward the path of Allah.


What began as representation for Muslims within the UK has expanded out to both Muslims and non-Muslims around the globe. With the support of his wife and five young children, he has been able to achieve this through his hard work and perseverance, aiming at representing Muslims and Islam in its genuine sense of freedom, justice, and coexistence.




Yusuf Islam  


The son of a Greek Cypriot father and Swedish mother, Yusuf Islam (then Steven Demetre Georgiou) was born in 1947,  and (he) grew up above the family shop in London’s Theatre district, situated at the northernmost junction of Shaftesbury Avenue and New Oxford Street, near the heart of London’s West End.


Cat Stevens (is the former stage name of musician Yusuf Islam, born Steven Demetre Georgiou)  went on to become one of the biggest solo artists of the 1960s and 1970s, penning such songs as “Matthew and Son,” “Moonshadow,” “Wild World,” and “Father and Son” and selling over 50 million LPs ( Long-Player record).


Following a bout of TB early in his career, he undertook an ongoing search for peace and ultimate spiritual truth. After almost drowning in the Pacific Ocean at Malibu, he received a translation of the Qur’an as a gift from his elder brother, David. His spiritual quest for answers was fulfilled and he embraced Islam in December 1977. Six months later, he changed his name to Yusuf Islam, walked away from the music business to start a new life and raise a family. He auctioned his musical instruments and gold records and divided the proceeds between Help The Aged and Help a London Child, two UK charities. 


His Sarajevo concert in 1997, to celebrate Bosnian culture, was his first public appearance for 20 years. His most recent mainstream contribution was to War Child UK’s Hope album to raise money for children victimized by war in Iraq for

which he re-worked his 1971 classic, “Peace Train.”


His pioneering work in the field of education resulted in securing a landmark decision by the British government to certify and support Islamic education throughout the UK. The three schools he founded in London — Islamia Primary, Islamia Girls Secondary, and the Brondesbury College for Boys — constantly top the government’s examination league tables.


His founding and continued chairmanship of the International Board of Educational Research and Resources has resulted in the production of key textbooks and resources for Muslim schools around the world, including the development and encouragement of teachings practices rooted in the Qur’an and Sunnah.


Have Your Say (Note by Dr SOA: Please forgive me for changing the Europe Muslim role model to Muslim role model to widen the scope)


What do you think of these role models?

According to what do you call someone a Muslim role model?

Can you suggest any other Muslim role models?

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