Nina A. Loasana, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has once again listed among the world's top 20 most influential Muslim figures according to the 2021 edition of annual publication, The Muslim 500.
"The Muslim 500 website has ranked President Jokowi 12th in The Muslim 500: The World's 500 Most Influential Muslims 2021," presidential spokesperson Fadjroel Rachman said in a written statement on Wednesday as reported by kompas.com.
Jokowi's position this year slightly increased from 13th place last year.
The Muslim 500, published by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center based in Jordan, ranks individuals based on the significance of their influence or power, be it political, financial or ideological, in making contributions to the Muslim world.
The website highlighted the moment when Jokowi was reelected in 2019 after winning 55.5 percent of the vote with his running mate Ma'ruf Amin, who at the time was the chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI). It described that Jokowi ran against an opponent "who questioned his Islamic credentials" in the election.
While Jokowi himself is a Muslim, Jokowi had been accused as anti-Islam by his detractors during the bitterly contested election. He was also deemed promoting secularism and at one point was even rumored to be a Christian.
The Muslim 500 ranked Jokowi 16th on its list consecutively in 2018 and 2019, slightly below his rank of 13th in 2017 and 11th in both the 2016 and 2015/2014 edition.
Fadjroel went on to say that Jokowi had been included on the list since 2015, shortly after he was elected as Indonesian president.
"Since then, Jokowi always ranked in the top 20 of the list," he said, adding that the government appreciated the global award.
Fadjroel claimed that Jokowi's administration had been continuously promoting tolerance, diversity, unity, brotherhood, without discriminating against any tribe, race or religion.
Besides Jokowi, two other Indonesian Muslim figures are also included on the top 50 list: Said Aqil Siradj, the chairman of Indonesia's largest Muslim organization Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), in 18th place and Muhammad Luthfi bin Yahya, a notable ulema from Pekalongan, Central Java, in 32nd place.