The Progress 1000: London’s most influential people 2017 – Social Pillars: Faith
Source: Evening Standard
Defender of the Faith
This year, Queen Elizabeth II became the first British monarch to celebrate a Sapphire Jubilee (65 years on the job) while in November she celebrates an equally astounding milestone — her platinum wedding to the Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Philip has now taken a richly deserved retirement but the Defender of the Faith carries on. She takes her religion, low church Anglicanism, very seriously and her Christmas message always includes Christ, even if it’s always edited out of the version you get on the news. From the State opening of Parliament, where she wore a deliciously understated hat, to welcoming visiting dignitaries, Her Majesty remains the pivotal figure in our national life.
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad
Ahmadiyya Muslim Caliph
Ahmad, 66, is the caliph of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim community, whose adherents are in more than 200 countries. The British community is conspicuously civic-minded and hotly outspoken about Islamist violence. For hardline Muslims, the Ahmadiyya sect are heretics and its members have been the targets of violence themselves — the Caliph was forced into exile in London by the Pakistani government. He has tried to counteract negative perceptions of Islam in Britain. As moderate Islam goes, you don’t get more moderate than this.