Preacher and Social Activist
Amr Khaled has been a televangelist to the Islamic world since 1998. Khaled was described as the ‘world’s most influential Muslim television preacher’ by The New York Times Magazine, and ranked as the 13th most influential person in the world by TIME Magazine in 2007. He communicates through his TV shows and web campaigns using Islamic ethics as a way to inspire, and foster community development, tolerance and inter-cultural relations.
Popular Media Figure
Part of Khaled’s influence derives from the fact that he appeals to the common person. He holds a degree in accounting, and has no formal religious education; he wears suits and ties, not flowing robes; and has a clean-shaven face except for a trimmed moustache - every thing you do not expect from a Muslim preacher. His everyman appeal has led to immense popularity. Khaled’s television shows are broadcast by four Arab satellite stations but air primarily on Saudi-based religious channel Iqraa. Khaled’s speeches are published online, on bestselling cassettes and CDs. His website is translated from Arabic into nearly twenty languages and it rivals Oprah Winfery’s in terms of traffic.
Voice for Youth
Amr Khaled is a pioneering Muslim preacher and effective social activist who is revered by many as the leader of a revival in the Muslim world, but his influence stems largely from the fact that he engages young people. Youth in the
Middle East and North Africa face disproportionate challenges, such as unemployment and social exclusion - obstacles, which make it difficult to compete with development in other areas of the world. Faith is important to young people in the Middle East, but they do not connect with the majority of preachers whose teachings do not speak to the problems in their lives. Khaled is credited with the launch of the first “Muslim reality TV show” Mujaddidun on Dubai Television, where 16 young participants from all over the Arab world compete over who can make the most morally-conscious contributions to their societies.
Khaled’s goal is to encourage community development in the Muslim world by its own people with religious faith as the guiding inspiration - something he believes should be linked to interfaith dialogue, tolerance and moderation. The break up of communities is something Khaled sees as responsible for the malaise in the Muslim world, and something he believes puts the future of young people in jeopardy. One program he has launched to realize this objective of community development is Life Makers, which has a stated goal of producing a renaissance for the Arab and Muslim world.