Roughly 23 percent of the world’s population, 1.6 billion people, is Muslim. Extending from Indonesia to the U.S. East Coast, they belong to the world’s fastest growing religion. The future of this community is being determined now, quietly but deeply, by its top social entrepreneurs.
The 23 percent of humankind who are followers of Islam are hugely diverse. None the less they and the rest of the world are going through the same historic turning point: Everyone can and must be a giver, which is what brings health and happiness. In a world that is now defined by accelerating change, no longer repetition, that means everyone must be a changemaker.
We have seen time and again that Ashoka’s top social entrepreneurs see way beyond the symptoms of a problem to the underlying systemic causes. They also smell history moving and draw on its power. In India, although born a Muslim Dalit (untouchable), Ashif Shaikh is tearing down caste walls by turning the worst victims into barefoot lawyers for change. In Afghanistan, Sakena Yacoobi has figured out how to use cultural practice to break the barriers preventing young women from getting an education. And, from the Middle East, Syrian refugee Ahmad Edilbi has shown how those who have had to flee can come together online and in person quickly to seize the initiative, to avoid desponding and dependency by immediately helping one another to be contributors.
Read their inspiring stories of change.