SBW on Top 500 Muslim list
Sonny Bill Williams (File)
Wellington - New Zealand Islamic leaders are pushing to have All Black and "Muslim superstar" Sonny Bill Williams listed among the world's 500 most influential Muslims, it was reported on Sunday.
They are disappointed the world champion midfield back failed to make the 2011 list and will be writing to compilers - the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Jordan - to have him included next year.
The Centre says its annual list provides a window on the "movers and shakers of the Muslim world", gives an insight into the ways Muslims impact on the world, and "shows the diversity of how people are living as Muslims today".
Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand senior vice-president Javed Khan said he will be writing to the centre to tell them about Williams, the Herald on Sunday reported.
"Sonny Bill Williams is probably the most famous Muslim in New Zealand and, in a Rugby World Cup year, has brought the faith to prominence," Khan said.
"I think the only reason he was not included in the list is because these people are not aware of the existence of New Zealand's Muslim superstar and we'll be writing to them to make sure he's there next year."
Williams converted to Islam in 2008 after attending prayer services at a Sydney mosque.
Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah topped the 2011 list of most influential Muslims.