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Tuesday September 21st 2021

Ethiopia: Haile Selassie one of TIME’s Top 25 Political Icons

Terry Fincher / Express / Getty Images

TIME: Feb. 6 marks the 100th birthday of the late U.S. President Ronald Reagan. Few political figures in recent memory have matched the Gipper’s charisma or enduring appeal. We look at other world leaders whose legacies have stood the test of time

King of Kings, Conquering Lion of Judah, Elect of God. All were used to describe Haile Selassie, who ruled as Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974 and is venerated still as the Divine incarnate by adherents of the Rastafari faith. That he was ultimately deposed by a military discontented with his regime should not eclipse his contribution to African solidarity. Selassie gave Ethiopia its first constitution and convened the earliest meeting of the Organization of African Unity.

But he is perhaps most widely remembered for the speech he gave before the League of Nations in 1933 as the legions of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini stormed his ill-equipped nation. The League did little to prevent Ethiopia’s defeat, but Selassie’s appeal, uttered movingly in his native Amharic, would serve as a pillar in the struggles against colonialism and Fascism. With a firm internationalist bent, the last Ethiopian monarch eventually saw his country become a charter member of the United Nations. A TIME “Man of the Year” who claimed descendance from the biblical King Solomon, he ushered the continent he had unified into a distinctly African modernity.

View the full list for “Top 25 Political Icons”

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3 Responses to “Ethiopia: Haile Selassie one of TIME’s Top 25 Political Icons”

  1. pa.mohamedameen says:

    Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History depends on who the selection committee consists of. It is wonderful that unprejudicially Time included gandhi, otherwise the list is biased. According to a 1978 book by Michael H. Hart, on the seleection of the most influential people in history, the first person on Hart’s list is the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Hart asserted that Muhammad was “supremely successful” in both the religious and secular realms.
    The 1992 revisions included the Henry Ford replacing Pablo Picasso, some of the rankings were re-ordered, although no one listed in the top ten changed position and Muhammad still occupied the No one position.

    My (Hart) choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world’s most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels. Of humble origins, Muhammad founded and promulgated one of the world’s great religions, and became an immensely effective political leader. Today, thirteen centuries after his death, his influence is still powerful and pervasive. The majority of the persons in this book had the advantage of being born and raised in centres of civilization, highly cultured or politically pivotal nations.

  2. kumlachew says:


    What the hell wrong are you taking about?…Who the hell is Mohammed…

  3. pa.mohamedameen says:

    George B Shaw says: On Islam and Muhammad-pbuh

    “I have always held the religion of Muhammad in the highest esteem because of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which appears to me to possess that assimilating capability to the changing phases of existence which can make it appeal to every age. The world much doubtless attaches high value to the predictions of great men like me. I have prophesized about the faith of Muhammad, that it will be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today. The medieval ecclesiastics either through ignorance or bigotry painted Mohammedanism in the darkest colours. They were in fact trained to hate the man and his religion. To them Muhammad was anti-Christ. Muhammad must be called saviour of humanity. I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it, the much needed peace and happiness.”

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