The Muslim News Awards for Excellence Independent Panel of Judges

27th Feb 2015

Like every year, the judges of The Muslim News Awards for Excellence are selected for their diversity of experience and back ground. They remain strictly independent in their decision making.

Abu Bakr Ali

Abubakar Mohamed Ali is Chairman of Somali Bravanese Welfare Association. The centre shot to the national spotlight in 2013 when its premises were destroyed after a vandal attack. It is widely believed the attack took place following a spate of reprisals against mosques in response to the murder of Lee Rigby in Woolwich. Abubakar Mohamed Ali was also Director of the International Relief Foundation and had various roles serving the community including as a teacher and an interpreter

Esmat Jeraj

Esmat Jeraj is an activist working in leadership roles both in the Muslim community and in inter-faith contexts. Born in London and of East African Asian/Indian origin, Esmat graduated with a BA in History from the University of Reading. Esmat is currently a Public Affairs and Communications Manager at the Muslim Council of Britain and is a Managing Trustee for Hyderi Islamic Centre in Streatham. She is one of the founding members of the United Kingdom Shia Muslim Council. Having previously served as the Assistant Secretary General of The Council of European Jamaats, Esmat is still actively involved with their media and external affairs work. In order to put her faith into action in civic society, Esmat has been an active leader with Citizens UK, working on various local and national actions and campaigns including the Living Wage. She is a member of their National Council helping shape the agenda for the 2015 national elections.

Danny Rich

Rabbi Danny Rich lives in Barnet and has been the Chief Executive of Liberal Judaism since the middle of 2005. A Londoner born and bred, Danny was ordained as a rabbi in 1989. He was rabbi to Kingston Liberal Synagogue for nearly two decades, is a Justice of the Peace, and a hospital and prison chaplain. He is a President of the Council of Christians and Jews and a member of the Council of Imams and Rabbis. He is the author of several books. He has recently campaigned on the living wage and caring for carers, and gave live and written evidence to the Falconer Commission on Assisted Dying and the Parliamentary Public Bill Committee on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill. Danny is a former Trustee of Mental Aid Projects and a past Governor of Hinchley Wood Junior School. Danny is the father of four children.


Mahera Ruby is an educationalist and a community activist. She is a Certified Parenting Practitioner with over 15 years of experience supporting parents. Mahera is also currently a Research Fellow at Goldsmiths, University of London. She is also completing her PhD there, focusing on intergenerational learning taking place in families whose origins are in Bangladesh. Mahera has been a researcher at Goldsmiths, where she co-directed the ESRC-funded research project on ‘Becoming literate through faith: language and literacy learning in the lives of new Londoners’. Mahera has worked on projects developing bilingual pedagogies and has co-authored many publications highlighting the findings. Her first book co-authored book, Interconnecting Worlds: Teacher partnerships for bilingual learning, has received many positive reviews. An East-Ender of Bangladeshi origin, Mahera is an experienced community organiser who believes in developing individuals who can come together to bring positive change within their local communities.

Yasmin Qureshi

Yasmin Qureshi is the MP for Bolton South. Born in Pakistan, and raised in Watford, Yasmin obtained a Law degree and completed her Barrister at laws examinations at the Council of Legal Education. She obtained a Master of Laws at University College London. Yasmin began her legal career with the Crown Prosecution Service as an in-house Barrister. She prosecuted on behalf of the Crown in numerous criminal cases. Later she became a specialist casework advocate dealing with complex and sensitive cases. In 2000, Yasmin became the co-ordinator of the Criminal Legal Unit at United Nations Mission in Kosovo. At the General Election in 2010 Yasmin won with a majority of 8,634. Since becoming a Member of Parliament Yasmin has been elected as a member of the Justice Select Committee and a member of the Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee. Yasmin was a governor of Laurence Hains School and West Herts College.

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Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.

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