Meet the independent panel of judges…
A panel of judges completely independent of the newspaper and its editors selects the shortlist and winners of The Muslim News Awards. The judges reflect the diversity of experience, background and gender.
Assed Baig is a journalist and currently, reports for Channel 4 News. He has undertaken assignments from around the world including Bosnia, the Central African Republic, Myanmar, Libya, Pakistan and Somalia. He has also worked as a reporter for the BBC and as a correspondent for an international news agency. He has specialist knowledge of Islam and Muslims and speaks Urdu, Punjabi and Arabic. Before becoming a journalist, Assed was President of Staffordshire University’s Student Union. Assed, of Kashmiri descent, was born and bred in Birmingham and now lives in London.
Rabbi Janet Darley is a Liberal Jewish rabbi who recently served, before retirement, at the South London Liberal Synagogue. Amongst many achievements, Janet undertook interfaith work between Muslims and Jews in South London. Janet has served on the Council and Executive Committee of Citizens UK. She has campaigned for the expansion of refugee resettlement, especially the admission of child refugees. As a result of this work, Jewish News shortlisted Janet for its Community Hero Award. Before studying for the rabbinate, Janet was a senior lecturer in Economics and Economic History at Kingston University.
Zainab Rahim is the joint Editor-in-Chief of The Platform, a comment website providing a space for writers and researchers seeking to advance marginalised narratives. Her own writing focuses on arts and culture, local history and global politics. After attaining a degree in English Literature and Language at King’s College London in 2009, she undertook an arts journalism trainee scheme with the Royal Shakespeare Company and has been working across a range of publications and organisations since. Zainab lives in London.
Saadia Mahmood works on the grants programme of the Aziz Foundation, supporting a range of UK-based community organisations and projects working to empower some of the UK’s most disaffected communities. Saadia studied BA Politics and MSc Asian Politics at School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. She began her career working for the Charity Commission for England and Wales and has also worked for the UK’s Department for International Development and for a number of charitable organisations including the James Caan Foundation and the Muslim Charities Forum, where she worked closely with UK-based Muslim humanitarian organisations. In the past, she has also worked and volunteered in Pakistan and Indian-administered Kashmir and has a keen interest in exploring community owned and innovative practices in development.
Ufuk Secgin is the Chief Marketing Officer of HalalBooking.com, a leading website for online booking of halal-friendly travel. He pursued a career at a multinational energy company progressing to global senior marketing management roles. He speaks many languages, including German, Turkish, English and French. He is a member of the Muslim Council of Britain’s National Council and Founding Chairman of Hasene Humanitarian Aid UK, as well as the charity, the Alberonius Foundation which helps victims of natural disasters. He was born and raised in Germany and has lived in the UK, Turkey and other countries. Having studied in Germany, he completed an MBA from the University of Wales Institute Cardiff (U.K.).