Muslim scientists lead the way in Queen’s Honours

28th Jul 2017
Muslim scientists lead the way in Queen’s Honours

(L_R) Sir Alimuddin Zumla, Sir Mir Saeed Zahedi and Majid Mukadam, MBE

Elham Asaad Buaras

Two world-renowned Muslim scientists are to be knighted; the duo join 33 other members of the community named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, the highest number ever.

A total of 35 Muslims  (2 knighthoods, 4 OBEs, 20 MBEs, 6 BEMs, 1 Overseas MBE, 1 Overseas CMG and 1 Overseas Queen’s Police Medal) are named in the honours list – they represent achievements in a wide range of fields including enterprise, banking, policing and the arts.

However, with 2 General Practitioners, 3 surgeons and 2 scientists named this year, it is Muslims in the medical sector that are most celebrated, among them is eminent Professor of Infectious Diseases at University College London, Alimuddin Zumla and British-Iranian biomedical engineer Professor Mir Saeed Zahedi.

Zambia-born Zumla is to be knighted for services to public health and infectious diseases. Zumla recovered from crippling meningitis developed while working as a junior doctor in London in 1982 and went on to make significant contributions to the fields of Tuberculosis HIV co-infection and infectious diseases with epidemic potential. His work has focused on improving the health of poor populations globally.

He has received numerous prestigious awards, including Zambia’s highest civilian award for his outstanding contributions to infectious diseases research in sub-Saharan Africa which was awarded by President Michael Sata.

Since his appointment at UCL in 1994, Zumla has won the Weber Parkes Trust Medal and Prize from the Royal College of Physicians, the Albert Chalmers Medal from the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in the Windrush Award for Academic Achievement as well as The Muslim News Ibn Sina Award for health.

“I am blessed with a very supportive family, excellent research teams and awesome talented friends who have shown ‘unity of purpose’ for improving the lives and health of disadvantaged populations worldwide,” said Zumla.

Professor Zahedi, a world leading designers of prosthetics at Blatchford & Sons, is to receive a knighthood for services to rehab engineering.

As a passionate advocate for amputee comfort, functionality, his work on the introduction of hydraulic ankles into prosthetics has provided thousands of amputees with the stability and confidence to negotiate slopes, ramps, stairs and uneven ground with a reduced risk of falls.

The culmination of this work has been in the recent development of Linx, the world’s first fully integrated lower limb system. Its ground-breaking tech routes information from multiple sensors through a master controller, allowing the limb to automatically adapt to changing terrain and circumstances. This has helped many amputees to live more independent and active lives.

Zahedi is a multi-award winning author and presenter of over 125 papers, books and scientific publications, 35 patents and plays a leading role in a number of industry and professional regulatory bodies, particularly those pertaining to patient safety.

As a trusted and dedicated ambassador for improving prosthetic care, he has succeeded in creating outstanding and lasting results for many thousands of amputees around the world, giving them back the opportunity to live their lives to the fullest.

Transplant surgeon Majid Mukadam has been awarded an MBE for services to transplantation patients. The father of two has encouraged thousands of Asians to sign the organ donor register during the course of his work at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

Mukadam, who has worked at the hospital for 17 years, gives vital talks in mosques to many people.  He also convinced an Imam at a mosque to talk about the shortage to 5,000 worshippers resulting in many worshippers signing up.

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust CEO, Dame Julie Moore, said: “Despite his very busy commitment to the Trust, Mr Mukadam continues to devote his spare time to raising awareness of transplant and organ donation within the Asian community.”

Al Rayan Bank CEO Sultan Choudhury said it was a “great privilege” to receive an OBE for services to Islamic finance.

“The last 13 years represent a tremendous, but sometimes difficult, journey to establish Islamic finance as an alternative to conventional finance in the UK,” said the CEO of the bank established in 2004.

One of 11 Muslim women honoured this year is Shazia Azhar, head teacher at Spring Grove Junior and Infants School in Huddersfield is to be made an MBE for services to education.

The 47-year-old, who was nominated as Teacher of the Year by the Huddersfield Examiner in 2013, has been described as “an inspirational woman”. Her teaching materials and lesson plans were disseminated to schools across Kirklees, impacting the learning of thousands of pupils.

Speaking to The Muslim News Azhar said she hopes her MBE, “play a small part in inspiring others who have been told they can’t, that they can. I also hope that some who refer to ‘Muslim women’ as a group of non-English speaking, suppressed group that contribute nothing to society, to think again.”

Founder of The Hummingbird Bakery and author of four best-selling cookbooks Tarek Malouf is to receive an MBE for services to baking. It was while attending the American School that Malouf got a sweet tooth for American-style confectionary. His first bakery opened in Notting Hill in 2004 on Portobello Road and the first batches of cupcakes sold out.

After the success of the Notting Hill shop, more bakeries followed across London in South Kensington, Soho, Islington, Richmond, Spitalfields and a seventh bakery is scheduled to open in Guildford.

Malouf chose Great Ormond Street Hospital as the focus for the bakery’s main charity activity and customers can donate an optional £1 donation when placing their online orders. The bakery also supports Terrence Higgins Trust for World AIDS Day with an annual charity red ribbon cupcake to help raise money. Furthermore, all leftover cupcakes are offered to charities for collection at the end of the day.

Malouf said, “As a British Citizen who immigrated to London from Lebanon as a very young child, I’m delighted to have made a worthwhile contribution to the baking in the city where I grew up.”

Fellow entrepreneur Asif Hamid has been appointed an MBE. Hamid, CEO of The Contact Company, has been awarded for 30 years services to business most notably, for leading the UK business arm of Bertelsmann Media group and starting The Contact Company, which provides jobs for over 1,100 locals.

Hamid said: “I am truly honoured to receive this award. Looking back at the boy growing up in a two-up, two-down in Lancashire, I could never have imagined where I would be today – it’s a dream come true. I’m so proud to have had the opportunity to create success and opportunities for myself and others throughout my career. My success has only been possible because of the support of my family, friends and colleagues.”

Other Muslims honoured

OBE: Asif Abdul Haseeb, services to racial equality, health & education in Scotland & Pakistan.
Idris Khan, services to Art.
Mohammad Quraishi, Consultant Ear, Nose & Throat Surgeon & Director ENT Masterclass, Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospitals, services to the NHS & medical education.

MBE: Dr Khalid Rashed, Consultant, Yeovil Hospital, services to stroke care.
Dr Nikita Kanani, GP & Chief Clinical Officer, NHS Bexley Clinical Commissioning Group, services to primary care.
Dr Shah Khan, services to the Muslim community & community cohesion.
Monawar Hussain, Tutor & Imam, services to interfaith relations & the community in Oxfordshire.
Samera Ashraf, services to sport & diversity.
Abdul Jabbar, for political & public service.
Asif Amir Khan, services to architecture.
Mohamed Issa, Senior Lecturer, MoD, services to the Defence Ctr for languages & culture.
Mohammad Miah, Chef & Restauranteur, services to the hospitality industry & charity.
Mohammad Ashfaq, Founder & Managing Director, Kikit Pathways to Recovery, Birmingham, services to vulnerable people.
Tariq Usmani, Founding Chair, Better Community Business Network, services to community cohesion.
Razia Ismail, Chair & Founder, Aaghee, services to women in the Asian community in Birmingham.
Saeeda Ali, Higher Executive Officer, MoD, services to Defence.
Sazeda Patel, services to the community in Blackburn.
Adetola Kunle-Hassan, Founder, Nubian Skin, services to fashion.
Aqila Choudhry, for public & political service.


Dr Sohail Munshi, GP, Five Oaks Family Practice, North Manchester, services to primary care.
Ajaz Ahmed, Mentor, Mosaic Network & Council Member/Advisory Board Member, Huddersfield University, services to young people.
Mohammed Malik, Councillor, Aberdeen City Council, services to the community.
Olayinka Idris Bada, Designated Detention Officer, Metropolitan Police, services to policing.
Iffet Mian, Founding Member, All Pakistan Women’s Association Birmingham Branch, services to the community.
Noor Ali, Senior Buying Manager – World Foods, WM Morrison Supermarkets Plc, services to diversity in the retail industry.

Diplomatic & Overseas List: MBE:

Tahmina Rahman, Regional Director, ARTICLE19, services to freedom of expression & the right to information in Bangladesh. CMG:
Asif Ahmad, HM Ambassador, Philippines, services to British interests in South East Asia.

Overseas Territories Police & Fire Service Medal For Meritorious Service: Moustafa Kemal, Chief Inspector, Sovereign Base Areas Police, Cyprus.

Thirty-one members of the Hindu and Sikh communities were also awarded this year (1 DBE, 2 CBEs,10 OBEs, 11 MBEs, 5 BEMs, 1 Diplomatic OBE and 1 Queens special medal). Twenty-five members of the Jewish community were also awarded; they included, 2 Companion of Honour, 4 Knighthoods, 1 Damehoods, 2 CBEs, 8 OBEs, 3 MBEs, 4 BEMs and 1 Queen’s Police Medal.


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