Muslim women dominate New Years Honours

23rd Feb 2018
Muslim women dominate New Years Honours

Nuzhat Saleh CBE, Sadi Khan MBE and Poppy Jaman OBE

Nadine Osman

Women have dominated the total number of Muslims honoured in the Queen’s New Year Honours this year. Ten out of the 16 members of the community recognised are women, despite a drop from the 21 awards handed to Muslims in 2017.

Muslim recipients (1 CBE, 4 OBEs, 10 MBEs and 1 Diplomatic MBE) come from across the country representing a vast array of fields including health, policing, women’s rights and community cohesion.

Nuzhat Saleh, Assistant Director of Legal Services for the Metropolitan Police and who was for some time the force’s most senior female staff member, is to receive a CBE.

Since joining the police force in 1988 Saleh has worked on many of the most contentious issues that the Met has faced. She also had a leading role in the inquest into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales; and her experience in dealing with public inquiries led her to produce a guide which is widely used by lawyers and officers throughout the country.

Saleh has contributed enormously to the aims of the Met through her work dealing with more routine legal challenges and, importantly, ensuring that the Met learns lessons for the future. She has regularly provided training to officers, in particular about the lawful exercise of their powers.

In a statement to The Muslim News Saleh said: “This achievement has only been possible because I was entrusted and given the opportunity to undertake many challenging and high profile cases, and for the support given to me by numerous committed officers and staff across this great organisation.”

Mental Health First Aid England co-founder and CEO, Poppy Jaman, has been awarded an OBE in recognition of her services to people with mental health issues.

Growing up in a deprived area of Portsmouth and her own experience of post-natal depression helped Jaman to develop an understanding of the challenges facing people with mental health issues, particularly among diverse groups.

Her 20 years’ experience of influencing and leading change in public mental health, Jaman has worked in a number of roles which have required her to challenge the public’s perception of mental ill health.

Jaman also sits on the board of Public Health England as a non-executive Director and advises on public mental health and community development, drawing attention to the connection of physical health with mental health in order to improve public mental health across the country.

Jaman told The Muslim News, “The very fact that mental health advocates are beginning to be recognised at this level is an indication of the progress our whole community has made in recent years to change public perceptions of mental illness and mental health.”

Sadi Khan, founder of Noble Khan, a cultural awareness training provider has been awarded an MBE for her work in cultural and religious awareness training and services to vulnerable women.

Khan became the first woman in sixteen years to win the prestigious Learning and Performance Institute’s Gold Trainer of the Year Award. Her high reputation in the field of cultural and religious awareness and behind the scenes work for many organisations paved way for her to become the Director of Diversity & Inclusion for Nottinghamshire Cricket Board, and has made history by being the first Asian/Muslim woman to be appointed on the board.

At the same time as empowering others in cultural understanding, she started on her another educational mission – to empower, educate and give women a voice stemming from her own domestic abuse from an arranged marriage at the age of 19. She gave inspirational talks and coaching for corporations and schools, nationally and abroad, which resulted in her winning the Woman’s Aid Empowering Women Award in 2011. A few years later and then again earlier this year she was awarded the Super Achiever by the World Women Leadership Congress in India.

“I hope that having these letters after my name will add power to the work we do not just in organisations taking cultural/religious training seriously but also in putting an end to violence against women and children,” Khan said in a statement to The Muslim News.

Afrasiab Anwar is to be made an MBE for his services to community cohesion in Burnley.

The 38-year-old has committed more than half his life to improving the lives of others, particularly young people.

From using sport to engage young people and deflect them away from anti-social behaviour, to developing a role as a faith co-ordinator, he has encouraged and helped shape the lives of many people across all communities.

His involvement in Building Bridges, a local inter-faith organisation, in a voluntary capacity for over eight years, has brought people of different faiths, ages and backgrounds together.

His work has been recognised through the local leisure trust’s annual community sports awards and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Awards.

Sajda Majeed, 44, has also been honoured for services to the community in Burnley.

The community worker is also to be made an MBE for her 15-year contribution to improving lives of people of Burnley.

It has seen her play a central role in the development of the Chai Centre in Burnley, a multi-purpose integrated health and community venue in the heart of the community, with Majeed being the vision behind the centre.

She helped bring approximately around £1 million to the area and led the creation of a gym and healthy lifestyles café, both of which she managed as a campaigner for women’s health.

She is also a parent governor at Sir John Thursby School and sits on the Clinical Commissioning Group panel supporting funding initiatives.

Among the 1,123 other people awarded in the New Year Honours are 26 members of the Jewish community (1 CBE, 4 OBEs, 12 MBE s and 9 BEM) and 25 members of the Hindu and Sikh communities (1 Damehood, 7 OBEs, 7 MBEs, 6 BEMs, 1 QAM, 2 Commonwealth CBEs, 1 Commonwealth OBE)


Other Muslims in the New Years Honours:


Raja Mohammed Adil, Chair, The Adil Group, for services to business, job creation and charity.

Dr Shabana Rounak Haque, Head, Government Science and Engineering Profession Team, Government Office for Science, for services to civil service science and the engineering profession.

Aina Khan, for services to the protection of women and children in unregistered marriages.


Dr Anwara Ali, GP, East London, for services to community healthcare.

Neelam Farzana, who in 2007 set up The Listening Service to address a gap in provision of mental health support for the BAME community.

Haji Mohammad Yaqub Joya, for services to the army and the Muslim community in Northern Ireland.

Elinor Chohan, Chair, North West Regional Board, Remembering Srebrenica, for services to interfaith and community cohesion.

Mubeen Yunus Patel, Administrative Officer, Personal Tax Operations, HM Revenue and Customs, for services to public sector digital transformation programme.

Naeem Rabbani Qureshi, for services to the community in Sparkbrook, Birmingham.

Summera Naheed Shaheen, Owner, The Diamond Studio, for services to business and the community in Glasgow.


Leila Memmi, Vice Consul, British Embassy, Tunis, for services to British victims and families of the terrorist attack in Sousse, Tunisia

Leave a Comment

What is 9 + 2 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

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.

Latest Tweets