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The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2016: Meet the independent panel of judges

26th Feb 2016

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.

Charlotte Fischer joined the Citizens UK team in January 2013 as the Community Organiser for the Jewish community. Charlotte grew up in south east London and read history and politics at Oxford. She studied Arabic in Damascus and then worked in political mediation in Geneva before changing track to work in conflict history in Cyprus, Spain, Northern Ireland and South Africa. A dual national, she spent two years in South Africa, co-authoring a book on the history of South African education and as the Executive Director of the South African Religious Action Centre, where she organised to take on a ban put on Jewish women singing. In 2014 she won the Annemarie Schimmel Award at The Muslim News Awards for Excellence for her work with synagogues and the Somali Bravanese Welfare Association after their building was burnt down in an Islamophobic arson attack, and in 2015 she was ranked 28 for the Jewish News ‘40 Jews under 40’.

Fatima Manji is a reporter and journalist with Channel 4 News. She works on a variety of news – both domestic and international. Recent examples include reporting on the refugee crisis from Hungary and Serbia and charting the rise of Jeremy Corbyn here in the UK. Issues of immigration, identity and integration are often a key theme of Fatima’s reports. As part of her coverage on the General Election, Fatima covered the victory night of Britain’s youngest MP – Mhairi Black and her first journey to Westminster from Scotland. She also presented Britain’s first ever young leaders Election Debate for Channel 4. Last year, Fatima was a finalist for the Royal Television Society’s Young Journalist of the Year award. Before Channel 4, Fatima was a reporter, presenter and video journalist for the BBC in the East of England, where she investigated stories including exploitative landlords and hate crime against migrants. In 2015 Fatima was presented with the Ibn Battuta award for excellence in Media at The Muslim News Awards.

Salman Farsi a creative professional, PR expert, and community activist. He serves as the Chief Communications Officer for London’s oldest Mosque, the East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre, where he manages press and PR enquiries from around the world. He recently featured in BBC 2’s hour-long documentary ‘Welcome to the Mosque’, and was awarded a commendation from the Metropolitan Police for services to the community. Salman established his own digital design agency in 2008, and was commissioned by new business start-ups, think tanks, charities and Government. He is also a founding Director of Film Pill, an award winning film production company with distinguished clients including The Guardian, Virgin Start Up and the BBC. He works alongside prominent organisations including the Muslim Council of Britain, Hacked Off, Citizens UK, Unite Against Fascism and others to empower the voice of minority groups and to ensure that the rights of the community are protected.

Sideequat Salawu is a member of Muslim Association of Nigeria UK (MANUK). She volunteers for the association by offering a range of learning opportunities in English, Maths and Science. Having qualified in 1996 at the University of Westminster in Computer Systems Technology, Sideequat went on to work as a computer programmer in a telecommunication company. She qualified as a teacher in 2004 and began her new career at Edinburgh Primary School in London. Sideequat has taught at the school for nine years. In the last two and a half years, she has been teaching in various schools in South London.

Wakkas Khan is a community organiser, social entrepreneur and dental surgeon. His professional career has covered the fields of healthcare, international diplomacy, education and community cohesion. Wakkas is currently a trustee of Oxfam GB and a member of the General Assembly and Nominations Committee at the University of Manchester. Prior to this he sat on senior level Boards at the General Dental Council, and was a governor at both The Christie Hospital and St Chrysostom’s Primary School. Wakkas qualified from the University of Manchester in dentistry in 2004. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a keen sports fan, visiting Old Trafford a few times a season. He was awarded The Muslim News Alija Izetbegovic Award for Excellence in Citizenship in 2010.

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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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