Elham Asaad Buaras
Twenty four Muslims were recognised in the New Years Honours (2 CBEs, 3 OBEs, 13 MBEs, 3 BEMS, 1 overseas OBE, 1 overseas MBE and a KCMG) for their varying contributions to society, four more than last year and 11 more than 2013.
Fifteen members of the Hindu and Sikh communities were also awarded (1 Knighthood, 3 CBE, 3 OBES, 7 MBEs and 1 BEM). Eighteen members of the Jewish community were also awarded; they included a Knighthood, 2 Damehoods, 1 CVO, 2 CBEs, 6 OBEs, 5 MBEs, 1 BEM.
Adeeba Malik, Deputy Chief Executive of QED Foundation, has become a CBE for her services to Interfaith and Community Cohesion. QED was founded in 1990 and is now the country’s leading ethnic minority-focused education, employment and training provider. Malik has held many ministerial and non-ministerial high profile national and regional board level appointments in the last 15 years in diverse organisations including British Waterways, Yorkshire Forward, and the Advisory Board on Naturalisation and Immigration. She was the first Asian woman to serve on most of these boards.
In 2005, she was appointed Chair of the National Ethnic Minority Business Forum based in the Department for Trade and Industry and became a Commissioner for the Women and Work Commission. In 2011 she was appointed to the Department of Energy & Climate Change Green Deal Women s Panel. In 2011, she was a governor of Sheffield Hallam University. She was made an ambassador for the Hashoo Foundation, a Pakistan based charity. In a statement to The Muslim News Malik said she was “humbled and honoured”.
Malik, who was awarded an MBE in 2004 for services to ethnic minority businesses, said, “I remember how I felt when I received the MBE, and then to be honoured with a CBE is very special. There are many others who will be part of this including my family, friends and colleagues who have supported me in my career.”
Sajda Mughal, of Wood Green, has been recognised with an OBE for services to community cohesion and interfaith dialogue. Mughal was caught up in the London bombings 10 years ago, escaping with her life when the Piccadilly line train she was in on July 7, 2005, was blown up by terrorist suicide bomber Germaine Lindsay. Some 26 of her fellow passengers were killed.
Following the bombing, she left her employers in the City to join the JAN Trust, a charity which aims to improve the lives of minority ethnic, refugee and asylum-seeking women and youths, based in Bedford Road, Wood Green. She went on to become project director and has worked tirelessly to empower under-represented groups. The range of innovative projects she has spearheaded has led to a number of awards for the charity and recognition from the Prime Minister and Mayor of London among others.
Iram Siraj, OBE
Also picking up an OBE is Professor of Early Childhood Education at University College London, Institute of Education, Iram Siraj, who is being awarded for services to education. She told The Muslim News she is “happy to receive the award to support the work I will continue to undertake.”
Her research projects have included the major Department of Education 17-year Study on Effective Pre-School, Primary and Secondary Education (1997-2014) and of the influential Researching Effective Pedagogy in the Early Years project. She has led longitudinal studies/RCTs as a principal investigator in a number of countries including the UK, Australia and Ireland.
Siraj has always been particularly interested in undertaking research which investigates disadvantage and to give children and families from these backgrounds a better start. She is a specialist, early year’s advisor to governments and ministers in the UK and overseas. She has published widely and been a specialist adviser to the House of Commons Select Committee on Education.
Recently, she undertook a review of the Implementation of the Foundation Phase for the Welsh Govt and is currently reviewing the early year’s workforce for the Scottish Govt.
Shabana Abasi, MBE
One of five Muslim women to be made an MBE this year is Head of Service Cafcass Greater Manchester Shabana Abasi, who is being awarded for services to children.Abasi, who joined Cafcass in 2003 as a practitioner and became Head of Service in 2009, has been recognised for her social work spanning 25 years.
She has worked with Greater Manchester Police to ensure that officers are better equipped to respond to situations of domestic and honour based violence, raising awareness of child abduction cases where fathers remove their children from the UK on Pakistani passports, her voluntary work with the Pakistani Resource Centre supporting the Pakistani community in Manchester with social issues, and the Community on Solid Ground charity.
She told The Muslim News “this not just as a personal honour but a recognition of the Social Work profession.”
Ulfat Shahin Ashraf, MBE
Ulfat Shahin Ashraf is also to be made an MBE. Ashraf is recognised for her services to Interfaith and Community Cohesion in Birmingham. Ashraf is an advocate for Muslim women’s rights, a passionate campaigner and activist for gender justice, seeking to improve the participation of women within BME communities.
She is the Muslim Women’s Network UK’s Program Manager and is the National Lead and researcher on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), working closely with survivors from FGM affected communities, and practitioners in this field.
As one of the few Muslim women chaplains within an academic setting she currently serves a cross section of Muslim societies at the University of Birmingham allowing for divergent views. She is heavily involved in the inter- and intra-faith work currently on and off campus.
Shahin has spent 8 years in the US developing an international Muslim NGO, as one of its first female founding members she has travelled extensively to Pakistan, Kashmir and Afghanistan observing. Most recently she went to Bosnia, documenting and researching the plight of women and girls faced post conflict and in conflict situations, having designed humanitarian assistance programs for survivors of rape.
She serves on several boards within the city and is also the chair of a local food bank within inner city Birmingham. She recently completed her Gender Governance Training, with the Institute of Development Studies.
In addition, she has spoken at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict and the recent Girl Summit as a faith leader highlighting the role of faith leaders in conflict and the protection of women and girls, and the impact of sexual violence in conflict.
Laila Remtulla, MBE
The world of enterprise is represented by Laila’s Fine Foods, Director and Founder, Laila Remtulla, who is to be made an MBE for services to the Food and Drink Business.
Tanzanian born Remtulla moved to England in 1976 with husband Nazir and started the company over 28 years ago by approaching her local delicatessen and persuading them to purchase her samosas and onion bhajis. “When I started, my intentions were not to be where we are now, producing 70,000 meals a day”, she told The Muslim News. “My children were at school and the business began as something to keep me occupied. I was really happy working part time for the first 10 years and I was there for my girls when they needed me.”
In 1999 her husband Nazir joined the company, they achieved their first national contract in spring 2000 and along with their daughters Zera, Rishma, Natasha have worked hard to steer the company to be the thriving business that it is today employing over 300 people.
Her company manufactures high-quality, hand prepared, ready meals. Laila is passionate about maintaining the hands on method of cooking that makes the company unique and a hit with their major retailer customers. Remtulla constantly strives to ensure the company continues to produce food that has a restaurant prepared taste and quality.
Remtulla paid tribute to her husband, daughters “and the many wonderful colleagues I have worked with throughout the years”
“This country is full of opportunity and I am so grateful to be part of this great nation. It just goes to show that if you put a lot in, you get a lot out,” said Remtulla.
A former council candidate in Sheffield has been recognised for his tireless community work, which includes the establishment of a Pakistani Muslim Centre.
Muhammad Zahur, MBE
Meanwhile, Muhammad Zahur from Dore was recognised with an MBE for his services to the city’s Pakistani community, including the establishment of the Pakistani Muslim Centre in 1989.
Zahur, 69, is a prominent Liberal Democrat in the area and believes volunteer-led community projects are growing increasingly important. Zahur comes from a small village in Pakistan and moved to the UK in 1971.
The self-employed chartered accountant has been a magistrate since 1973, a member of the Rotary Club of Hallam and treasurer of Sheffield Red Cross.
During the miners’ strike and closure of the steelworks in the early 1980s, Zahur decided he needed to help members of the Pakistani community who had been made redundant.
Sheffield Council gave them use of an old Victorian school building on Woodbourn Road, and today the centre remains a focal point for the local Pakistani population.
In a statement to The Muslim News Zahur said: “The miners’ strike and closure of the factories and steelworks made a lot of Pakistani people redundant. I joined forces with one or two other people to give them advice, to stop them from losing heart and to assure them there were other things to do. It helped people and gave them hope and I’m really proud to be honoured for something which I love working for.
“Volunteer led community projects are growing increasingly important and we need fairer ways to control the deficit than the frantic cuts proposed by the Tories.
“We also need local pressure to fight against Labour politicians who have lost support in this area because their decisions are based on the wrong priorities. “Millions of pounds have been wasted on expensive office refurbishments and councillors’ pet projects.
“I’m campaigning instead to see funds used to support our communities.” Zahur said: “To be honoured for something which I love working for has really staggered me.”
Full list of Muslims honoured in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List:
Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE): Nazim Khan aka James Caan. Founder and Chairman of Start Up Loan Company. For services to Entrepreneurship and charitable services through the James Caan Foundation. (London). Adeeba Malik, MBE. Deputy Chief Executive, QED-UK. For services to Interfaith and Community Cohesion. (Bradford, West Yorkshire)
Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE): Gulfaraz Ahmed. Headteacher, Parkinson Lane Primary School, Halifax. For services to Education. (Huddersfield, West Yorkshire). Sajda Mughal. For services to Community Cohesion and Interfaith Dialogue. (London). Professor Iram Siraj Professor of Early Childhood Education Institute of Education, University of London. For services to Education. (Stapleford, Cambridgeshire).
Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE): Shabana Iltaf Abasi. Head of Service Cafcass Greater Manchester. For services to Children in Greater Manchester. (Cheadle, Greater Manchester). Mizan Rahman Syed. For services to Government Digital Communication. (London). Waqar Afzal Ahmed. Prevent manager Birmingham City Council. For services to challenging extremism and empowering communities. (Dudley, West Midlands). Shahnaz Akhtar. Foster Carer, Slough. For services to Children and Families. (Slough, Berkshire). Ulfat Shahin Ashraf. Muslim Chaplain, Birmingham. For services to Interfaith and Community Cohesion. (Birmingham, West Midlands). Hasan Bakhshi. Director, Creative Economy in Policy and Research, Nesta. For services to the Creative Industries. (London). Ahmed Bashir. Head Operations and Finance Business Partner, Marketing, UK Trade and Investment. For services to Equality in the Public Sector. (Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire). Abdul Razaq Khan. Foster Carer, Slough. For services to Children and Families. (Slough, Berkshire). Mohammad Aslam Rashud. Headteacher, John Summers High School, Flintshire. For services to Education in Wales. (Warrington, Cheshire) . Laila Remtulla. Managing Director, Laila’s Fine Foods Ltd. For services to the Food and Drink Business. (Blackpool, Lancashire). Zubeda Seedat. Policy Officer Public Health, Department for Health. For services to Public Health. (London). Imam Mohammed Kabir Uddin. Imam HM Prison Wormwood Scrubs. For services to HM Prison Service. (London). Muhammad Zahur. For services to the Pakistani community in Sheffield. (Sheffield, South Yorkshire).
British Empire Medal (BEM): Mohammed Amal El-Hajji. Front of House Security manager Ministry of Justice Headquarters. For services to the Ministry of Justice. Effat Rahimi-Kaloujeh. SIMS Operational Manager (Inclusion) Westminster Academy, London. For services to Education. (London). Dr Shazad Saleem. Dentist Manchester. For services to Dentistry. (Cheadle, Greater Manchester)
Diplomatic & Overseas List: OBE: Dr Babu Mizanur Rahman. United National Assistance Mission in Somalia Mogadishu, Somalia. For services to peace building and conflict prevention in Somalia.. MBE: Elkhidir Daloum Mahmoud Ahmed. Former Regional Director for Latin American Caribbean and Middle East, Save the Children. For services to the protection of children in Africa.. Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG): Kutayba Yusuf Alghanim, MG For services to the development of St Christopher and Nevis.