Women dominate all fields of achievement at The Muslim News Awards for Excellence

28th Apr 2017
Women dominate all fields of achievement at The Muslim News Awards for Excellence

Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Photo: James Gifford-Mead/Muslim News)

Abdul Adil

The majority of the winners at the Fifteenth Muslim News Awards for Excellence event were women. Congratulating all the winners and those who were shortlisted for the awards, the Editor of The Muslim News, Ahmed J Versi, said that this was the first time that women won more than half the awards presented at the ceremony. “This shows that, unlike what the politicians and the media report, Muslim women are high achievers and hugely contribute to the country,” Versi said.

60% of the winners were women and 53% were from outside London.

Chair of the Independent Panel of The Muslim News Awards for Excellence Judges, Rabbi Janet Darley, commented on a large number of women winning the awards, saying: “This shows how active and involved in society Muslim women are contrary to some misperceived perceptions.”

Over 570 people from all sections of society, from the worlds of politics, business, sport, the arts, as well as civic and religious leaders came together to celebrate the achievements of the unsung heroes of British Muslim and non-Muslim communities.

“Look around this room tonight. Educators, scientists, entrepreneurs; leading figures in sport, media and the arts; Muslims saving lives as doctors and changing lives through politics. I’m talking about incredible people who show to the non-Muslim world what Muslims are capable of. The good that our community can do – and does – day in, day out,” said Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

In his keynote speech, Javid said many of the guests at the event are the children or grandchildren of immigrants who “work hard, build something positive and give their children and grandchildren a better life.”

However, he added, they didn’t give up their identities. “They were proud of their heritage, proud to be Muslims. And they recognised that the values they held dear – hard work, honesty, integrity, and a determination to do good. They recognised that those weren’t just Muslim values, they were British values too.”

The Guest of Honour said that the first generation Muslims were the “pioneers of our community, and we owe them all a debt of gratitude.”

“Because tonight, when the night seems darkest, the beliefs, ideals and values that we learned from our faith and from previous generations can serve as our astrolabe. They can guide us. They can show us the way. If we abide by them, they will help lead our community through stormy seas, just as they did for our parents and our grandparents. The people in this room exemplify those values.”

He thanked all the winners and nominees “for all the good that you do.” He said he was “proud to be British and proud to be Muslim”

In his welcome speech, Versi said, “Tonight we mark a special milestone as we celebrate the fifteenth ‘The Muslim News Awards for Excellence’, a major feature in the British Muslim calendar.”

The Editor said the awards ceremony showcases the “brilliance of the British Muslim community – huge contributions made by diverse men, women and young people from around the country, who have done much to improve the lives of others, and of non-Muslims who have worked hard to improve the lives of Muslims.”

Since the year 2000, almost 700 individuals and organisations have had the honour of being shortlisted and 232 awarded a Muslim News Award.

To date, 94 independent judges from a cross-section of civil society have sifted through large numbers of submissions to seek out excellence within the community.

Versi said that we now live “at the cusp of a potentially dangerous new era which is seeing populist leaders rally supporters by scapegoating anyone who is different,” and it is at a time like this that “I hope we can rally around the spirit generated by these awards: a spirit that celebrates achievements and what unites us and brings communities together to pave the way for a shared future.”

SNP Westminster Spokesperson on International Trade, Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, praising the awards which demonstrate the contribution Muslims make to the society, said, “We should all be very proud of ourselves in these difficult times.”

Awards 1 Abdul Datoo

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence gala dinner March 27 (Photo: Abdul Datoo/Muslim News)

The award she presented was for Enterprise and is named after the Prophet’s wife, Khadijah, whose life and achievements were published in the awards brochure. “If there was any question please read what it says in the brochure, of women’s place in Islam. We are equal of every man. Khadijah was an entrepreneur and indeed, was the one who proposed to the Prophet in marriage. So don’t allow anyone question the status of women in Islam. We are indeed equal,” the MP said.

Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee, Dominic Grieve MP, reflected on how much the event has grown over the years. “Look how the people who have been coming along have been widened, the group of people taking an interest has grown – all that process when we bring human communities together to work for the common good.”

Party leaders sent messages of congratulations to the nominees and winners.

Awards 3 James Gifford-Mead

Ahmed J Versi, Editor, The Muslim News and Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Photo: James Gifford-Mead/Muslim News)

Prime Minister, Rt Hon Theresa May MP, who has attended the event in the past, sent a video message: “The Muslim News Awards are a wonderful contributions Muslims make in every sphere of life, from business leaders creating jobs in the country to sports stars winning for Britain and our whole country proud…with Muslims and non-Muslims coming together in solidarity.

“Tonight we celebrate not just the best of Muslim community but the very best of Britain. So as Prime Minister, on behalf of the whole country, I want to thank everyone of you for all that you do and all that you give to our country and I wish you all a great evening.”

Opposition Leader, Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP, said: “This awards ceremony is an important opportunity to recognise the huge contribution that Muslims across Britain make to our country every day, showcasing the talent and excellence of individuals in their fields of expertise.

“I would like to congratulate all of tonight’s nominees and winners and wish them all of very best.”

SNP Westminster Leader, Rt Hon Angus Robertson MP, said: “These are the shining lights of the UK’s Muslim communities; role models to inspire younger generations. This event allows a fantastic opportunity to showcase these talents and it is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the team at The Muslim News that the event continues to go from strength to strength.”

All winners received a beautifully and intricately designed brass astrolabe, the iconic image of the fourteenth-year-old awards ceremony. The astrolabe was a highly developed tool used throughout the Muslim world to measure the altitude of stars and planets. By the eighth century, they were used to aid navigation, locate the qiblah (the direction towards the Ka’bah in Makkah Muslims face when praying), calculate the lunar calendar and to assess meteorological conditions.

Winners: The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2017

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2018 NOMINATION FORM

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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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