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13 year old and TV chef among 28 Muslim named in the New Year’s Honours

31st Jan 2020
13 year old and TV chef among 28 Muslim named in the New Year’s Honours

Elham Asaad Buaras

Twenty-eight members of the Muslim community have been named in the New Year’s Honours, among them a TV chef, a thirteen-year-old fundraiser, several academics as well as a community cricket activist.

Overall, 9 per cent of those honoured come from a black, Asian and minority ethnic background, including 29 (2 CBEs, 6 OBEs, 12 MBEs and 9 BEMs) members of the Hindu and Sikh communities. Over half of the recipients in the New Year’s Honours List are women, including 44 per cent of awards at the highest levels.

Ibrahim ‘Ibby’ Yousaf, 13, is the youngest person in the country named in the list. Ibby was amongst those recognised with a BEM, for his fundraising for eleven charities in Oldham. They include Oldham Food Aid, Dr Kershaw’s Hospice and Maggie’s Cancer Support. Ibby rallies fundraising efforts, finding sponsors and organising fundraising events, and also donates all the money he gets given for his birthday, pocket money or Eid.

His efforts are all the more remarkable because Ibby suffers a serious health condition and requires frequent visits to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. “I am in absolute shock and overwhelmed that I have been given this honour,” said Ibby.

Ali Akbor, Chief Executive of Unity Homes and Enterprise, spoke of his pride at being awarded an OBE. Akbor, who joined unity in 1999, was honoured for services to the community in Leeds. In a statement to The Muslim News, he said he was “deeply humbled” by the award, adding, “I regard it as recognition for the work that unity staff and board members – past and present – have done over more than three decades.”

Safet Vukalić is honoured with the OBE in recognition for his work on genocide education. Vukalić is a Bosnian a survivor of a massacre in Prijedor and has been working closely with Remembering Srebrenica and the Holocaust Memorial Trust for many years. Last year, Vukalić spoke about the importance of sharing his story and said, “I want my daughters to be proud of what their father did, no matter how small, to help educate people about the consequences of hatred, ignorance, and inaction. No one should go through what happened to me.”

Professor Sophie Gilliat-Ray will receive an OBE for her services to education and the Muslim community in the UK. She has worked to promote the study of Islam for over 25 years. This has included research on the work of Muslim chaplains, the history of Muslim communities in Cardiff, and the religious education of Muslim children. She is currently the Chair of the BSA Sociology of Religion Study Group and former chair of the Muslims in Britain Research Network.

“I feel very honoured to have received this recognition. I would like to thank those who nominated me, and the many colleagues and friends who have supported my work over the years. I am especially indebted to those British Muslim communities which have been so generous in their encouragement and support and have been a continual source of inspiration,” she told The Muslim News.

Another Muslim academic to be recognised is Dr Adeela Ahmed Shafi, Reader in Education at the University of Gloucestershire who is to be made an MBE for her services to social justice in Bristol. Shafi has driven important initiatives as a social activist in Bristol for the last thirteen years, specifically within the Pakistani community.

She was elected as General Secretary for the Pakistan Association Bristol in 2007 and then Governor for the oversight of PAB. She is the current chair of the Avon and Somerset Police Constabulary’s Police Scrutiny Panel, engaging with the Police Crime Commissioner, Councillors and Representative groups, and working to ensure that the Police are held to account. She has an impressive publishing profile. She is engaged in research on academic resilience and is currently leading on a book entitled ‘Reconceptualising Resilience in Education.’

Top row: Ibrahim Yousaf BEM and Ali Akbor OBE. Centre row: Shabir Beg OBE, Subnum Hariff-Khan BEM and Parveen Hassan MBE. Bottom Row: Nadiya Hussain MBE, Afzal Pradhan BEM & Prof Sophie Gilliat-Ray OBE

She told The Muslim News, “It is a tremendous honour to be recognised and very humbling. All the work I have done has been working with so many fantastic people, many of whom may not feel they have a voice or who feel marginalised. I am grateful that they give me the chance to work with them and so this MBE is for them too.”

TV chef Nadiya Hussain, 35, has said she wishes her grandparents were alive to see her awarded an MBE. Born in Luton to a Bangladeshi family Hussain, won the Great British Bake Off in 2015, has been honoured for her services to broadcasting and the culinary arts. “Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine this would ever happen to me,” said Hussain.

Chair of Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society, Shabir Beg, is to be made an OBE for his services to Interfaith Relations in Glasgow. A retired market trader, Beg is deeply involved in engagement with civil society organisations and the third sector; academic institutions; diplomatic and governmental bodies; and faith leaders. Among his primary focuses are interfaith and intrafaith dialogue across religions and faith denominations to promote understanding.

Parveen Hassan, Inclusion and Community Engagement Manager, Crown Prosecution Service, is to be made an MBE for services to community engagement, inclusion, and equality. Hassan led the first West Midlands Local Criminal Justice Board Conference on forced marriage and went on to chair the Asian Women Domestic Violence Forum. She has led substantial community engagement projects to raise awareness about domestic abuse, forced marriage and so-called honour-based abuse and being part of a
Community Scrutiny Panel, which produced a protocol on domestic violence.

She told The Muslim News, “Muslims play a crucial role and make positive contributions to the economy and society. As a British Muslim and of Bangladeshi origin, it gives me great pride to be recognised on the New Year’s Honours.”

Another recipient of an MBE is the Senior Advisor to the Mayor of London, Nadeem Javaid, who is to be awarded for his services to community cohesion and young people. Javaid, a public affairs professional and grassroots campaigner, told The Muslim News, “This is such an amazing honour, and a wonderful surprise. The honour may have my name on it but, it’s one I share with all the communities that I have worked with and who have taught me so much, as well as with all the amazing people I get to work alongside.”

Afzal Pradhan has been awarded the BEM, in recognition of his work as a volunteer cricketer and services to cricket during the men’s cricket world cup last year, where he took part in multiple areas as a volunteer interviewer, a volunteer facilitator and a team leader.

Since the Cricket World Cup, he has been working with UEFA as a volunteer interviewer in preparation of the Euro2020 this year. He is currently preparing for his own homeless project ‘Hand on Heart’ and providing 450 Winter Warmer Packs to rough sleepers in London. He told The Muslim News, “If I can inspire just one person, regardless of age, to give up their time and volunteers in the community, then this accolade has been worthwhile.”

Greater Manchester Libraries’ Culture Lead, Subnum Hariff-Khan, from Bolton, has also picked up a BEM for her services to public libraries. Hariff-Khan has played a huge role in involving the community in the work of the region’s libraries, including campaigns to involve young people in their design and attract more volunteers. She has also devised and delivered training to Mosque teachers on the importance of creativity and leadership and was a driving force behind the UK’s first volunteer-led Islamic lending library in Bolton. “I am very blessed and humbled by the honour.

This award truly belongs to all those that have and continue to support me in my career and to all the amazing staff and communities that I work with,” she told The Muslim News.

British Muslims in the 2020 New Year’s Honours list


Nusseibeh Saker, CEO and Head of Investment at Hermes Fund Managers, for services to responsible business and to the financial sector.


Abdel Ghayoum Babiker, Professor Of Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, University College London, for services to medical research.

Ali Akbor, CEO Unity Housing Association, for services to the community in Leeds

Dr Zahid Mehmood Chauhan, for services to homeless people.

Prof Sophie Gilliat-Ray, for services to education and to the Muslim community in the UK.

Sabah Gilani, CEO, Better Community Business Network, for services to young people and to the Muslim community.

Safet Vukalić, for services to genocide education.

Shabir Beg, Chair, Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society, for services to interfaith relations in Glasgow.

Taalay Ahmad Qudsi Rasheed, Head of Sanctions Unit and Deputy Director Multilateral Policy, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, for services to British foreign policy.


Arif Hussain, for services to the Muslim community in the UK and abroad.

Aziza Chaudry, Quality Manager, Adult Education Wolverhampton, for services to education.

Dr Adeela Ahmed Shafi, Reader in Education, University Of Gloucestershire, for services to social justice in Bristol.

Maksud Ahmed Gangat, Director of Education, Al Risalah Education Trust, for services to the Muslim community and interfaith in South London.

Mete Coban, Founder and Chief Executive, My Life My Say, for services to young people

Mohamed Ashraf Ali, Head of Projects, British Muslim Heritage Centre, for services to community relations.

Mohammad Saqib Bhatti, Lately President, Greater Birmingham Chamber Of Commerce, for services to diversity and inclusion in business communities.

Mohammed Tariq Rafique, For services to the community in Greater Manchester.

Mumtaz Ali, Work Coach, Sparkhill Jobcentre Plus, Department for Work and Pensions, for services to disadvantaged customers in Birmingham.

Nadeem Hassan Javaid, For services to community cohesion and young people.

Nadiya Hussain, For services to broadcasting and the culinary arts.

Parveen Hassan, Inclusion and Community Engagement Manager, Crown Prosecution Service, for services to community engagement, inclusion and equality.

Yusuf Patel, Community Engagement Coordinator, Redbridge Borough Council, for services to the community in Greater Manchester.


Afzal Pradhan, Volunteer Cricketeer, ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, for services to cricket

Ali Abdi, for voluntary service to the BAME community in Cardiff.

Ibrahim Yousaf, for charity fundraising in Greater Manchester.

Nadia Rehman Khan, Co-Founder, The Delicate Mind, for services to mental health and integration in London and Birmingham.

Subnum Hariff-Khan, Chair of Libraries Connected NW Regional Group, for services to Public Libraries.

Yashmin Harun, for services to female BAME representation in sport


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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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