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Renowned scientist who led COVID research among 47 Muslims named in Jubilee Honours

29th Jul 2022
Renowned scientist who led COVID research among 47 Muslims named in Jubilee Honours

Sir Aziz Sheikh’s research proved the efficacy of the Oxford-AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines. Moeen Ali is to be honoured for his services to the game of cricket with an OBE. (Credit/CC)

Elham Asaad Buaras

A renowned medical expert whose research was vital in the fight against COVID-19 is among an estimated 47 inspirational Muslims honoured by the Queen in her Jubilee Birthday Honours.

This year, members of the Muslim community were awarded a knighthood, 18 OBEs, 15 MBEs, and 13 BEMs. Thirteen per cent of recipients came from ethnic minority backgrounds, dropping by two per cent. And of the 1,134 people honoured, 6.8 per cent of them are of Asian ethnic heritage, including 37 (three CBEs, six OBEs, twenty-three MBEs and five BEMs) from the Hindu and Sikh communities.

The highest honour bestowed on a Muslim this year was on Professor Aziz Sheikh, whose research proving the efficacy of the Oxford-AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines earned him a knighthood.

Professor Sheikh directs multiple bodies, including the Usher Institute, the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research, the Scottish Allergy and Respiratory Academy, and the NIHR Global Respiratory Health Unit. He is also a co-director of the NHS Digital Academy.

Through the EAVE II study, Professor Sheikh and his team were the first to reveal that the Omicron variant was less severe and resulted in fewer hospitalisations than the Delta variant.

Professor Sheikh is now researching other key vaccine issues, directly informing the COVID-19 response. In an interview with The Muslim News, Professor Sheikh, who holds an OBE for services to medicine, said, “Alhamdulillah, I am delighted that we have been able to contribute evidence that has helped guide national and international decision-making concerning various aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Adding, “The way this global community of scholars pulled together to seek urgent answers to the unprecedented challenge posed by COVID-19 was both humbling and inspiring. I feel honoured to have had the opportunity to work with these colleagues in the fight against COVID-19, generating answers that have helped policymakers take decisions that have enabled a degree of normality to return to all of our lives.

“The last couple of years have been challenging for my family, as the intensity of the COVID-19 work has been all-consuming.

My family have, however, been nothing but supportive throughout my research journey, and to them also my heartfelt thanks.”
Moeen Ali is to be honoured for his services to the game of cricket with an OBE. Ali made his England debut in all three formats in 2014 and played for the Test side until 2021.

He was also part of the England team that won the nation’s first ODI Cricket World Cup in 2019. In September 2020, the all-rounder captained England for the first time in a T20I match against Australia in Southampton.

He became the first Asian-origin cricketer to captain England in T20s, and the first Asian-origin cricketer to captain England in any format since Nasser Hussain in 2003. The destructive batsman was part of the Chennai Super Kings squad that won the 2021 Indian Premier League, becoming the first Englishman to do so.

Ali has also done some philanthropic work and became an ambassador of the StreetChance programme, which provides free cricket coaching sessions in deprived areas. In January 2015, he joined Orphans in Need, an international NGO, as a Global Brand Ambassador.

Speaking about his charity work, Ali said: “It’s so important that schemes like StreetChance give young people the opportunity to play cricket and to learn key life skills, wherever they’re from and whatever their background.”
Other sports stars to be honoured include former footballer Anwar Uddin, who is to be made an MBE for his services to association football.

Uddin, 40, was the first person of Bangladeshi heritage to play professional football in England and, while at Dagenham & Redbridge, became the first British Asian to captain a football club. During a 17-year career, Uddin, who holds a UEFA coaching A-Licence, made over 400 senior appearances and represented 10 clubs from the Premier League to the National League South.

He began his career at West Ham United, progressing through their youth and reserve teams, where he was captain and was part of the victorious 1999 FA Youth Cup-winning squad. In 2011, he was appointed as caretaker assistant-manager to Giuliano Grazioli at Barnet, making him the first-ever British-Asian to assume a coaching position in English football. In June 2013, he retired from football, leaving his then-club Eastbourne Borough to pursue a coaching career.

Uddin is also involved in a joint Kick It Out and Football Supporters’ Association project, which was launched under his guidance in 2014 and aims to increase diversity among match-going supporters. He has helped create over 150 diverse supporters’ groups across the country.

His work has contributed to his appointment in 2021 to the FA’s National Council. His appointment makes him the first British South Asian ex-player in the council’s history.

Najma Khalid, Founder and Director of Women’s Care, Help and Inspire (CHAI) Project, told The Muslim News she feels “honoured” to receive an MBE for her services to the community in Oldham.

Khalid has dedicated over 20 years to collaborating with disadvantaged communities, including delivering art projects that have inspired academic thinking. Notable projects include the British Council Active Citizens Programme, which saw 36 women undertake social action projects; the healthy cookbook, Chapatti and Chat, designed to combat obesity and loneliness.
Since 2011, she has been the founder of the renowned Women’s CHA Project, a well-being project that has empowered thousands of women.

Since 2019, she has worked with Oldham Opportunity Area to deliver a Parent Power project. A project designed to focus on progression into post-secondary education to improve outcomes for all students and encourage parents to become community champions.

In February 2020, the parents won their first campaign, which was a fully funded, bespoke open day at Edge Hill University following a parent-authored letter to local universities. Through the networking of the lead organisers and due to the project’s profile, Trinity College, Cambridge, partnered with the Oldham Parent Power project.

Nazrul Islam BEM is recognised for his services to the community in the Tower Hamlets during COVID-19, where he saw the need for a council estate-based hub for residents. He consulted with residents, community organisations, local housing providers, and politicians to help create the Dorset Community Association (DCA). And for the past 11 years, he has been a hands-on trustee, working as a manager, and linking the ground-level work with the board of trustees.

Led by Bangladeshi residents, DCA provides a range of services for all; older residents’ lunch clubs, homework support for children, local estate consultation events; and fun events bringing the community together.

When the pandemic took hold, he committed himself to doing all he could to help the most vulnerable residents. He set up a community larder in partnership with Tower Hamlets, donating over 1,500 bags of groceries to poverty-stricken residents and liaising with local catering companies to provide over 1,200 fresh, healthy meals delivered to older shielded residents and people with disabilities twice-weekly.

He chose local caterers suffering from loss of income, supporting their welfare during the economic crisis. These deliveries evolved into doorstep community chats and check-ins that residents relied on as their primary source of support and advice.

He signed up many local volunteers and opened the centre as a base for community use, making check-in phone calls, distributing PPE and hundreds of Covid-19 leaflets and supporting members of the community by receiving vaccines and helping obtain prescriptions.

He has spent a huge amount of time fundraising and has raised funds to buy 20 tablets for families needing access to IT.
Independent Educational Consultant Rukhsana Yaqoob is to be made an MBE for her services to education. Yaqoob, of Leytonstone, is an experienced educator who has worked successfully for over 30 years in a range of secondary schools and nationally. She has raised the attainment of underachieving pupils.

Through her work as the national president of the Muslim Teacher’ Association, Yaqoob has had the opportunity to collaborate with multiple partners to achieve and sustain positive change. This includes providing training, advice, mentoring, and networking opportunities to teachers.

As a mentor for Investing in Diversity at the Institute of Education and the Black Professionals Network, she helps educators reach their full potential. Yaqoob, who received The Muslim News Sankore University Award for Education in 2017, is a member of the National Strategies, which aim to improve learning quality in schools across England.

She served as a governor for 27 years and was the managing director of Kiran, a refuge for abused women.



Knight Bachelor

Professor Aziz SHEIKH OBE FRSE Chair, Primary Care Research & Development, University of Edinburgh, for services to Covid-19, Research & Policy Lasswade City of Edinburgh.


Abdul HAI, Lately Cabinet Member for Young People, Equalities & Cohesion, London Borough of Camden, for services to Young People & to the community in Camden & London, Greater London.

Afia CHOUDHURY, Foster Carer, London Borough of Tower Hamlets, for services to Children, London, Greater London.

Dr Asim YUSUF, Consultant Psychiatrist & Islamic Scholar, for services to the Muslim Community Wolverhampton West Midlands

Dr Azeem IBRAHIM, Director, New Lines Institute for Strategy & Policy, for services to the Union, to Diversity & to Foreign Policy , City of Glasgow

Haroon KARIM, Chair, Balham & Tooting Mosque & Trustee, World Memon Organisation, for services to Philanthropy & to the community in South London & Pakistan London, Greater London.

Hifsa HAROON-IQBAL, MBE DL Regional Prevent Co-ordinator, Department for Education, for services to Social Cohesion, Staffordshire.

Kamruddin KOTHIA, Chair of Trustees, Star Academies, for services to Education, Blackburn, Lancashire.

Moeen ALI, for services to Cricket Birmingham, West Midlands.

Mohammed Abdul MUNIM, for services to the British Bangladeshi Catering Industry Dartford Kent

Dr Noha ELSAKKA Consultant, Medical Microbiology & Virology & Service Clinical Director, NHS Grampian, for services to the NHS & the Covid-19 Response Aberdeen City of Aberdeen

Osman AHMED, Senior Officer, National Crime Agency, for services to Law Enforcement London, Greater London.

Professor Parveen YAQOOB, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Reading, for services to Higher Education Reading Berkshire

Dr Raghib ALI Consultant in Acute Medicine, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust & Senior Clinical Research Associate, Epidemiology, University of Cambridge, for services to the NHS & to the Covid-19 Response, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.

Dr Sabir ZAZAI, FRSE Chief Executive, Scottish Refugee Council, for services to Refugees, Rutherglen, Lanarkshire.

Professor Samia NEFTI-MEZIANI Professor of Artificial Intelligence & Robotics, & Head, Centre for Autonomous Systems & Advanced Robotics, for services to Robotics Altrincham Greater Manchester

Shahina AHMAD, Principal, Eden Girls’ School, London Borough of Waltham Forest, for services to Education, London, Greater London.

Tariq Navid SHAH, Philanthropist, for services to Charity Doncaster South Yorkshire

Yasmine Joun MOEZINIA, Deputy Director, COP26 Private Finance Hub, HM Treasury, for services to Climate Finance London, Greater London.


Anwar UDDIN, Fans, for Diversity Campaign Manager, The Football Supporters’ Association, for services to Association Football, London, Greater London.

Badrun Nesa PASHA, Co-founder, Bangladeshi Women’s Association, for services to the Bangladeshi community in the West Midlands Birmingham West Midlands

Ghazain CHOUDHRY, for services to Wheelchair Basketball London, Greater London.

Humera HAQQANI, Managing Director, Let’s Talk, for services to Business & to the community in Rochdale , Greater Manchester

Mohammad ASAD, Imam & Muslim Chaplain, for services to Charitable Fundraising & to the NHS during Covid-19 Walsall West Midlands

Mohammed Sadiq BADAT, for voluntary & charitable services in the community of Leicester & Abroad Leicester Leicestershire

Najma KHALID, Founder, Women’s CHAI Project & Lead Organiser, Parent Power Oldham, for services to the community in Oldham, Greater Manchester

Raja Suleman RAZA, Founder & CEO, Spice Village, for services to Business & Philanthropy, particularly during Covid-19 London, Greater London.

Razia Tariq HADAIT, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Himaya Haven CIC, for services to the community in , Birmingham, West Midlands

Dr Rizwan Yahya AHMED, Consultant Respiratory Physician, Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, for services to Public Health during Covid-19 Bolton Greater Manchester

Rozina AHMED, Principal Policy Officer, Mayor of London’s Office, for services to Equality, Diversity & Inclusion in Education, Culture & Sport, London, Greater London.

Rukhsana YAQOOB, Education Consultant, for services to Education London, Greater London.

Safia JAMA, CEO, Women’s Inclusive Team, for services to the Voluntary & Charitable Sector, London, Greater London.

Tariq ALI, for services to the community in Wolverhampton during Covid-19 Wolverhampton, West Midlands.

Zamir KHAN, Community Volunteer, for services to the Blackburn Muslim Burial Society & to the community in Blackburn, particularly during Covid-19, Blackburn, Lancashire.


Abdul WAKIL, Director, Islamic Integration Community Centre, for services to the Muslim Community in the London Borough of Hounslow London, Greater London.

Abrar KHAN, for services to the community in Ilford, London Borough of Redbridge, particularly during Covid-19, London, Greater London.

Amjid HUSSAIN, Director, Bradford Moor Play & Support Service. For voluntary services to the community in Bradford, West Yorkshire.

Ashfaq SIDDIQUE, for services to the community in the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham during Covid-19, London, Greater London.

Fazle Abbas KINKHABWALA ,For services to the Indian & Pakistani communities in Birmingham & to the Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham, West Midlands,

Ibrar ALI, Volunteer Development Manager, Bradford Moor Play & Support Service. For voluntary services to the community in Bradford, West Yorkshire.

Joanne MOHAMMED, Registered Nurse, Royal Bolton Hospital, for services to Nursing & to Disability Awareness, Blackburn, Lancashire.

Md Nazrul ISLAM, for services to the community in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets during Covid-19 London, Greater London.

Md Oliur RAHMAN, for services to the community in the London Borough of Islington during Covid-19 London, Greater London.

Mohammed Tahir ALI, for services to the community in Preston, Lancashire during Covid-19 Preston, Lancashire,

Nafesa SALAH-UD-DIN, Civil Service Local Delivery & Engagement Lead, Cabinet Office, for Public Service & services to Diversity & Inclusion, London, Greater London

Rukeya Khanom MIAH, Deputy Associate Director of Nursing & Senior Midwife, Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, for services to Maternity & Healthcare Education, particularly during Covid-19, Keighley, West Yorkshire.

Yaser Hachem MARTINI, Co-founder & Trustee, Team Margot Foundation, for services to Stem Cell Donation, London, Greater London.




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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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