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Women major winners at The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event

8th Jul 2022
Women major winners at The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event

The guest of honour  Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Speaker of the House of Commons (Photo: Abdul Datoo/Muslim News)

Women were major winners at The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2022. Senior Global Communications Officer (Africa & Yemen) at the International Rescue Committee. Madiha Raza; Novelist Nadifa Mohamed; Founder of Kids for Kids, Patricia Parker MB and Oxford Vaccine Group researcher, Dr Sagida Bibi.

Home Correspondent

Women were the major winners at this year’s The Muslim News Awards for Excellence, held on June 27. The ceremony, the first since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, was dominated by female winners, who picked up 10 of the 16 awards up for grabs at the Eighteenth Awards Gala Dinner. Over five hundred people of diverse backgrounds attended the event in central London.

The event, which welcomed guests back to celebrate the best British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society for the first time since 2019, saw a bestselling novelist, health campaigners and even an integral member of the Oxford Vaccine Group make up a diverse winners list.

Both the winners and those shortlisted for the numerous awards reflected the ethnic and gender diversity of the Muslim community and those who contribute to it. But Guest of Honour, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Speaker of the House of Commons, told attendees that more diversity was still needed when it comes to Parliament, despite the strides made in public life in recent years.

He said: “These awards and what they stand for are so important.
“Not only is The Muslim News the country’s oldest surviving newspaper, but the awards showcase the very best of the UK Muslim community and demonstrate how British Muslims have net contributed to a multicultural and multi-faith society.
“In the House of Commons, we have 19 Muslim MPs out of an elected 650 – yet we still need more diversity in public life. Democracy is damaged if it does not represent the electorate.

“There should be no barriers to serving in the House of Commons. I would like to see more people from underrepresented communities serve in senior positions.”

The prestige of the winners came to light throughout the ceremony.

From Nesrine Malik, a journalist who has been challenging misreporting about the Muslim community for years, to Patricia Parker, who has transformed the lives of over 500,000 people in Sudan, the event served to highlight the contribution that British Muslims and those involved with the community make to not only the country but the world. Other winners included Nadifa Mohamed, a Somali-British novelist, Dr Kawther Hashem, a vociferous campaigner for a healthier Britain, and Dr Sagida Bibi, who helped develop the vaccine that enabled the world to emerge from the pandemic.

The late Rubabbai Master won the Editor’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper, told the event that it was fantastic to see so many women represented in the awards.

The Muslim News Editor, Ahmed J Versi, said: “It is wonderful to be back after a two-year pandemic-induced break. “A pandemic which triggered unprecedented disruption, change, and lingering uncertainty about when and how it would end and when we would be able to meet in-person.

“Amidst the sorrow was also an unprecedented national outpouring of compassion, charity, unity, and a collective determination to help one another get through the pandemic. This spirit of selflessness was exemplified by ethnic minorities and Muslim communities across the UK, who, despite tragically being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, responded awe-inspiringly in aiding others.

“Mortality rates for people of Bangladeshi and Pakistani heritage were at one point five times higher than the national average; however, this did not stop their prominence in frontline efforts. Our return coincides with Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, and what better way to celebrate than to recognise the Muslim communities’ pandemic-related contributions with a one-time award and so, the Exceptional COVID Response Award was created.

“The award was designed to showcase precisely how resourceful, resilient, and inspiring the community can be when challenged, as evidenced by both the sheer number of grassroots initiatives conceived and the high proportion of Muslims working and volunteering on the frontline during the pandemic.”
Major political parties also paid tribute to the importance of the awards.

Labour Leader, Sir Keir Starmer, said, “The Muslim News has been a trailblazer in the British Muslim community and these awards are a fantastic way to celebrate the community’s achievements.”

His Liberal Democrat counterpart Sir Ed Davey said it was a great opportunity for British Muslims “to be recognised for their incredible contributions to our country”, while the SNP’s Westminster Leader Ian Blackford said Muslims in Scotland play “an integral role in our community making a positive contribution to our nation and making Scotland a better place to live”.
Chair of the independent panel of judges, Rakhia Mohammed Ismail, said the qualities of the nominations “are an indicator of the thriving progress and contributions British Muslim communities have made, and I can assure you that in so many fields of public life, they are having an enormously positive influence.

“We appreciated the creativity and imagination that so many of our nominees were extending their skills, knowledge, and energy for the benefit of their communities, whether locally, nationally, globally, or professionally.”

The evening featured a musical tales performance by Sef Townsend, Kalial Lyraki, and Khaled Hakim of the Woven Air Ensemble. All winners received a beautifully and intricately designed brass astrolabe, an iconic Muslim-designed instrument of navigation. 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 (Ka’bah in Makkah), calculate the lunar calendar and assess meteorological conditions.

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The Muslim News Awards for Excellence: 2022 winners

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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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