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March 03, 2004

The Muslim News to hold fourth awards ceremony

Designed to celebrate the achievements of both Muslims and non-Muslims in the British society, The Muslim News Awards for Excellence will be held in central London on 31 March.

The fourth award ceremony is now an important highlight in the British-Muslim calendar.

Ahmed Versi, Editor of The Muslim News says:

“The Awards for Excellence have demonstrated once more that both Muslims and non-Muslims can achieve the highest standards when working together. Our communities do not always agree with one another.”

Nominations for the Awards have hit an all time record this year, with readers of the newspaper sending in the names of the people they feel most deserve the awards in question, this is despite a challenging year for Britain’s Muslim community.

According to Versi:

“This shows that Britain’s Muslims – like our brothers and sisters everywhere – have an ability to rise above the noise and the nonsense and can excel even in the most trying of circumstances.”

The ceremony will bring together politicians, religious leaders, journalists, community activists along with representatives from the world of sport, academia, amongst others.

Amongst the nominees are: Tom Hurndall, the aspiring photojournalist and peace activist who was killed by an Israeli soldier in Gaza last year. Aamir Ghaffar, currently England’s number one badminton player, who fasts during the month of Ramadan, even when he is playing badminton.

And London-based Aaqil Ahmed who recently became Channel Four’s head of Religious Programming has been nominated for the award for excellence in Media. Previously at the BBC, Aaqil was executive producer on many broadcasts which include the 2001 Islam UK season.

The monthly newspaper launched its first awards ceremony in 2000, to mark the 10th anniversary of publication as Britain’s leading Muslim newspaper, when the guest of honour was International Development Secretary Clare Short.

The following year’s Awards for Excellence was attended by the Prime Minister Tony Blair. In Dec 2002 His Royal Highness Prince Charles graced the ceremony.

The awards fall into 15 categories of Muslim achievements, ranging from science and engineering to community development and the arts.

Nominations from Britain's 1.8 million Muslim community are made by members of the public and the shortlist and winners are decided by an independent panel of seven distinguished judges.

The judging panel are: Ms CAROL MADISON GRAHAM, Executive Director of the US – UK Fulbright Commission; Ms ROSY AWWAL, Director, Careers London; Dr NIZAR MERALI, General Practitioner and Partner, GP Direct; Dr/Ms IMTIAZ AHMAD, Senior Lecturer in Physical Chemistry at APU, Cambridge; RASHID MESSAUDI, Translator-Interpreter and media consultant; PETER SANDERS, photographer; Ms INSAF SIRHAN, linguist and head-teacher of Al-Ahlihah School.

The finalists will be announced on March 31st.

For the editors:

Full list of the shortlisted people is available on request.

For further information contact us on 020 8863 8586 or 077 68 241 325. Please acknowledge The Muslim News when using the press release

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