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March 05, 2008

EIGHTH The Muslim News Awards for Excellence Shortlist published

EIGHTH The Muslim News Awards for Excellence shortlist published to celebrate British Muslim contributions to society

The Eighth The Muslim News Awards for Excellence, designed to showcase both Muslim and non-Muslim achievements in the British society, will be held in central London on Tuesday 25 March.

The award ceremony and gala dinner, now in its eighth year, holds great significance in the British Muslim Calendar. The coveted ceremony provides an exclusive platform for recognition and promotion of excellence amongst British Muslims at a time when their positive contributions to society continues to be under-recognised.

Ahmed J Versi, Editor of The Muslim News says:

“The Awards celebrate the enormous contributions made to British society by hundreds of individuals and organisations. The Muslim News Awards has provides a steady stream of good news, repudiating stereotypes. For the past eight years we have been telling not just good stories, but excellent ones.”

Muslims have frequented news headlines consistently in the past year. In the face of continuing challenges, The Muslim News readers nominated their role models from and associated with the Muslim community.

Nominations for awards were taken from 15 different categories of Muslim achievements, ranging from science and engineering to community development, young person and the arts.

According to Versi:

“The Muslim News Awards recognises the achievements of unsung heroes and heroines. These awards are to honour those who make this country a beacon for others to emulate.”

The ceremony brings together politicians, religious leaders, journalists, community activists along with representatives from the world of sport, public services, culture, academia, and others under one roof, with the aim of encouraging and collectively inspiring individuals to recognise and embrace the diversity and talent displayed within the British Community.

Amongst the nominees shortlisted are: The Leicester-based Muslim Youthwork Foundation (MYWF) integrates Muslim and non-Muslim expertise in youth work, supporting and training young people to build their potential to be of service to their peers, communities and neighbourhoods. ArtIslam is a young London-based venture that welcomes artists with an interest in abstract Islamic art. Alan Johnston BBC journalist, who was kidnapped in Gaza and held prisoner for 114 days for media.

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.

Following on, the Awards for Excellence has been attended by high profile guests including Prime Minister Tony Blair, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown and His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales.

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 for this year were: LIS HOWELL is Director of Broadcasting at the Department of Journalism, City University, London; SABIRA KANJI is the Financial Controller of People 1st, the Sector Skills Council for the Hospitality, Leisure, Travel and Tourism industries and a non-executive Director of the Skills Council of Scotland.; MOHAMMED GHAZALI KHAN is a freelance journalist and public relations consultant working with ethnic and Asian media for the last twenty years; MARILYN MORNINGTON is a district judge, is Chair of the Lord Chancellor’s Department Domestic Violence Group, and is a member of Project Adhikar; AYFER ORHAN is a Councillor in the London Borough of Enfield and the Labour Party’s Parliamentary Candidate in Hemel Hempstead; MUHAMMAD UMAR is an author and a novelist whose book, Amina was applauded in the New Statesman for being ‘surprisingly fresh’ and for introducing ‘brilliant debuts’ to Nigeria’s recent history.

The finalists will be announced on Tuesday 25 March.

For the editors:

Full list of the shortlisted people is on our website:

Those media wanting to attend the event, MUST register by Thursday 20 March.

Programme begins at 5.30 with Reception and the awards commences at 6.35pm.

TV footage and still photographs will be provided by The Muslim News.

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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