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March 26, 2008

MP, boxing champion, BBC correspondent among Muslim award winners

British ministers and political leaders extolled Muslim achievements in the UK at the annual ceremony for the latest The Muslim News Awards for Excellence in London on Tuesday.

Among the winners were Sadiq Khan MP, Minister in the Government Whip's Office, Amir Khan, the IBF inter-continental and Commonwealth Lightweight Boxing Champion and BBC correspondent Alan Johnston, who was detained in Gaza for nearly four months last year.

“These awards celebrate the achievements of British Muslims in all walks of life. They identify Muslim achievers and highlight the wonderful contribution that British Muslims make,” Prime Minister Gordon Brown said.

“Equally importantly, they challenge the stereotypes and negative
portrayal of Muslims in many parts of the media. They provide us with role models we can all be proud of,” the Prime Minister said in a video message to the annual ceremony in London on Tuesday night.

The awards are classified in 16 different categories of
Muslim achievements, and other winners included actor Rizwan Ahmed, 12-year old Qur’an reciter Muhammad Ayyub Asif, Islamic mobile downloader MyAdhan,

Recognised for various achievements in the medical world were neuropathologist Afia B Ali, paediatrician Professor Robert Booy, obstetrician Fatima Asma Husain and forensic psychologist Zainab al-Attar.

Winners also included scholar of Islamic jurisprudence and traditions of the Prophet, Mohammed Akram Nadwi, chair of Muslim Council for Religious and Racial Harmony Imam Abduljalil Sajid, university governor Jafar Miza and community lecturer in community engagement Yaser Mir.

Other winners included the National Union of Students Black Students’ Officer, Ruqayyah Collector, halal-certified skin care range Saaf Pure Skincare.

“Britain simply wouldn’t be the same without the achievements of Muslim entrepreneurs, doctors, teachers, writers, artists and sportsmen and women,” said Brown, who was guest of honour at the Muslim News Awards in 2005.

In a keynote speech at the ceremony, Foreign Secretary David Miliband said the event was a “showcase” of the key role that British Muslims play in UK life in a wide range of professions and fields.

“By celebrating the many contributions of those that represent the best of Britain we can inspire others and also show that we are a nation in which British Muslims are an integral part of our society in politics, business and social life,” Miliband said.

Welcoming the over 800 guests from diverse Muslim and non-Muslim communities, Ahmed J Versi, Editor of The Muslim News said: “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.”

“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,” Versi said.

Conservative Leader, David Cameron, sent his best wishes to everyone attending the annual The Muslim News Awards. “These Awards have gone from strength to strength over the last eight years. This is testament both to The Muslim News and the organisers of the awards, and to the huge contribution which Muslim people make to British society,” he said.

“These awards play a vital role in sending out the message that the Muslim community in Britain make a highly valuable contribution to public life in a range of areas,” the Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg said. The event “serves an excellent role in providing Muslims across Britain with role models that that can inspire them” and at the same time “demonstrates that in modern Britain Muslims can, and do, thrive in the widest possible spectrum of contemporary life,” he said in his message.

The Muslim News editor Ahmed Versi welcomed all the over 800 guests attending the 8th annual awards.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2008

Award presenters 2008 – and Sponsors – and Winners

1. Presented by: David Miliband, Foreign Secretary

Award: Allama Iqbal Award

Winner: Dr Mohammed Akram Nadwi

2. Presented by: S. L. Hassanain, Chairperson of Muslim Hands

Award: Sankore University Award – Education

Winner: Jafar Mirza

Sponsored by Muslim Hands

3. Presented by: Hazel Blears, MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

Award: Uthman Dan Fodio Award – Community Development

Winner: Yaser Mir

Sponsored by the Department of Communities and Local Government

4. Presented by: Boris Johnson, MP, Mayoral Candidate and Former Shadow Minister for Higher Education

Award: Alhambra Award – Arts

Winner: Rizwan Ahmed

5. Presented by: Trevor Phillips, Chairperson of the Commission for Equalities and Human Rights

Award: Imams Hasan and Husayn Children’s Award

Winner: Mohammed Ayyub Asif

Sponsored by the Commission for Equalities and Human Rights

6. Presented by: Dr Vincent Cable MP, Lib Dem Deputy Leader & Shadow Chancellor

Award: Ibn Battuta Award

Winner: Alan Johnston

7. Presented by: Peter Lewis, Chief Executive for the Crown Prosecution Service

Award: Alija Izetbegovic Award – Good Citizenship

Winner: Sadiq Khan, MP

Sponsored by the Crown Prosecution Service

8. Presented by: Mohamed Rafique Bhojani, Director/CEO Pharmaco

Award: Ibn Sina Award - Health

Winner: Dr Fatima Asma Husain

Sponsored by Pharmaco

9. Presented by: Sister Helen Ryan, Trustee, Citizen Organising Foundation

Award: Al Biruni Award – Community Relations

Winner: Maqsood Ahmed

Sponsored by the Citizens Organising Foundation

10. Presented by: Jahangir Malik, UK Manager Islamic Relief

Award: Malcolm X Award – Youth

Winner: Ms Ruqayyah Collector

Sponsored by the Islamic Relief

11. Presenter: Ayfer Orhan, Chair of the panel of judges

Award: Ibn Khaldun Award

Winner: Dr Abuljalil Sajid

Sponsored by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

12. Presented by: Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari, Secretary General, Muslim Council of Britain

Award: Annemarie Schimmel Award – Championing a Muslim Cause

Winner: Professor Robert Booy

12. Presented by: Rt Hon William Hague MP, Shadow Foreign Secretary

Award: Ummul Mu’min Khadijah Award

Winner: Joint Winners


Saaf International Ltd

14. Presented by: Brian Paddick, Liberal Democrat Mayoral Candidate and Former Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police

Award: Fazlur Rahman Khan Award - Science

Winner: Dr Afia B Ali

Sponsored by the Ministry of Defence

15. Presented by: This award will not be presented, a video clip of the winner will be shown.

Award: Faezeh Hashemi Award – Sports

Winner: Amir Khan

16. Presented by: Sabira Kanji, Financial Director for SSAScot Ltd. And People 1st.

Award: Iman wa Amal Special Award

Winner: Dr Zainab Al-Attar

Full list of the shortlisted people is on our website:

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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