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March 15, 2010

Tenth Annual Ceremony recognises the very best of British Muslim Achievement

Over 800 people celebrated the tenth Annual The Muslim News Awards for Excellence - Britain's longest standing Muslim awards event - Monday at London’s Grosvenor House. The coveted award ceremony recognised the very best of Muslim contribution to British society.

The special Judges award went to Dr Gill Hicks, founder of Making a Difference for Peace (M. A. D. for Peace), which she established after losing both her legs from the knee down after the horrific bombings that took place in London in 2005. Full list of the winners are below.

The Guest of Honour, Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, said, “The Muslim News Awards are an excellent opportunity to celebrate the fantastic contribution that British Muslims across the country make to the UK.”

“This year’s nominations are full of inspiring stories of individuals and groups who have made a real difference in their local communities”.

Special guests included Communities Secretary John Denham and Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling.

They were joined by civic and religious leaders, as well as representatives from the worlds of politics, business, sport and the arts, to honour unsung heroes and heroines of the community.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown described The Muslim News Awards for Excellence as a “firmly established premier occasion for marking the achievements of both Muslims and non-Muslims working together for the common good - and for highlighting the important role Muslims play in our communities.”

Now in its tenth year, the ceremony has distinguished itself for pioneering an initiative that finds the very best in British Muslims.

The Editor of The Muslim News, and the main sponsor, Ahmed J Versi, said, “We began this event ten years ago because we wanted to acknowledge the noble accomplishments and displays of distinction within the British Muslim community and showcase the tremendous contributions British Muslims make to Britain. We wanted also to identify and highlight Muslim role models for the younger generation.”

In a message, Opposition Leader, David Cameron said, “The Awards have established a great reputation over the last decade. The range of Award winners honoured – from the nationally recognised to the ‘unsung heroes’ – is a tribute both to the organisers and tot the depth of he contribution which British Muslim men and women make to our society today.”

Lib Dem Leader, Nick Clegg, said, “These prestigious awards are an opportunity to celebrate the excellence of the individual nominees in their respective fields – but they are also a chance for the whole of British society to reflect upon the enormous social, cultural and economic contribution made by Muslim community in the UK.”


1. The Muslim News Awards for Excellence took place on Monday 15 March at the Grosvenor House.

List of the winners, presenters and sponsors are listed below – please note they are embargoed until 9 pm Monday 15 March.

2. There are sixteen categories of the awards, for a full shortlist, visit:

TV footage and still photographs are available from The Muslim News.

The judging panel for this year were (bio in the brochure)

Rajnaara C Akhtar, Cynthia Capey, Akmal Hanuk, Dr Fatima Husain, Mustafa Köker,
Rizqa Motunde Tomori Laditi, Dr Adel Sharif.

The Muslim News Awards 2010 winners (information in the brochure)

Alhambra Award for Excellence in Arts

Mohammed Umar

Annemarie Schimmel Award for Championing a Muslim Cause

Tim Cooper

Imam wa Amal Special award

Dr Gill Hicks

Imams Hasan and Husayn Children's Award For Excellence

Abdul-Akbur Ali

Alija Izetbegovic Award for Good Citizenship

Wakkas Khan

Uthman Dan Fodio Award for Excellence in Community Development

Mohammed Mangera

Al Biruni Award for Excellence in Community Relations

Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra

Sankore University Award for Excellence in Education

Dr Nadia Durrani

Fazlur Rahman Khan for Excellence in Engineering, Science or Technology

Dr Haifa Takruri-Rizk

Ummul Mu'minin Khadijah for Excellence in Enterprise

Iqbal Wahhab

Ibn Sina Award for Health

Sohail A Khan

Faezeh Hashemi Award for Excellence in Sport

Kolo Abib Touré

Ibn Khaldun award for excellence in promoting understanding between global cultures and faiths

Salma Abbasi

Ibn Battuta award for excellence in media

Faisal Al Yafai

Malcolm X Young Person’s Award for Excellence

Zain Haider Awan

The Editor’s Lifetime Achievement Award

As we mark the tenth year of The Muslim News Awards, this new accolade recognises those who have made exceptional contributions to the life of Britain’s Muslim community.
Unlike the other Awards – whose recipients are chosen by a strictly independent panel of judges – this tribute is granted by the Editor of The Muslim News.
The winners of this Award personify the spirit of this entire initiative. They are our community’s unsung heroes who have diligently, courageously and persistently expended energy and striven to improve the lot of British Muslims.

Dr Syed Aziz Pasha
Founder of the Union of Muslim Organisations

Citation from Ahmed J. Versi, Editor of The Muslim News:
“On this auspicious occasion, I am honouring Syed Aziz Pasha, whose commitment to Britain’s Muslim community spans an entire generation. Born in India in 1930, he arrived in this country in 1965, following a promising career as an international legal consultant to the UN Indian delegation in New York. As a student in the United States he helped found the Muslim Student Association.
In the UK, he quickly became involved in improving the services to our community, leading the Knightsbridge Mosque in 1967. Between 1973 and 1983 he served as President of the Indian Muslim Federation.
But his crowning achievement was his ability to see and bring together the burgeoning voices of British Muslim civil society.
He had the foresight and vision to understand that Britain’s Muslim community was diverse. That diversity would be further strengthened if Muslims came together in common cause. And so, in 1970, Dr Pasha founded the Union of Muslim Organisations (UMO) – an umbrella body of thirty-eight associations.
As leader of the UMO, Dr Pasha enhanced the community’s connection with government and public policy. Events organised by the UMO in Parliament and at Party Conferences were events in which politicians from all parties would make as a priority diary commitment. And he led the way in pushing through key reforms that would be later championed by the rest of the community. These included the provision of state funding for Muslim schools, and securing Muslim religious provision such as halal food and prayer rooms in schools, hospitals, prisons and places of work.
He was a community leader in the fullest sense and the Union of Muslim Organisations quickly achieved recognition and access in national and international circles such as the World Council of Religions for Peace, the Muslim World League and the Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE).
Dr Pasha was named an Officer of the British Empire by the Queen in 2005 for his services to the Muslim Community in Britain. This recognition was reflected in the community when the Muslim Council of Britain and the Islamic Cultural Centre convened a special ceremony to confer Dr Pasha a Lifetime Achievement Awards.
Since the The Muslim News was founded in 1989, it was a pleasure to report the groundbreaking work that Dr Pasha was undertaking.
It is therefore a fitting tribute to The Muslim News Awards for Excellence that we recognise and celebrate the work of Dr Syed Aziz Pasha. In this, our tenth year of the Awards, we delighted to pronounce that Dr Pasha personifies the very essence of excellence over the past forty years.”
The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2010
Award presenters, sponsors and winners

1. Presented by: Rt Hon Alan Johnson, MP, Home Secretary

Award: Al Biruni Award – Community Relations

Winner: Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra

Sponsored by the Home Office

2. Presented by: Liberal Democrats

Award: Ibn Battuta Award - Media

Winner: Faisal Al Yafai

3. Presented by: Rt Hon John Denham, MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

Award: Ibn Khaldun award for excellence in promoting understanding between global cultures

Winner: Salma Abbasi

Sponsored by Communities and Local Government

4. Presented by: Irfan Akram, UK Fundraising Manager of Muslim Hands

Award: Sankore University Award – Education

Winner: Dr Nadia Durrani

Sponsored by Muslim Hands

5. Presented by: Samia Ahmed, PA to UK Director of Islamic Relief

Award: Annemarie Schimmel Award – Championing a Muslim Cause

Winner: Tim Cooper

Sponsored by Islamic Relief

6. Presented by: Karim Saad, Founder,

Award: Ummul Mu’min Khadijah Award

Winner: Iqbal Wahhab

Sponsored by

7. Presented by: Meral Hussein, Religion and Belief Commissioner, Equalities and Human Rights Commission

Award: Malcolm X

Winner: Zain Haider Awan

Sponsored by Equalities and Human Rights Commission

8. Presented by: Dale Simon, Director, Equality and Diversity, Crown Prosecution Service

Award: Uthman Dan Fodio Award – Community Development

Winner: Mohammed Mangera

Sponsored by Crown Prosecution Service

9. Presented by: Sir Iqbal Sacranie, Chair of Board of Trustees, Muslim Aid

Award: Alija Izetbegovic Award – Good Citizenship

Winner: Wakkas Khan

Sponsored by Muslim Aid

10. Presented by: Rt Hon Sadiq Khan, MP, Minister of Transport

Award: Imams Hasan and Husayn Children’s Award

Winner: Abdul Akbur Ali

11. Presented by: Mrs Faezeh Hashemi, President, Islamic Federation of Women Sport

Award: Faezeh Hashemi

Winner: Kolo Abib Toure

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

Award: Alhambra

Winner Mohammed Umar

13. Presented by: Rt Hon Chris Grayling, MP, Shadow Home Secretary

Award: Fazlur Rahman Khan Award

Winner: Dr Haifa Takruri-Rizk

Sponsored by the Ministry of Defence

14. Presented by: Dominic Grieve, MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Justice

Award: Ibn Sina Award - Health

Winner: Sohail A Khan

15. Presented by: Fatima Hussain, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist and Chair of the independent panel of judges.

Award: Iman wa Amal Special Award

Winner: Dr Gill Hicks

16. Presented by: Ahmed J Versi, Editor and Publisher of The Muslim News

Award: The Editor’s Lifetime Achievement Award

Winner: Dr Sayyid Aziz Pasha

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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