Young Muslim Beacon Awards 2011 Winners Announced with Special Posthumous Awards to three Muslims killed during UK Riots

14 Oct 2011

On the evening of 11th October, the winners of the Young Muslim Beacon Awards 2011 were announced by the Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt. Hon. John Bercow MP at an awards ceremony hosted at the Houses of Parliament.

The Young Muslim Beacon Awards, in its fourth year, is a project of the Youth Affairs Committee of the Muslim Council of Britain. The awards are designed to recognise the very best of projects and organisations working in our communities to help improve the lives of young Muslims locally, regionally and nationally.

The winners who came through stiff competition to triumph were Osmani Trust for the local category, Somali Youth Development Recourse Centre for the regional category and Charity Week UK for the national category.

The three judges deciding the winners after an open nomination process, were Farooq Murad (Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain), Neil Jameson (Executive Director of London Citizens) and James Cathcart (CEO of the British Youth Council).

The awards ceremony was jointly hosted by the Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, Farooq Murad and Lord Sheikh of Cornhill with Chief Guest, The Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt. Hon. John Bercow MP presenting the awards. The ceremony celebrated and acknowledged the outstanding achievements of youth organisations in the presence of leading parliamentarians, diplomats, young Muslims, civic, community and religious leaders from across the country.

The Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt. Hon. John Bercow MP said the awards are inspiring to the Muslim youth and showed that Muslims were a huge asset to Britain, “Britain is proud of Muslims. Your contributions to this country and your future potential should be championed and nurtured.”

Shadow Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice Rt. Hon. Sadiq Khan MP also commended the winners calling on all to continue to work in communities to help young people through difficult economic times.

The evening also awarded Special Posthumous Awards to the three young Muslims who paid the ultimate sacrifice standing up to defend and protect their community from looters during riots in Birmingham, in August 2011. Haroon Jahan, Shazad Ali and Abdul Musavir were honoured with an award for Model Citizenship. Receiving the awards Abdul Quddos, brother and Ghazanfar Ali, father of Shazad Ali and Abdul Musavir thanked the MCB and said they were honoured to be keeping alive the memory of Shazad and Musavir.

Addressing the audience, the Attorney General, Rt. Hon. Dominic Grieves QC MP applauded the MCB for recognising the work of youth organisations and also paid tribute to the sacrifice of the three riot victims saying their families provided “moral leadership and exemplary mannerism” to the country. “They brought the country together and upheld the rule of law. All of us saw the riots tearing our communities apart but at the same time we were overwhelmingly impressed by the dignity of the victims’ families. The award given to them is recognition of their talent and participation in the civic life of Britain and they best deserve it”.

Sayid Ali, Deputy Overseas Development Manager at Al Muntada Trust, a leading charity in serving communities in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa, who sponsored the event said “We are delighted to have sponsored this outstanding event which gives much deserved recognition to members of our community. Al Muntada Trust congratulates all the winners and runner ups for what they have achieved”.

In his keynote address, Farooq Murad, the Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain said “British Muslim youth are a very special group of people. They provide an important bridge between cultures and despite many challenges, from economic and social disadvantage to negative media portrayals in the form of Islamophobia, they are moving forward, thanks to some excellent work being done to engage and empower them to take their rightful place in Britain. It is essential that we recognise these efforts”.

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Notes to Editors:

1. The Muslim Council of Britain is the UK’s largest Muslim umbrella body with around 500 affiliated national, regional and local organisations, mosques, charities and schools.

2. Young Muslim Beacon Awards 2011 is a project of the Youth Affairs Committee of MCB. There are only three winners each year and they are awarded solely on the basis of the application form they submitted. For more information visit: www.ymba.co.uk

3. Winning Organisations:

Local Winner – Osmani Trust is a youth and community organisation operating in the London Boroughs of Tower Hamlets and Newham. The Trust delivers a wide range of educational, training, health and sporting initiatives tailored to the needs of the local community. It aims to provide a holistic service that helps people, particularly those living in disadvantaged urban communities, re-engage with mainstream society and improve their quality of life.

Regional Winner – Somali Youth Development Resource Centre was established in 2000 as a federation of five Somali organisations and operates London wide. The charity works to tackle underachievement in the Somali community providing a centre for young people from challenging backgrounds to achieve with help and assistance offered through a range of services.

National Winner – Charity Week UK is a student led project which mobilises young people in colleges and universities throughout the country to fundraise for various charities around the world. It results in young Muslims working together and last year students raised over £399,000 with £1.5million raised since its inception in 2003.

The other shortlisted nominees who were runners-up were Khidmah Organisation, Selfless and Muslim Youth Skills

5. For interviews with the winning organisations or picture requests email media@mcb.org.uk

6. We are grateful to Al Muntada Trust for their sponsorship, the Markfield Institute of Higher Education for their support and Dark Falcon Productions for their media services.

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