The Guest of Honour, Prime Minister, David Cameron, presenting the Enterprise award to Shabir Randeree, Executive Chair of DCD Group, said, “I’m delighted to have taken part in this year’s Muslim News awards for Excellence, where we were able to champion and celebrate the huge contribution British Muslims make to our country. I was truly impressed hearing about the extraordinary work of the nominees and winners, and it was great to have been able to meet some of them tonight.”
The special Judges award went to Ola Lawal, an active volunteer working to improve the lives of young and disabled people, as well as the local community around her. Amongst the other 15 winners were, in sport, Mo Farah, Olympic gold medalist, who is also involved in various philanthropic initiatives; in the media, Roohi Hasan, a senior producer at ITV News; children’s award went to 10-year-old, Ahmed Saleh, who has won numerous kickboxing and freestyle karate titles at national, European, and global levels.
Cameron said that, “I see for myself on a daily basis the massive contribution of British Muslims. From my own colleagues, such as Sayeeda Warsi, Sajid Javid and Tariq Ahmad on the Government benches to the Muslim businesses and enterprises that are bringing growth back to Britain. And of course I frequently see the outstanding achievements of Muslim sportsmen and women, public servants, entertainers and community leaders. The list goes on and on.”
“Tonight we celebrate an entire community – one that is vibrant, hard-working and proud. My message to British Muslims is that this Government is here for you. We are backing hardworking families who want to get on and do the right thing; we are reforming the education system, giving parents more say and delivering the schools and skills that our young people need to succeed; we are reforming the welfare system so it rewards those who want to work; we are cutting taxes, so that people get to keep more of their hard-earned money, and we are creating jobs, so people can provide for their families and feel secure. This is all part of our long-term plan to build a stronger economy and I know that British Muslims will play a vital part in helping to achieve future prosperity and security for our country.”
Special guests included Attorney General, Dominic Grieve, Shadow Justice Secretary, Sadiq Khan, Minister of State at Ministry of Justice, Simon Hughes. They were joined by civic and religious leaders, as well as representatives from the world of politics, business, sport and the arts, to honour unsung heroes and heroines of the community.
Now in its twelfth year, the ceremony has distinguished itself for pioneering an initiative that finds the very best in British Muslims. The Editor of The Muslim News, Ahmed J Versi, said, “We began this event twelve 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 Ed Miliband, said: “Tonight’s awards ceremony is an opportunity to celebrate the great talent shown and contribution given by Muslim people in all walks of life. “The awards recognize not only excellence in business, sport, arts and technology, but also those who have served their communities selflessly. It is a true celebration of values core to our country – of community and commitment, of education and learning.”
Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of Liberal Democrats, said: “The Muslim News Awards for Excellence has become the flagship event for Muslim communities in the UK highlighting British Muslim contributions to society which might otherwise go unrecognized. “The contribution of British Muslims to the country’s rich multicultural landscape cannot be underestimated.