Shawwal / Dhu'l-Qa'dah 1423 H
Volume 16-01 No : 193
Camps \ Workshops
London:The Muslim News Annual Awards were presented to noted Muslim professionals on December 11, 2002 in the presence of Prince Charles. Nearly 550 prominent persons from across the social spectrum attended the function in the London Marriott Hotel. Ahmed Versi, Editor of The Muslim News speaking on the occasion said: “The Muslim News Awards for Excellence has brought together people of all ages, backgrounds and disciplines, to demonstrate to all and to young Muslims in particular that vitality, dynamism, diligence, creativity, inspiration, progress and reward are here in abundance.”
The Ibn Battuta award for excellence in media was shared by Navid Akhtar and Reem Shafiq. Navid Akhtar is an independent TV producer whose work projects a positive image of Islam and he currently presents Mirpuri radio show on the BBC Asian Network. His documentary on Hajj for the BBC and the Ramadan series on Channel 4 was well received. Reem Shafiq spearheaded the continuing education aspect of the BBC Season on Islam last year.
The Fazlur Rahman Khan award for excellence in science and technology was given to the Association of Muslim Social Scientists, which provides a unique platform for the development of Islamic thought through research publications. Since its inception in 1996, it has created an awareness of Islamic alternatives and opinions on topical and emerging academic issues relevant to Muslims.
Al-Biruni award for excellence in community relations was presented to Lal Hussain, Councillor, Mayor of Sutton who raised thousands of pounds for local charities. He helped in educational projects, was instrumental to the rise of Radio Ramadan, and renovated a local Muslim community centre. Nasa Khan was adjudged the winner of the Ummul Mu’minin Khadija award for excellence in enterprise. Nasa Khan built up his business of mobile phone accessories from an initial investment of £2,000 to reach a turnover of £15 million in one year. He has re-invested his wealth in his local community in Kingston where he funds a charity helping the Asian elderly, and he also sponsored a facelift for Chessington North Railway Station.
Michael Napier and Palestine Solidarity Campaign were selected for the Annemarie Schimmel award for championing a Muslim cause. Napier and the Campaign have done marvellous work in opposing the atrocities and human rights abuses in Palestine. The Society is based in Edinburgh.
Uthman Dan Fodio award for excellence in community development was awarded to ArRum, a club encouraging a God-centred approach to living through the promotion of Islamic art, culture, business networking and career mentoring. Based in Clerkenwell, ArRum’s members are ethnically diverse and its doors are open to non-Muslims too. Prince Naseem Hamed, International Boxing Organisation World Featherweight Champion was given the Faezeh Hashemi award for excellence in sports. The Sheffield boxer is known to millions as ‘Prince Naseem’. Unafraid of acknowledging the central importance of his faith, Hamed frequently accompanies his entrance to the ring by the call to prayer. He represents a powerful role model to young Muslims, advocating hard work and dedication.
Alhambra award for excellence in arts was given to Peter Sanders, a renowned photographer living in Buckinghamshire. His work has a platform both in the UK and abroad, and is admired by the Muslim and the wider community. After the success of his first book earlier this year entitled, In the Shade of the Tree, Peter is concentrating on other projects including a book on Muslims in China. Allama Iqbal award for creativity in Islamic thought was given to Rachid Ghanouchi, a leading Islamic thinker and philosopher. He was educated in Tunisia, Egypt, Syria and France. A political refugee from Tunisia, he has turned his attention to the concerns of British Muslims as well as persevering with his life-long struggle to bring justice in his home country. Ghanouchi is also a scholar on the European Council for Fatwa and Research, and takes a lead role in voluntary organisations.
Umaymah and Saadiyah Patel were chosen for the Imam Hasan and Husayn children’s award for excellence for looking after their older sister Adilah who suffers from cerebral palsy. The two girls look after their sister, help her in and out of her wheelchair, feed her, and spend quality time with her. Living in East London’s Waltham Forest, the sisters, aged eight and seven, take turns to push her wheelchair when the family goes shopping.
Sameel and Asma Meer were found deserving for this year’s Ibn Sina award for health. Sameel and Asma Meer’s son, Ibrahim, suffered from a rare blood disorder. The couple, who live in South East London, campaigned to raise awareness amongst Asian and Muslim communities about the need to consider donation of blood, organs and bone marrow. Working with the Anthony Nolan Trust, they launched a national campaign to find a bone marrow donor for their son. Ibrahim passed away on May 24, 2002, but his parents continue to highlight the need for donors from the Muslim community.
Alija Izetbegovic award for good citizenship was awarded to Bashir Maan a community activist. He made history in Scotland by becoming the first Muslim councillor. He has also published a research document on the history of migration from the Indian sub-continent to Scotland. Sankore University award for excellence in education was awarded to Muhammad Akram Khan Cheema, who has over 30 years of experience in the British education system and has been instrumental in pushing back the barriers facing Muslim teachers. He rose to become chief inspector of schools in Bradford.
Iman wa Amal special award was awarded to Madeleine Bunting, a columnist for The Guardian who is among a handful of leading journalists covering Muslim issues with objectivity and balance.
Paris: Following the pattern of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), the Muslims in France have now formed ‘The French Council for the Muslim Religion.’ The final shape of the organisation was decided with mediation from French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy who wanted three leading French Muslim organisations to settle their differences and form a single representative organisation. France has nearly five million Muslims mainly from the Francophone countries of Africa such as Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco.
It is expected to be headed by Dalil Boubakeur, the rector of the Paris mosque. Analysts say the government wants to encourage a home-grown, liberal version of Islam, and to dispel hostility to Islam by bringing it into the open.
“What we should be afraid of is Islam gone astray, garage Islam, basement Islam, underground Islam. It is not the Islam of the mosques, open to the light of day,” said Sarkozy.
The Council is equivalent to a similar body created for Jews years ago. Its 11-members will be part-elected and part-appointed, to ensure “a balance of views”, the text of the agreement says. Its tasks will include arranging chaplaincies in the army and prisons, acquiring burial sites, delivering “halal” meat certificates, organising the pilgrimage to Makkah and building new mosques and prayer halls.
Sharjah: The New Muslim Centre, Sharjah is playing a pivotal role in educating Muslim converts in addition to encouraging others to adopt Islam. Free classes in Arabic, Islamic studies and fundamentals of Islam are held at the Centre to educate the new Muslims. The New Muslim Centre, which was established in 2000, provides guidelines in English, Russian and even Malayalam. The Centre was set up following the directives of Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah to promote and spread Islam among non-Muslims and the new Muslims. “Recently, over 35 people working in an American company in Sharjah embraced Islam and we have been holding regular classes for them at their company premises,” says Tahir Khalid, Director of the Centre, adding that this was the largest number of individuals from any single company to convert to Islam. The Centre also invites non-Muslims to attend the English sermon on Fridays in the mosque.
Riyadh: Thirteen volunteer groups and individuals from nine countries in the Gulf-Levant region, including two from Saudi Arabia have been awarded the prestigious Ford grants for research projects dedicated to environmental causes. The US automobile giant, Ford announced the annual grants as part of its initiative to support efforts to protect the region’s environment. “The Ford grants are celebrating their third year of success in the region and the quality of this year’s nominations reflects the importance of this global initiative,” said Jim Benintende, managing director of Ford Middle East and North Africa. Saudi environmentalist, Mohammed S.A. Sulayem has received the grant for studying the prospects of sustainable management of acacia tortilis in Saudi Arabia. Acacia tortilis, often called the “umbrella thorn” for its distinctive spreading crown, is one of the most widespread trees in seasonally dry areas of the region. Another Saudi expert, Tarek Muhammad Ameen Al-Abbasi, has been named for the grant for pursuing his pioneering work on the rehabilitation of Arar trees in Reydah Protected Area and Sehab Park in the Kingdom.
Dubai:The number of mobile phones in use in the Arab world has increased dramatically since the beginning of the year, reaching 23.7 million subscribers by end November, compared to 23.35 million fixed lines over the same period, according to a survey released by Madar Research Group.
A 2002 estimated mobile phone growth rate of 52 percent will push mobile phone subscribers across the 24 million mark by year end, and widen the margin between mobile phones and fixed lines by close to one million subscriptions. Mobile phone subscriptions now outnumber fixed lines in the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Morocco, according to the survey published recently in the first issue of Madar Research Journal - a New Economy market research monthly.
“The high growth in the number of mobile phone subscribers is due to network development and expansion projects by mobile carriers in many countries including Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia, in addition to new services such as prepaid mobile cards, the sales of which in Saudi Arabia alone reached 1.6 million since their launch in April 2002,” said Abdul Kader Kamli, president and research director of the Dubai Media City-registered Madar Research Group.
The Madar Research Group is a Dubai Media City-registered company
and part of the Bin Zayed Group consultation.
London: The Labour Party has launched a separate political group to win the support of the Muslim community on the lines of the Christian Socialist Movement and Poale Zion, the Labour Zionist organisation, reports.Party chairman, Charles Clarke presided over a fringe meeting at Labour annual conference in Blackpool last fortnight to consider the proposal. The Labour Party enjoys a very high level of support from the Muslim community - including over 200 Muslim local Labour Councillors throughout the United Kingdom as well as a growing number of prominent parliamentarians. The initiative is the brain child of junior Trade and Industry Minister Stephen Timms, who says that it would be an “avenue” for Muslims to participate in mainstream politics.