Over 800 people celebrated the ninth 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 Birmingham-based graffiti artist Mohammed Ali. Other awards were distributed for all kinds of social commitment, including “fair, accurate and balanced reporting on an issue involving Muslims”, health, sports, arts, enterprise, good citizenship or community development. Winners were musician and oud-player Ahmed Mukhtar, Reverend Gilleasbuig MacMillan of Edinburgh, the Black and Asian Service in Alcohol and Narcotics (BASIAN) and 15-year-old Imran Sidat, who competes for England in freestyle karate and kickboxing, among many others.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith was present at the ceremony, as were Communities Secretary Hazel Blears, Shadow Justice Secretary Dominic Grieve and Liberal Democrats Leader Nick Clegg, along with an audience of 800 invitees. The editor of the Muslim News, Ahmed Versi was pleased with the ceremony and believes the awards show how much British Muslims can contribute to the common good.
Former Sunday Express journalist Yvonne Ridley has won a case for unfair dismissal and sexual discrimination against The Islam Channel. The three-person tribunal panel ruled that Ridley had been dismissed by the digital channel and upheld her complaint of sexual discrimination and harassment. Her case, which was part-funded by the NUJ, was held in London in February and heard evidence from a number of figures in support of her claims including the Respect MP George Galloway. Ridley, who resigned from the channel in April last year, complained that she had effectively been dismissed after relations between her and the channel’s chief executive, Mohammed Ali broke, down. The tribunal ruling, on Thursday, April 17, said: “There is nothing in the statutory wording that suggests that the facts of this case should not lead a tribunal to the conclusion that the claimant’s dignity had been violated, on the basis that the words were spoken to an outsider. We find that the words had the purpose of violating her dignity because they were false.” Ridley was also found to have been unfairly dismissed by the tribunal, which ruled that the way she was treated was “riddled with unfairness” and that she was subjected to “a wholesale approach of seeking to blame her at various points”. Ben Dowell