A record number of Muslims have been recognised by the Queen in the 2019 New Year’s Honours list including some of the highest numbers from Pakistani heritage in recent times.
This New Year’s list shows the government’s diversity drive in the honours system has started to work.
Among the 1,148 recipients recognised in the list are Nasar Mahmood, chairman of the British Muslim Heritage Centre; and Umer Khan of Greater Manchester Police, who all received an Officer of Order of the British Empire (OBE) for community work.
Dr. Malik Ramadhan, head of the accident and emergency unit at the Royal London Hospital, who operated through the night on 12 victims of the London Bridge terror attack in June 2017, also received an OBE.
Thirty-five Muslims were awarded an honour in this round, the highest number ever, with 12 percent of those being honoured coming from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.
Saeed Atcha, 22, has become the youngest person named in the Queen’s New Year Honours list, receiving an MBE for services to young people in the Manchester region, where he has lived all
Aamer Naeem, a UK-based humanitarian organisation, was awarded an OBE for his work in the charity sector, and specifically his efforts in developing the British Muslim community.
Nasar Mahmood, the chair of the British Muslim Heritage Centre in Manchester, also received an OBE for the many years of work he has dedicated to fostering peaceful community relations. Local interfaith and other community initiatives run by Mahmood led to his successful nomination.
British Muslim women of Pakistani heritage were also recognised. Jamila Kosser, also from the north of England, was awarded an MBE for the volunteer work she does with the homeless community.
Faeeza Vaid, 34, executive director of the Muslim Women’s Network, who four years ago helped to set up the charity’s helpline to assist women fleeing forced marriages or at risk of so-called “honour” violence, was also appointed an MBE.
The recognition of so many from minority backgrounds can be seen as part of an initiative to increase diversity in the UK honours system, and something that can be attributed to the work of Harris Bokhari, an independent member of the honours committee at the Cabinet Office.