"While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk."

Monday, 30 March 2009

Awards for Unsung Muslim Heroes

Sometimes, when I discuss Islamic militancy, chauvinism or terrorism, people ask me: "What about all the moderate Muslims, the productive members of society?"

A fair point, perhaps. Well, it turns out that not only has the BBC tracked down such Muslims, but they've had their own special award ceremony for the last 9 years.

This ceremony is the annual Muslim News Awards for Excellence. Jacqui Smith left her sister's home specially to be there, and other distinguished guests among the 800 invited included shadow Justice Secretary Dominic Grieve, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg and Communities Secretary Hazel Blears.

So, without further ado, who are these heroes, those Muslims who make us proud to be a tolerant, inclusive nation?

The winners included:

Mohammed Ali, a Birmingham-based graffiti artist whose so-called aerosol Arabic is influenced by both classical Islamic calligraphy and urban street graffiti.

Imran Sidat, 15, from Leicester, who competes for England in freestyle karate and kickboxing

Mohammed Mujahid Ali, an alternative therapist, for work improving the wellbeing and mental health of black and minority ethnic people.

Reverend Gilleasbuig MacMillan, minister at St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, for welcoming Muslims to the cathedral.

Acclaimed Iraq-born composer Ahmed Mukhtar, who is based in London and is master player of the Oud, the stringed instrument popular in the Middle East.


We have a petty vandal, a sportsman (worthy, but he's no different from any of the scores of other British kids training for the Olympics), a racist masseuse, a dhimmi and a person who plays an instrument no one has ever heard of.

Can you seriously imagine the Home Secretary turning up to something like this if the terms 'ethnic minority' and 'community relations' weren't involved?

In any case, where are the Muslim firemen, police officers, paramedics, doctors? There must be many, so is this seriously the best they can do?

The BBC trills:

A judging panel drawn from Britain's Muslim community judged the awards in politics, business, sports and the arts.

Ms Smith, who took to the stage to present an award, said: "Promoting dialogue and understanding is crucially important at a time when we see those on the extreme fringes of society peddling an empty ideology of isolation, fear and hatred.

"We will have to stand up to them and we all have a duty to make ourselves heard."

Previous winners have included boxing champion Amir Khan and MP Sadiq Khan.

The editor of the Muslim News, Ahmed Versi, said: "We began this event nine years ago because we believed that British Muslims have a lot to offer to British society.

"The quality of nominations from our 150,000 readers show that British Muslims still have what it takes to be pioneering contributors to the common good."

What utterly patronising nonsense.


Anonymous said...

Reading this made me smirk. BBC sounds like the equivalent of America's NPR. Kudos, Earl of Cromer, on this blog site. Excellent.

Proudgeordie said...

Seconded. Loving the unspun facts being laid bare. I love to think of the 'sheeple' reading this and having a Homer J Simpson moment when they, once again, realise they swallowed the media's bitter pill of Bulls Hit

MathewK said...

Muslim heroes awards eh, i'm sure the Home Secretary would be happy to attend a black heroes awards too. Now, does this mean the Home Secretary would be happy to attend the Christian heroes awards then, when she's doing with the pornos and all that?

Yeah, didn't think so.

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