The “comedian” Humza Arshad and the “gay Muslim” Khakan Qureshi have been recognised in the 2020 New Year’s Honours List.
The honours are approved by the government and Buckingham Palace before being dispensed. They are often seen as a reward for carrying out work approved by the authorities.
Arshad, who runs a very popular YouTube channel, was given an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for services to education.
The 35 year old “Diary of a Bad Man” star, described the award as the biggest surprise of his life. He said: “It’s crazy… it means I’m a national treasure now. I’m going to meet the Queen soon… all I can say is thank you… out of nowhere God gives you something that you are eternally grateful for. This is going to go down in history. This is probably the biggest achievement of my life and I am so happy.”
Arshad has been involved in counter-extremism work in schools organised by the Metropolitan Police and East Midlands Police to help “prevent the radicalisation of British Muslims.” He made a 15-minute film “Think for Yourself” to show teenagers the dangers of exposure to extremist messages.
Meanwhile, Khakan Qureshi was awarded a Medal of the Order of the British Empire for services to LGBT Equality.
The 49 year old is a support worker and founder of Finding A Voice, Birmingham’s first voluntary-led, independent multi-faith South Asians LGBT social /support group. He is also a Diversity Role Model, speaker and writer.
He has been especially vocal in opposing anti-LGBT teaching protests outside Birmingham schools.
On his website he says: “My faith has given me the impetus to question the traditional ways, culture and boundaries/barriers we have placed upon ourselves. I’d like to think that as LGBT+ Muslims, we can be united by reaching out and speaking up. I think it’s really important for communities to work together to help make societal progress.
“While we make efforts to respect each others’ individual beliefs and identities, we should all be striving collectively to improve the lives of those who less fortunate, struggling with mental health oppression and insecurities about their own self worth and being.”
The Muslim Council of Britain congratulated all “those extraordinary individuals recognised in the 2020 New Year’s Honours List” which “recognises people who have committed themselves to serving and helping Britain, and who have made achievements in public life.”
The 2020 New Year’s Honours Muslim award winners include many health, educational and social workers as well as diversity consultants:
COMPANION OF THE ORDER OF BATH
Malini NEBHRAJANI Legal Director, Department for Health and Social Care Legal Advisers, Government Legal Department. For public service.
COMMANDER OF THE ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE
Fayyaz AFZAL Circuit Judge, England and Wales. For services to the Judiciary and to Diversity and Inclusion.
OFFICER OF THE ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE
Anwar ALI Founder and Director, Upturn Enterprise Ltd. For services to Social Enterprise.
Azhar ALI Leader of Labour Group, Lancashire County Council. For services to the community in North West England.
Dhiya AL-JUMEILY Professor of Artificial Intelligence, Liverpool John Moores University. For services to Scientific Research.
Farah Naz Kausar BHATTI Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon. For services to Diversity in the NHS in Wales.
Fozia Tanvir IRFAN Chief Executive Officer, Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation and Trustee, Association of Charitable Foundations. For services to the community in Bedfordshire, particularly during the Covid-19 Response.
Asiyah RAVAT Executive Principal, Star Academies. For services to Education in Birmingham
MEMBER OF THE ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE
Norah AL-ANI Director, Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre. For services to Social Justice and to Gender Equality.
Malique Jamal AL-SHABAZZ Constable, Merseyside Police. For services to Policing and Ethnic Minority Communities in Merseyside.
Nisreen Ala-Din Sahib ALWAN Associate Professor in Public Health, Southampton University. For services to Medicine and Public Health during Covid-19.
Humza ARSHAD Comedian and Writer. For services to Education.
Ismail Mohammed GANGAT Founder and Proprietor, Azhar Academy Girls’ School, Forest Gate. For services to Education in East London.
Mohammad Tayyab HAIDER Medical Director, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals.
NHS Foundation Trust. For services to the NHS, particularly during the Covid-19 Response and to the community in Essex.
Mohammad Imran HAMID For services to Youth Empowerment and Social Welfare Projects.
Abdul MAJID For services to Integration in Glasgow and to Charity in Scotland and Abroad.
Hamid MOTRAGHI Lately Chair, Home Office Race Network and Chair, Civil Service Race Forum. For services to Diversity and Inclusion.
Khairun NISA Foster Carer, Leeds City Council. For services to Fostering.
Raad SHAKIR, Professor of Neurology (Visiting), Imperial College London. For services to Global Neurology.
Hora SOLTANI-KARBASCHI Professor of Maternal and Infant Health, Sheffield Hallam University. For services to Higher Education and to Maternal and Infant Health.
Shahab UDDIN Director of Legal, British Olympic Association. For services to Sport during the Covid-19 Response.
MEDAL OF THE ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE
Samira AHMAD Assistant Scientific Officer, Animal and Plant Health Agency. For services to Animal Health during the Covid-19 Response and to the community in Woking, Surrey.
Swaran CHOWDHARY For services to Kidney Research UK, Organ Donation and South Asian communities in Scotland.
Imran Ahmed CHOWDHURY For services to Community Cohesion in Northampton.
Golam Mahbab Alam CHOWDHURY Refugee Support Staff and Emergency Responder, British Red Cross. For services to Healthcare during the Covid-19 Response.
Amir Simon HANNAN General Practitioner, Haughton Thornley Medical Centre. For services to General Practice in Hyde and Haughton Green, Metropolitan Borough of Tameside.
Ziaul KHAN For services to the community in Sheffield.
Nadeem Sadiq KHAN Charity Helpline Housing Adviser and Team Leader, Shelter. For services to the Homeless during the Covid-19 Response.
Khakan Munir QURESHI Senior Independent Living Officer, Midland Heart. For services to LGBT Equality.
Aminur Khosru RAHMAN Chair, Kent Area Committee, Institution of Mechanical Engineers. For services to Education.
Syedur RAHMAN For services to Charity in Leicester.
Azizur RAHMAN Foods Section Manager, Marks and Spencer. For services to the community in London during the Covid-19 Response.
Mohammed Usman RAKQ Senior IT Assistant, Glasgow Caledonian University. For services to Education and to Students with Hearing Impairments.