New year honours includes first hijabi referee & Islam Channel award winner

British Muslims were named in the new year honours list, including the first hijab-wearing referee in the UK and an Islam Channel Business Award winner.  

Over 30 Muslims were mentioned in King Charles’ first honours list since the Queen’s death. They were recognised for their contributions in various fields, including community involvement, interfaith services, and charitable work.  

Jawahir Roble, who grew up playing football in war-torn Mogadishu, was awarded an MBE for services to football after becoming the first black, female, Muslim, hijab-wearing referee in the UK.

“I’m feeling very humbled & honoured in receiving my MBE in the Kings first New Year Honours list for my services to football and charity work,” said Jawahir on Twitter. “I want to thank everyone who has helped and supported me along the way.”

The CEO of London Tea Exchange Sheikh Aliur Rahman was awarded an OBE for services to the tea Industry and to young people. In November, The London Tea Exchange won Islam Channel’s Food & Beverage Business of the Year award.

The number of Muslims receiving honours this year was fewer than last year when over 50 were mentioned in a list that received praise and condemnation.  

The honours system is often criticised as being elitist and connected to the history of British colonialism.

Dedication to serving communities

The theme of public service was prominent in this year’s list, with most of the award recipients being nominated for their dedication to serving their local communities.

Professor Robina Shahnaz Shah was awarded the Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to patient care.

Ziana Ayesha Butt, who appeared on Islam Channel recently, received an MBE for services to Netball and to diversity. Mouhssin Ismail, who has appeared on Salaam Britain, was awarded an OBE.

Other Muslim recipients were also congratulated on social media.

Secretary General of the MCB, Zara Mohammed said: “We congratulate all of those awarded by King Charles for this New Years Honour’s list.

“It is great to see such excellent contributions to our society recognised, a real testament to the vital work faith communities continue to play in shaping our diverse Britain.”

Full list of Muslims honoured

The MCB created a compilation of the Muslims (based on name alone) honoured in the 2023 New Years Honours List:

Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire

  • Professor Robina Shahnaz SHAH, Director, Doubleday Centre for Patient Experience. For services to Patient Care

Commander of the Order of the British Empire

  • Nadra AHMED, Executive Chair, National Care Association. For services to Social Care

Officer of the Order of the British Empire

  • Usman ALI, Lately Chair, Black Workers’ Committee, Scottish Trades Union Congress. For services to Equality and Cohesion in Scotland
  • Rashid BEGUM, Lately Acting Deputy Director, Home Office. For Public Service
  • Mouhssin ISMAIL, Lately Principal, Newham Collegiate Sixth Form Centre, London Borough of Newham. For services to Education
  • Saika JABEEN, Assistant Chief Officer, Nottinghamshire Probation Service. For Public Service
  • Fukhera KHALID, Managing Director, Elbrook Cash and Carry. For services to Business, to Charity and to the community in North London
  • Professor Mohamed POURKASHANIAN, Managing Director, Energy Innovation Centre, University of Sheffield. For services to Net Zero Research and to Innovation
  • Sheikh Aliur RAHMAN, Chief Executive Officer, London Tea Exchange. For services to the Tea Industry and to Young People
  • Riaz SHAH, Founder and Chair of Trustees, One Degree Academy. For services to Education
  • Remzije SHERIFI, For services to Refugee Integration in Glasgow
  • Asrar UL-HAQ, For services to the community in Greater Manchester

Member of the Order of the British Empire

  • Mesba AHMED, Founder and Chief Executive, London Tigers Charity. For services to the community in London
  • Syed Samad ALI, Lately Teacher, Thornhill Academy, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear. For services to Education
  • Shadim HUSSAIN, Chief Executive, My Foster Family. For services to Equality and to the Foster Care System
  • Dr Atiya KAMAL, Health Psychologist and Senior Lecturer, School of Social Sciences, Birmingham City University. For services to Health Psychology during Covid-19
  • Mohammed Wakkas KHAN, Founder, Young Interfaith. For services to Charity, to Young People and to Interfaith Relations
  • Dr Shaid MAHMOOD, Chair of Governors, Leeds City College Group. For services to Further Education in Leeds
  • Syed Khaja Mohi MOINUDDIN, Customs Cooperation Agreements Lead, HM Revenue and Customs. For Public Service
  • Professor Dr Syed Naseem NAQVI, President, British Blockchain Association. For services to Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies
  • Dr Nooralhaq NASIMI, Founder, Afghanistan and Central Asian Association. For services to Refugees
  • Anisah OSMAN BRITTON, Founder, 23 Code Street. For services to Diversity in the Technology Sector
  • Dr Mohammed QASIM, Lecturer and Welfare Officer, Gower College, Swansea. For services to Academic Research and to Young People
  • Abdul Aziz QAZI, Imam and Founder, Jamia Islamia Ghousia Trust. For services to the community in Luton
  • Zebina RATANSI, Director of Nursing, Whipps Cross University Hospital, Barts Health NHS Trust. For services to Nursing Leadership
  • Jawahir ROBLE, Referee and Volunteer, Football Beyond Borders. For services to Association Football
  • Hammad Nasar, Curator, Author and Art Historian. For services to the Arts. (London)
  • Faraz Khan, Founder and Director, Social, Entrepreneurship and Equity Development SEEDVentures. For services to UK/Pakistan relations
  • Mohammed Shokat, Consular Regional Director Middle East, and North Africa, and South Asia, British Embassy Dubai, United Arab Emirates. For services to British Nationals overseas.

Medal of the Order of the British Empire

  • Nura Omar AABE, Founder, Autism Independence. For services to People with Autism
  • Zulqarnain Tony ASLAM, Councillor, Wellingborough Town Council. For services to the community in Wellingborough during Covid-19
  • Shah Sheikh Shepali BEGUM, Lately Outreach and Impacts Manager, Commonwealth Games Legacy Team. For services to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Ziana Ayesha BUTT, For services to Netball and to Diversity
  • Zakaria Arif DADA, For services to the community in the London Borough of Merton during Covid-19
  • Javaid IQBAL, Foster Carer, Birmingham Children’s Trust. For services to Fostering
  • Samina Qasim IQBAL, Foster Carer, Birmingham Children’s Trust. For services to Fostering
  • Dr Sayyada MAWJI, For services to Healthcare during Covid-19

Kings Ambulance Service Medal

  • Salman Desai, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Director of Strategy, Partnerships and Transformation, North West Ambulance Service

Order of St Michael and St George (Knight Commander)

  • Masood AHMED, President, Center for Global Development. For services to International Development.
  • Dr Mohamed IBRAHIM, Founder, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation. For services to Charity and to Philanthropy.


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