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Friday, 31 March, 2000, 07:55 GMT
Blair hails Muslim achievements
tony blair
Tony Blair praised UK Muslims
The achievements of the UK Muslim community have been recognised at an awards ceremony in London.

The awards were presented on Thursday evening, spanning 12 categories including engineering, science and technology, art, community relations, sport, enterprise and children's excellence.

Prime Minister Tony Blair and Tory leader William Hague both sent pre-recorded goodwill messages to the first Awards For Excellence event, organised by The Muslim News.

The Muslim News is the largest independent Muslim newspaper in Britain and it is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

william hague
Hague: Awards ceremony is fantastic
Mr Blair said: "I hope very much that through awards ceremonies like this, we build a greater degree of common understanding across the faiths".

He added: "The faith of Islam is very peaceful and a very beautiful faith.

"It's great that we have the dialogue across the faiths so that all the time, we are bringing our country closer and closer together."

Mr Hague said it was a "fantastic opportunity" to pay tribute to the hard work, spirit and determination of the British Muslim community.

"I am delighted to see the range of applicants from so many different areas," he said.

Bushra Nasir, who became the first Muslim female headteacher of a state school in 1993, won the Iman Wa Amal (faith in action) Judges' Award.


She runs Plashet Comprehensive School in Newham and has helped double the percentage of pupils getting top grade GCSE passes.

The youngest prizewinner was five-year-old Maisam-Reza Khaku, of Edgware, Middlesex, who was described as an inspiration.

He was diagnosed with hereditary deafness when he was just three months old, but was sent to a mainstream school where other pupils and teachers learned British sign language to communicate with him.

And the Ummul Mu'minin Khadijah Award for excellence in enterprise went to Perween Warsi who set up S&A Foods in 1987.

She started the firm because she was fed up with the quality of Asian food in British supermarkets and it now supplies Asda and Safeway and has a turnover of nearly 70m

The Muslim Women's Help Line, which provides a national lifeline for women facing social and domestic problems, was given the Uthman Dan Fodio award for excellence in community development.

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29 Mar 00 | UK Politics
Blair: Koran inspired me
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