Another 9 community members to get Diamond Jubilee medalsWritten by MCC-NCR
The Muslim Coordinating Council of the National Capital Region is grateful that nine Muslims in the region are receiving the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Award on the recommendation of the council.
At least 15 Muslims in the National Capital Region will be receiving the award, with some have been nominated by the government and other organizations.
The Diamond Jubilee awards are given to Canadians who have made a significant contribution to their community or an achievement abroad that brought credit to their community. Sixty thousand Canadians will receive the award this year which was created to mark the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth's accession to the throne. Every province has been allotted a quota for nominations. Although the MCC is not among the organizations selected by the government to recommend candidates, it did so through MPP Yasir Naqvi and other MPPs and MPs.
MCC is humbled and honored by this recognition because MCC's mandate is to unite the Muslim community to serve its most vulnerable, to work with fellow Canadians to promote human rights, dignity and equality for all Canadians and to serve Canada effectively. Canadian Muslims are contributing significantly to the country in various fields and it is gratifying that their services are being recognized.
MCC's nomination committee is chaired by Atiq Rehman, and consists of Saad Rashid, Sarwat Humayun and Mohammad Zakaria Khan, who as president of the MCC is a member of all sub-committees. MCC founder Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan is an adviser to the committee.
Those who are getting the awards on the MCC's recommendation are Imam Dr. Zijad Delic, Dr. Munir Sheikh, Dr. Abdul Sattar, Dr. Maher Arar, Dr. Monia Mazigh, Dr. Safa Fouda, Dr. Sarwar Gilani, Lubna Syed and Mumtaz Akhtar.
The MCC also nominated Nazira Tareen, but she was also nominated by MPP Bob Chiarelli, who presented her the award.
Other community members receiving the award are Mazhar Mufti, Dr Nasirul Islam, Sheema Khan, Lt.-Cmdr. Wafa Dabbagh, Mobeen Khaja and Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan.
Mr. Mufti was nominated by the RCMP for his dedicated volunteer services as national treasurer for the RCMP Veterans Association.
Dr. Islam received the award through MPP Naqvi. As professor of Governance and Public Policy at University of Ottawa, his focus is on politics and culture, especially in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Ms. Khan has been writing a column for the Globe and Mail for years and is the founder of the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN).
Lt.-Cmdr. Dabbagh became the first Muslim woman wearing hijab to join the Canadian armed forces. As she lay in the hospital dying of cancer she was presented the award for "her dedication to duty, her cheerful spirit and for improving understanding between Muslims and the Canadian military."
Mr. Khaja was chosen automatically because had previously received the Order of Ontario. He received the Order of Ontario for his long community service.
Likewise, Mr. Ali Khan received the award as one who had already received the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario. He received the Order of Canada and Order of Ontario for his work as a journalist, his efforts to promote understanding between Canadians of different faiths and his efforts on behalf of Ottawa's Muslims.
If you know of others within the greater Ottawa area who have received or been selected to receive the medal, the MCC would be happy to include their name(s) in future lists.
Syed Mumtaz Akhtar
Was chair of Human Concern International, is chair of Sadaqa Food Bank, is Chair of the Board of Funeral Services Ontario. Established the first Muslim mortuary. Volunteered as spiritual counselor for distressed Muslims in local hospitals.
Having been vindicated for having been falsely accused of terrorism and renditioned for torture to Syria, Mr. Arar has since his return to Canada been a key advocate for justice and human-rights. He established a digital not-for-profit magazine, Prism, to reconcile Canada's security needs with Canadians' human rights, dignity and justice.
Imam Dr. Zijad Delic
A dynamic and progressive Imam, Dr. Delic works tirelessly to help children and youth become good people and productive members of society. He counsels seniors, married couples and newcomers. He has established good relations with educational institutions and interfaith and other groups.
Dr. Safaa Fouda
Retired chemical engineer who has contributed greatly to interfaith relations, charity, building cross-cultural bridges, creating harmony and eliminating fear and prejudice in the diverse community. Her approach is knowledge-sharing and raising awareness.
Dr. G. Sarwar Gilani
Significant scientific contribution in the area of Nutrition and Food Safety. He received the Queen's Golden Jubilee medal and Deputy Minister's Award for Excellence in Science for contribution to improving the health of Canadians and enhancing Health Canada's science base and credibility.
Dr. Monia Mazigh
Author, activist and human rights defender. When her husband Maher Arar was branded a terrorist and deported to Syria, she fought for his freedom, waging a relentless campaign to snatch her husband from the jaws of torture and possible death.
Dr. Syed Abdus Sattar
Renowned microbiologist. Outstanding professional and scientific achievements. Recipient of numerous awards, fellowships and medals recognizing his professional excellence and dedication, as well as volunteerism. Professor Emeritus and of Microbiology and Founding Director for the Centre for Research on Environmental Microbiology at the University of Ottawa.
Dr. Munir Sheikh
Outstanding professional achievements. First Canadian of Asian or African background to be appointed Deputy Minister. Served as Chief Statistician of Canada. Dr. Sheikh has held many senior positions during which he was involved in the establishment of Service Canada; playing a key role in the reform and the sound footing of the Canada Pension Plan; and indexation of Canada's personal income tax, which put a stop to an automatically rising tax burden. He is a distinguished fellow and adjunct professor at Queen's University in Kingston and a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Carleton University in Ottawa; is co-Commissioner of Ontario's Social Assistance Review.
Ms. Lubna-Mashooda Syed
Significant contributions to community initiatives, promotion of intercultural understanding and bridge-building with various community and ethnic groups. She excels as a community leader and has helped build a vibrant and active Pakistan community in Eastern Ontario.
Mrs. Nazira Tareen
Has been in public service for 40 years, doing interfaith work and helping neighbours, students, new immigrants, widows and the needy. She has also provided leadership in numerous women's groups, including the Ottawa Muslim Women's Organization which she founded a decade ago.
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