Muslims Contribute Billions to Economy
- Muslims contribute 31b pounds to British economy
Monday, February 12, 2007
LONDON: The British Muslim community contributes more than 31 billion
pounds to the country's economy each year, it was revealed at a
function in Central London on Saturday evening.
The function was meant to honour the 100 Muslims, including business
leaders, writers, academics, doctors, campaigners and aid agency
founders, who do most for Britain. They ranged from lords to lawyers,
from authors to sporting icons and pre-eminent academics to giants of
industry. They all had two things in common: all of them were Muslims
and all of them had made an outstanding contribution to British society.
Established to recognise Muslims who have made "significant
contributions to the social, cultural and economic well-being of
Britain", the awards have been praised by commentators as a timely
public reminder of the positive contribution to the British economy by
its 1.8 million Muslim citizens. On the list were
cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, Labour peer Lord Patel of
Blackburn, actor Art Malik, boxer Amir Khan, singer Yusuf Islam
(formerly Cat Stevens) and Harrods boss Mohamed al Fayed.
The list, sponsored by the Islamic Bank of Britain (IBB), had been
compiled from some 6,000 nominations and judged by a 16-member panel
including Sir Iqbal Sacranie of the Muslim Council of Britain and Lord
Bhatia and Dr Ghayassuddin Siddiqui of the Muslim Parliament of Great
Sultan Chaudhry, spokesman for the IBB, said the event was the
culmination of nine months of preparations and voting. "We wanted to
highlight the positive contributions made by British Muslims to
society - contributions that are in complete contrast with media
connotations that somehow Muslims are linked to terrorism, they are
not educated or they are segregating themselves. The opposite is true
- we are integrating and contributing across a wide range of fields."
Excellence awards were also given to nine guests, including Dr Hany El
Banna, founder of Islamic Relief, and Haifa Fahoum Al Kaylani,
chairwoman of the Arab International Women's Forum.
Businessmen dominated the `Power 100' list. Some 22 names on the list
were of company chiefs, including Sir Gulam Noon, whose curry empire
is worth around 55 million pounds.
Lord Patel, Britain's first Asian peer, said he was "absolutely
delighted" to be included in the `Power 100' that "can help improve
perceptions about Muslims in Britain".
Journalist Rageh Omaah, also on the list, said: "Anything that helps
remind people that there's a mainstream British Muslim community that
has no problem being proud to be British and Muslim is a good thing."
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