Leeds Met awards Qari Asim MBE honorary degree
Imam at the Makkah Mosque on Thornville Road, Leeds, Qari was awarded an MBE by the Queen in her 2012 Birthday Honours list for services to inter-faith relations and the community. This work involved him holding open days at the mosque to enhance community relations following the London bombings, and regular inter-faith and inter-community events.
Qari, who is the only full-time Imam in the UK who is also a practicing solicitor, working for global legal practice DLA Piper, was awarded his Honorary Doctorate for his contribution to public life. He commented: "I am absolutely delighted and incredibly humbled to have received this prestigious honour from a distinguished institution. This honorary Doctorate gives me a renewed sense of purpose to work even harder to enhance community relations.
"My role as a lawyer and as an Imam may at first appearance seem very different but actually they have a lot of common elements - that is helping people to resolve their issues. Both roles are challenging and also emotionally stimulating. I see it as an absolute honour to be as a conduit between people and their Lord and that's something that's phenomenally humbling to me."
Recognised in the Pakistan Power 100 Future Leaders list for providing 'Excellence in Professional Services', Qari has also previously received a British Community Honours award and was shortlisted for the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World award.
In addition to his invaluable contribution to his local community, Qari is a distinguished figure in the field of improving inter-faith relations at an international level. He is a member of the Government's Anti-Muslim Hatred working group, which involves active participation in setting the Government's agenda for tackling issues facing British Muslims. Qari was also recently part of a delegation of some of the most influential Muslim leaders from across the globe invited to a conference hosted by the Abu Dhabi Government aimed at improving inter-faith relations worldwide.
Qari is passionate about inspiring Muslim youth to engage with their responsibilities as British citizens and has been an elected member of the Executive Board of Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board which aims to involve Muslim youth in mainstream mosques. He also authored the 'Mosques and Youth Engagement Toolkit' and designed an innovative national programme of workshops 'Being a British Muslim: Challenges and Opportunities', as well as a book entitled 'Our Children: Our Future', which gives practical tips to Muslim parents on nurturing the next generation of responsible British citizens.
Qari has campaigned, amongst other things, against domestic violence and forced marriages.
Others receiving honorary degrees from Leeds Metropolitan include: Senior Counsel and former Judge of the High Court of South Africa and one of the world's foremost authorities on corporate governance, reporting and sustainability, Professor Mervyn King; Managing Director at the helm of the Wakefield-based organisation Group Rhodes, Mark Ridgway OBE, DL, who oversees the group's seven engineering companies; award-winning artist and Leeds Metropolitan graduate, Charlotte Harris, whose work is featured in the collection of London's National Portrait Gallery; Hanif Malik, founder and Chief Executive of the Hamara Healthy Living Centre - the largest ethnic minority organisation in the voluntary and community sector in Leeds; Chairman of the Leeds Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha (GNNSJ) and champion of the city's Sikh community, Harbans Singh Sagoo, who has played a major part in supporting Sikhs in South Leeds to be a part of mainstream society and former property lawyer Nigel McClea, who has led on some of Yorkshire's largest property projects including the Royal Armouries Museum and the Jorvik Viking Centre.
Leeds Metropolitan University Vice Chancellor, Professor Susan Price, said: "Qari Asim's commitment to inter-faith relations and the community in which he serves is hugely inspiring to both our students and soon-to-be alumni. We are delighted to recognise his invaluable contribution to public life with this Honorary Doctorate."
The full list of honorary degrees to be awarded by Leeds Metropolitan University is:
Monday 21 July, 11am - Judge Mervyn King, Hon Doctorate of Laws
Monday 21 July, 5pm - Nigel McClea, Hon Doctorate of Business Administration
Tuesday 22 July, 11am - Qari Asim, Hon Doctorate of Laws
Tuesday 22 July, 2pm - Hanif Malik, Hon Doctorate of the University
Tuesday 22 July, 5pm - Leigh-Anne Stradeski, Hon Doctorate of Education
Tuesday 22 July, 5pm - Harbans Singh Sagoo, Hon Doctorate of the University
Wednesday 23 July, 11am - Charlotte Harris, Hon Doctorate of Arts
Wednesday 23 July, 2pm - Kevin Grady, Hon Doctorate of Arts
Wednesday 23 July, 5pm - Mark Ridgway OBE, Hon Doctorate of Technology
Thursday 24 July, 11am - Piers Aggett, Hon Masters of Music
Thursday 24 July, 11am - Kesi Dryden, Hon Masters of Music
Thursday 24 July, 2pm - Mark Herman, Hon Doctorate of Arts
Friday 25 July, 11am - Sid Barras, Hon Doctorate of Sport Science
Friday 25 July, 11am - Edwin (Eddie) Gray, Hon Doctorate of Sport Science
Friday 25 July, 2pm - Fiona Pelham, Hon Doctorate of Business Administration
Friday 25 July, 5pm - Stuart Blackburn, Hon Doctorate of Literature
Friday 25 July, 5pm - Noviendi Makalam, Hon Doctorate of Business Administration
. Judge Mervyn King is a Senior Counsel and former Judge of the High Court of South Africa and one of the world's foremost authorities on corporate governance, reporting and sustainability. He is the past chairman of the United Nations Steering Committee of Eminent Persons, who reviewed the governance and oversight within the United Nations, its funds, programmes and specialised agencies and the Global Reporting Initiative.
. Nigel McClea is a former property lawyer who has led on some of Yorkshire's largest property projects including the Royal Armouries Museum and the Jorvik Viking Centre.
. Qari Asim is a Leeds mosque leader, who has worked tirelessly to build bridges between communities in Leeds since the 7/7 terror attacks.
. Hanif Malik is Chief Executive and founder of the Hamara Healthy Living Centre - the largest ethnic minority organisation in the voluntary and community sector in Leeds.
. Leigh-Anne Stradeski is the Chief Executive of Halifax's National Children's Museum, Eureka! She is a highly respected voice on the issues regarding museum development, informal play-based learning and wider issues regarding the importance of play within child development.
. Harbans Singh Sagoo is Chairman of the Leeds Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha (GNNSJ) and champion of the city's Sikh community. He has played a major part in supporting Sikhs in South Leeds to be a part of mainstream society.
. Charlotte Harris is an award-winning artist and Leeds Metropolitan graduate, whose work is featured in the collection of London's National Portrait Gallery.
. Kevin Grady is a leading historian and Chief Executive of Leeds Civic Trust. Dubbed the 'architectural heritage watchdog' for Leeds by the local press, over the last 25 years he has transformed Leeds Civic Trust into one the country's leading Civic Societies.
. Mark Ridgway is a businessman and Managing Director at the helm of the Wakefield-based organisation Group Rhodes, who oversees the group's seven engineering companies.
. Piers Aggett & Kesi Dryden make up half of the chart-topping and BRIT award-winning group Rudimental. They graduated from Leeds Met in 2008 from BSc (Hons) Creative Music and Sound Technology.
. Mark Herman is the director of critically-acclaimed films, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and Brassed Off. He is a former film student of the University's predecessor institution, Leeds Polytechnic.
. Sid Barras is a British road-racing legend, who had 200 wins in his 18 years as a professional, including the 1979 double of British National Road Race Champion and British National Circuit Race Champion.
. Eddie Gray MBE is a Leeds United legend who was both a player and manager at the club.
. Fiona Pelham is an events expert and three times Managing Director of companies Positive Impact, Sustainable Events Ltd and Organise This.
. Stuart Blackburn is at the helm of Britain's longest-running and arguably best-loved soap opera, Coronation Street as Producer, following a two-year term as Producer of Emmerdale.
. Noviendi Makalam is Director of International Cooperations at Indonesia's Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy. He is a member of specialist teams that have produced the Indonesian Tourism Strategic Plan 2010-2014.