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New Year Honors: Muslim Gets BEM for Interfaith Services

A British Muslims has been named in New Year’s Honors list in recognition of his services to community cohesion in Northampton.

“I’m really honored and humbled. It was a pleasure to accept it as an award coming from the Queen is the most aspirational thing that anyone in my position could get,” Imran Chowdhury, who received the British Empire Medal (BEM), said, Northampton Chronicle reported.

The 60-year-old Chowdhury came to the UK as a Bengali refugee in 1971. Over the past decades, he worked as a vocal advocate of Bangladeshis, Muslims and social inclusion.

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He also worked to supports Muslim youths and integrate them with other faith groups.

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“I want to give my community the idea that this is their country, the UK is their country and we have to be involved and integrated with the culture,” he said.

“We have our own culture but the integration will make Britain a stronger place to live. That’s how I work and what drives me.”

Doing charity in his spare time, Chowdhury worked as sales and marketing manager for Tilda, restaurateur and journalist.

He has no plans to stop his efforts.

“I’m 60 but I think I’ve got another innings in me to keep providing a role model for Bengali youths and any youths as I never had one growing up,” he said.

“I want to give them a sense of belonging and give back to the community to make themselves formidable and take them away from gangs and knives and extremism.”

Many British Muslims, especially youth and women, received 2020 New Year honors, in recognition of their charitable work to help their community.