Maysoon Shafiq is the founder and Director of Al Mu’Minun (The Believers), a non-profit organisation dedicated to serving the youth through open spaces of spirituality, dialogue, and empowerment.
Maysoon has a Masters degree in education and a law degree from the University of Huddersfield.
She has received several awards for her work, including ‘Diversity Champion of the Year 2020’ at the Kirklees Inclusion and Diversity Awards in 2020. She strives to narrow the divide in inclusion and diversity through open dialogue.
Our 2020 Igniting Inspiration Campaign is proudly sponsored by
Who has she helped/who will she help?
Society at large. Maysoon single-handedly organised and opened the doors of the local mosque in Huddersfield, allowing all members of the community to come in and listen to the call to prayer, witness prayer demonstrations, listen to lectures as well as ablution demonstrations.
She organised the visit in collaboration with the London-based Muslim Council, a national umbrella body with more than 500 affiliated mosques, educational and charitable associations.
It was part of a national ‘Visit My Mosque Day’, an annual campaign spearheaded by the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), aimed at building bridges and breaking down stereotypes.
More than 250 mosques across the UK held open days to welcome in their neighbours from all faiths, but Abu Bakr in Paddock was the only one in West Yorkshire to do so.
It was a successful event and the local councillors and Kirklees Mayor were in attendance complimented Maysoon and her efforts thoroughly. They commented that opening the doors of the mosque allows for open dialogue and ease of communication. This, in turn, reduces discrimination and enables a more harmonious, inclusive community.
From the seminars, to the events, and the creativity used in spreading the message has all worked because the Kirklees community is now a much more inclusive and diverse community that is welcoming to all – regardless of race or religion.
What has she learned? Any challenges?
Maysoon says “Keep going, never give up. The journey isn’t an easy one – but the rewards at the end are worth it!
The challenges are always present – trying to get the community together and then educating them to eradicate myths and stereotypes. But somewhere within these challenges, there are ample rewards and I just try and make it fun.”
“To continue working on spreading positivity and promoting inclusivity and diversity.
I am currently in the planning stage of holding a scripture reasoning event whereby passages from the Holy Books will be read i.e. Qur’an, Bible, and Torah on certain topics i.e. neighbour rights to reach an informed decision and promote inclusivity.”
Maysoon works tirelessly for the community, promoting harmony, equality and encourages diversity and inclusivity. That is why I believe she is the true recipient of this Award. She is a role model for others in the community.
What advice, contacts, or resources would help her?
Like-minded women who can mentor, and work together to reach maximum potential.
Why we’re sharing these stories
Each year, an individual or organisation from each of our five categories plus one exceptional judges’ choice individual is recognised at our Igniting Inspiration recognition event in November.
We publish each and every nomination to raise awareness of all the positive work that goes on in the North. While, this year, our physical event may have to be deferred, our campaign to spread stories of positive social impact continues – good news is needed!