A Muslim councillor who spoke out against extremism and helped members of his faith integrate into the Aberdeen community has thanked his adopted home city after earning royal recognition.
Pakistan-born Mohammed Tauqeer Malik, who has represented Lower Deeside on Aberdeen City Council since 2012, will be presented with the British Empire Medal after being nominated in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
The 47-year-old, who arrived in the city aged 20 in 1991, was thrilled to find out about his award, and dedicated it to the people of Aberdeen.
He said: “I owe a lot to the city. This place has given me so much and it has been a pleasure to give back to the community that has supported me.
“I’m so proud and humbled to receive this award which I see as recognition of the strength of our diverse communities and the common values that bring us all together. To be recognised with the British Empire Medal is an enormous honour.”
Mr Malik was the first British-Asian captain of Mannofield Cricket Club in 1993 and has been skipper of the Aberdeenshire Grades Select since 2003. He was also the first Asian city councillor and Burgess of Aberdeen.
During his career, Mr Malik has used his position as a councillor to speak out in the media against extremism and promote tolerance and harmony among different groups irrespective of their faiths and beliefs.
He has also acted as a point of contact for Muslims arriving in the area.
Councillor Barney Crockett, the Lord Provost of Aberdeen, said: “Cllr Malik is a great humanitarian and an inspiring leader who epitomises what the British Empire Medal is all about.
“This honour is richly deserved. It will be a pleasure to present the medal to him later in my role as Lord-Lieutenant.”