Faruk Miah MBE FRSA – Chairman
Faruk Miah MBE is an award winning educator, political activist, humanitarian and pre-eminent thought leader on the British-Bangladeshi diaspora. A qualified ICT lecturer with many years of professional expertise in Further Education and Adult & Community Learning, he has worked with industry leaders in education, business, politics and different faith communities to inspire the next generation whilst working together in making a better society for us all.
Growing up in Yorkshire, he worked for one of the largest Further Education Colleges in the UK prior to taking up his current senior leadership role at an ACL provider in London. His passion for education has seen him go from teaching in the classroom to travelling around the world to recruit international students to his current role as a senior leader responsible for strategy, staffing, students and resources. A good education is paramount in an inclusive society where everyone can aspire and improve their life chances.
Whilst always interested in politics it wasn’t till a chance meeting in 2012 with a member of the CMF Executive that Faruk was first introduced to the Conservative Muslim Forum. So impressed was he by Lord Sheikh and his peers that he ended up first joining the Conservative Party and then the CMF Executive soon after.
In March 2020 Faruk was elected as the new Chairman of the Conservative Muslim Forum. Whilst the job comes with tremendous responsibility, Faruk is excited at the challenge of increasing membership and building better relations between the Conservative Party and the wider community. He is a passionate believer that the Conservative Party is a natural fit for anyone with ambition and aspiration. He brings a wealth of experience and expertise from engaging with individuals interested in developing their knowledge & understanding of politics to organising fundraising events, campaigning and leading overseas delegations.
Like all Muslims across the world Faruk was brought up to always think of others less fortunate than himself, be it during Ramadan or giving Zakat (charity) as one of the five pillars of Islam. He has always been supportive of various humanitarian causes from the floods in Bangladesh, the famine in Africa, earthquake in Pakistan to supporting local charities in the UK. He is the founder of “JustSmiles” a global movement whose fundamental aim is to bring a smile to the faces of the most vulnerable and needy in society through simple acts of kindness.
Faruk is a prominent figure in the British-Bangladeshi community with a background in research, diaspora excellence and leadership. He is currently developing the Bangladeshi Diaspora Knowledge Network (BDKN).
Faruk is the former host of the popular current affairs TV programme Community Matters which airs on NTV Europe (sky channel 834). Trained in Media relations, he is a regular guest on various programmes on the Sky TV platform.
In January 2010 he was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) by Queen Elizabeth II for services to Further Education and the community in Leeds.
Hashim Bhatti BA(Hons), MA, GDL, LPC, LLM – Deputy Chairman
Hashim has a background in corporate law with a Masters in Economics, Politics, Philosophy and Law alongside a degree in Politics with International Relations. He is currently the CEO for several businesses in the property and tech sector having previously specialised in private equity and corporate finance. As an entrepreneur and a philanthropist he brings a wealth of expertise and experience to the CMF Board.
Between May 2015 to May 2019, Hashim served as an elected Conservative Councillor for the Clewer North Ward in the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead. He was the first British Pakistani selected by the Conservative Party in Windsor for the local council elections and was one of the youngest Conservative candidates to win. He has previously worked as a political adviser to an influential peer in Parliament where his work has included strengthening bilateral relations.and scrutinising the Intellectual Property Bill. He has a keen interest in foreign policy relations having led several international delegations as a trusted adviser to governments and NGO’s.
As a pioneer, Hashim has over a decade of experience working in interfaith relations and under his leadership was the brainchild behind London’s first Interfaith Summit in 2015. In 2017, Hashim founded the first ever interfaith fringe reception held at a party conference which has now become an annual feature. Alongside this, Hashim regularly hosts events in Parliament to empower young people and to increase diversity within politics. For example, throughout 2018-2019 Hashim held a series of roundtables across the UK (London, Manchester & Bradford) to highlight the pathways into politics.
Hashim is also an Ambassador for One Young World, a Patron of the British Pakistan Foundation, a UN ParliaMentors participant, a member of the Faith & Belief Forum Council, a blogger for Huffington Post, a member of the Society of Conservative Lawyers and a member of the US Embassy’s flagship Future Leaders’ programme (YLUK). He was recently selected by the intergovernmental Organisation for Security & Co-operation (OSCE/ODIHR) as an expert young leader to help them develop a coalition building manual in Europe on tolerance and non-discrimination. In 2018, he was selected as one of a handful of UK representatives for the Commonwealth Youth Forum held in London. In 2019, he was invited to the One Young World Summit as a UK delegate and completed a leadership programme run by Common Purpose (British Council).
He has several accolades to his name. In 2016, Junior Chamber International named Hashim as one of the UK’s 10 Outstanding Young Leaders. In 2017, Hashim was named as a finalist at the LGA local government awards as one of the UK’s Young Councillors of the Year. In 2019, Hashim was named as one of the 21 for 21 young leaders in interfaith relations (an initiative supported by10 Downing Street) for his groundbreaking work in building bridges between communities.
His research interests include the partition of Pakistan and India, the power of foreign lobby groups, how the British educational system has shaped attitudes to religions and lastly, the extent to which the competition rules in articles 101,102 and 106 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union applied to the NHS in the UK.
Samir Thantrey BSc (Hons) FCCA – Treasurer
Samir Thantrey has a Batchelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Queen Mary University (University of London). He is a qualified Chartered Certified Accountant and is a fellow member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.
Samir qualified with Prager & Fenton LLP, now Prager Metis LLC, a top 60 firm in the US. He continued his career at a mid-tier firm where he was involved in the setup of their international office. Currently, he is the Director of the Business Services Department at Nyman Libson Paul LLP.
Samir has extensive experience in the Aviation, Entertainment and Property sectors. Working closely with SMEs and high-net-worth individuals he is able to understand their circumstances and tailor plans to help them meet their financial and business goals.
Samir is actively involved in various charitable work across a number of charities he primarily focuses on educational projects around the world.
Samir has represented the Conservative Muslim Forum at a number of events, conferences and international visits. More recently he was invited to visit Israel and Palestine to gain a better understanding of the political dynamics within the region.
Away from work, Samir enjoys spending time with his family, eating out, travelling and experiencing new cultures. He is also an avid collector of sporting memorabilia, rare coins and antique carpets.
Cllr Charles Choudhary
Councillor Charles Choudhury is a Conservative politician from Aldershot. He is the current Mayor of Rushmoor.
Charles currently serves on Rushmoor Borough Council (Rowhill ward) where he was first elected in 2000. He has been also serving on Hampshire County Council (Aldershot North constituency) since 2013.
As an experienced Councillor Charles has served on many different committees including Corporate Services Policy and Review, Borough Services Policy and Review Panel, Community Policy and Review Pane, Cabinet Member for Concessions and Community Support and Corporate Services Policy and Review Panel.
Devia A.D. Surti LLB Hons – Chair CMF Birmingham & Midlands
Devia Surti is a noted Qualitative Market Research professional, since 1996. She started her career during her Law degree by leading the interviewing for The Observer newspaper’s “National Student Survey”, at her university probing fellow students about all aspects to do with student life, finances and career aspirations.
Devia is the owner/director of a market research agency and specialises in market research related qualitative recruitment for end clients, market research agencies and freelance market research consultants, where her wide-ranging experience and expertise are called upon for niche recruitment and ‘hard to recruit’ respondents. Her work covers both domestic and international clients including US Forbes 500 and UK FTSE 100 companies.
The most arduous part of market research is securing respondents, whether Business to business (B2B) or Business to consumer (B2C) that meet the research brief and budget. To overcome this hurdle-attention to detail and persistence are Devia’s key attributes. Such characteristics are vital in politics as well.
Her experience in qualitative recruitment covers various industry sectors such as national and local government, Non-governmental organisations (NGO), education, healthcare, leisure and travel, financial, legal, technology, telecommunications, transport, utilities, Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) and not-for-profit organisations.
Devia is also co-CEO of Local Access Centre, www.lacentre.org.uk a charity promoting work related learning and championing disability inclusion and rights, predominately helping people of Islamic faith. She is lead director of a Community Interest Company specialising in food philanthropy and has first-hand experience of how individuals can fall on hard times.
Since 2013 Devia volunteers as a community school governor of an Academy for children aged 3-11 and is an active member of the Academy’s PR and Marketing committee.
Devia stood as a councillor candidate in 2016 and 2018 for Royal Sutton Coldfield Town Council. She has strong allegiance and loyalty to the CMF and is not a member of any other Conservative group and has been an activist since 2013 for her local branch and is Vice Chair of the Conservative Women’s Constituency Committee (WCC).
Dr Alam Ara Khan JP, MBBS, FRCS, FRCOG, FRCA
Dr Khan has lived and worked in the UK for over 50 years, qualifying as a Fellow of three Royal Medical Colleges: Surgery, Obstetrics and Anaesthesia. As a consultant anaesthetist and university lecturer she had busy commitments both in clinical practice and in teaching at the Central Manchester Hospitals.
She served as an elected member of the General Medical Council and became the first woman in its 150 years history to chair its committees. She was involved in the introduction of the fundamental guidance to doctors, “Good Medical Practice”, and was instrumental in introducing in Pakistan the admission examination which is a requirement for Pakistani doctors hoping to work here in the UK.
Outside her work, she served on the Central Manchester Magistrates Bench, and is closely involved with Pakistan Community affairs. She served nationally on the Secretary of State’s working party on equality and has a special interest in ethical issues.
Dr Khan continues to serve as adviser on hospital performance and health issues, and chairs the health meetings of the Conservative Muslim Forum.
For pleasure she has a particular fondness for Asian literature and poetry and contributes to and organises poetry meetings.
Dr Haq Nawaz Mirza BSc MBBS
Dr Haq Nawaz is a retired medical doctor and Conservative party activist from Peterborough.
A former student at Rawalpindi Medical College, Jinnah Institute and Manchester University where he studied for his MBBS, CV Diseases and Health Policy and Planning.
Dr Haq was also a special correspondent for Pakistan Times and Newscaster for PTV between 1983 and 1987.
As a Conservative Party member for over 30 years, he has great passion to make a difference and create a better society for all. Whilst a supporter of the Conservative Muslim Forum for a number of years, he instigated and developed the first ever CMF Peterborough branch in 2018, where served as the first ever branch Chairman.
Whilst he is currently retired, he is still committed to giving back to his local community as a volunteer at Sue Ryder Hospice and the homeless. In his spare time he loves writing political commentaries.
Currently completing her Postgrad at Law School, Jasmine brings a varied background of events and fundraising experience to CMF including:
- Press, Artist Liaison and Stage Manager for a variety of festivals including Wilderness, Isle of Wight, Hideout, SW4, Global Gathering
- Corporate Comms for SABMiller
- Marketing and Relationships for the British Consulate in Shanghai
- Event Director Durham University Charity Fashion Show, the largest student fundraising event in the UK
Jasmine is on the committee of Conservative Young Women with strong links with other organisations Conservative organisations as well as Battersea Conservatives, her local constituency.
Jasmine brings a wealth of expertise in events and fundraising as well as her contacts and personal experiences both with the Party and externally.
Cllr Jeanne-Marie Douglas
Jeanne is a Conservative councillor, elected by the Craven Ward to Melton Borough Council in May 2011, where she has responsibility for sitting on various committees and oversees residential concerns raised in her ward. She is also Mayor of the Borough of Melton Mowbray from May 2015 to May 2016.
Jeanne became interested in human rights issues in 2006, when she became a member of Embargoed!, a group established to address the international embargoes imposed upon Northern Cyprus. As a result Jeanne subsequently became actively involved in EU and international educational projects and educational exchange visits, programmes and seminars. Her involvement included various visits to the European Parliament and educational seminars in Brussels and even included EU projects as far afield as Konya, Turkey. Since January 2016 she has been working in the role of EU Coordinator with Embargoed!
As an experienced and qualified teacher of vocational education, she has pursued her own teaching career in various capacities in her local area. She also has a small business in astrology and writes horoscopes for several local publications.
Jeanne became a Member of the Conservative Muslim Forum at the Party Conference in October 2010 and became a Member of the Executive Committee in July 2012.
Lady Shaida Sheikh
Lady Sheikh has been an active supporter of the CMF since its inception, and has been an elected member of the Executive Committee since 2014.
She was born in Kenya and arrived in the UK as a teenager, completing her education in the UK. Lady Sheikh worked in accounting for many years, and is also a director of three property companies.
Lady Sheikh is the administrator and a trustee of the Sheikh Abdullah Foundation, a charity which supports causes in the UK and abroad. She is also a Patron of Orphans in Need and a Champion for ROKO Cancer Charitable Trust. She helps to raise awareness and funding for both charities. Lady Sheikh also supports the Cambridge Islamic College, and numerous other charities including rescuing and finding homes for cats, as well as being a member of the RSPCA, the RSPB and the National Trust. Lady Sheikh also contributes to her locality, being the treasurer of her Residents Association and an active member of her local Conservative Association.
Mike Mogul MBA, PGDip (PropDev&ProjMan), CIOB Dip, CEnv; FCIArb; FCIOB, FCMI, FRSH, AIC (USA)
Mike has 35 years’ experience as a senior manager in property, construction and facilities management in both client and contractor roles in the public and private sector and had overall management responsibility for prestigious projects such as the Bank of England Sport Centre, Harley Street Clinic Springfield Hospital-Tooting, Berkeley Hotel, Tower 41 and International Trading Estate-Hayes.
Mike has an MBA (Management) – Partnership/PFI, Economics & Marketing from Cass Business School, City University, London, a Post Graduate Diploma (Property Development and Project Management) from South Bank University – 1982. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building, a Member of the Society for the Environment and a Chartered Environmentalist.
Mike is a freeman of the City of London and a retired liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Arbitrators. Until 2014 he was a Board Member of Poplar Housing and Regeneration Community Association, and continues to serve as a Planning Group Member. From 2000 to 2013 he was an LEA school governor at Downview Primary School. From 2009 to 2013 he was a Governor of Norbury Manor Business & Enterprise College for Girls. Mike is also a Past Chairman of the Estimating Practice Committee of the Chartered Institute of Building, London and when a Councillor was a Member of the Planning Committee in Croydon.
Mohammad Malick Yousaf – Chair CMF Peterborough
With Allah swt’s blessings I am a husband, father and a grandfather and fulfilling those roles can be challenging at times but mostly very enjoyable!
I have been a Conservative party member for nearly 20 years and an activist for about 5 years. I feel strongly that we should all make a contribution to the political system in whatever way we can.
In terms of political experience, I stood for local council election in 2016 in a safe labour seat and lost by 300 votes. I am active in Peterborough Comservative association and served as vice chairman of a ward and help in organising fund raising activities. I have also campaigned in many elections including the December 2019 general election in which we managed to secure victory for our candidate Paul Bristow and gain this seat from Labour.
I have diverse work and life experience. By profession I am a chartered accountant and a partner in a regional practice in Peterborough, where I have lived for 5 decades. I have also extensive experience of working in public sector in finance as an auditor and management accountant which provided me with an excellent opportunity to understand public policy and public sector culture.
As a former chairman of school governors, I was able to work at strategic level on education delivery and understand more than most that the educational development of our children is a partnership between the school, parents and the child and all three need to work together to make it a success. Although my children are now all grown up, I believe this remains true today.
I was also very privileged to have had the opportunity to lead a community based project involving the construction of first purpose-built mosque in Peterborough- Faizane Madina. This was a £2.5 million project which started in the late 90’s when land was acquired and completed in mid 2000’s. The Mosque was entirely funded by contribution from the local community and stands proudly today as a testimony to the dedication, commitment and passion of a small Muslim community of Pakistani and Kashmiri heritage living in Peterborough. Hats off to them!
I am currently the chairman of the Peterborough branch of the Conservative Muslim Forum and have been on the executive of the National Conservative Muslim Forum for over a year now. It has been a very enjoyable experience and I feel strongly that the CMF can play a significant role in shaping Conservative party polices in relation to Muslims as well as build bridges between the Muslim community and the party. I am excited to be part of that process.
As well as keeping an eye on politics here and abroad, I love playing badminton although it’s becoming tricky with my body being much less agile nowadays.
Naveed A Rana BA MSc – Chair CMF Scotland
Naveed Rana is a businessman, community and political activist from Glasgow, Scotland. A passionate Conservative who dreams of a highly educated society where everyone is self-sufficient and able to reach their true potential.
Having worked for Microsoft UK, Bank of Scotland and Inbev UK, his professional life was shaped within large multinational corporations which instilled the notion of internationalism within his working life leading him to set up his own businesses due to his entrepreneurial spirit.
He aims to help the next generation to become even better integrated and achieve excellence in all aspects of life.
Naveed has been active within the Scottish political arena for many years. He has developed good community links and is now keen to take the Conservative Muslim Forum message across Scotland as the new Chair of CMF Scotland branch.
Naveed is a passionate traveller.
Cllr Omar Bush Bsc (Hons) BFP ACA
Omar is a politician, accountant and lecturer from West London. He was elected as one of the youngest representatives for Merton Council in 2018 to represent Raynes Park Ward as their local Conservative councillor. He currently serves on a number of different committees including; children and young people, overview and scrutiny panel and joint consultative committee with ethnic minority organisations.
Omar is a chartered accountant with a specialism and keen interest in corporate tax. He is also a tax lecturer at Kingston University, where he lectures final year accounting and finance students ensuring that the module meets the highest standards and remains a module that obtains exemptions from the ICAEW and ACCA.
Omar joined the Conservative party back in 2010 even before he was eligible to vote. His passion to make a difference has seen him elected as a local councillor in 2018 and joined the CMF Executive Committee in 2020.
Nabeel is a political consultant with a wide range of experience in political campaigning.
He has worked on numerous high-profile political campaigns providing advice and support from a political and strategy perspective. He has also worked closely with politicians from councillors to Assembly Members, Members of Parliament and Cabinet Ministers.
Nabeel has been a member of the Conservative Party for several years and believes it is important that the Party works for all communities within the United Kingdom. Nabeel joined the CMF Executive Committee in March 2020.
Sara Aslam is a Corporate Lawyer (Solicitor) and former Management Consultant who has experience working in top-tier firms in the City of London. Sara’s focus is on financial services and investment management matters, including the structuring, establishment, management, marketing and restructuring of investment funds. She also sits on the Diversity and Inclusion Council at her workplace and was elected the Minister of Justice for the Commonwealth Youth Parliament.
Sara has, particularly since her time at King’s College London and the University of Cambridge, been heavily involved in voluntary initiatives. She has been Chairperson of the Oxbridge Muslim Alumni (OMA) since 2016, which caters for graduates of the universities of Oxford and Cambridge that identify as Muslims or have an interest in Islam by holding regular events, conferences and seminars. She regularly opens up OMA-led initiatives to the wider community in order to enhance cohesion and dialogue.
Whilst Sara was born and raised in London, her Pakistani heritage and desire to improve lives through education have led her to proactively address causes close to her heart. As such, Sara heads the youth wing of the charity DIL Trust UK, which focuses on girls’ education in Pakistan. She was also the President of the National Union of Pakistani Students and Alumni (NUPSA) for a period of three years, during which she turned the national organisation into one with an international focus. NUPSA gained significant recognition, media attention and was renowned for its part in increasing student engagement through initiatives such as NUPSA’s flagship event, the “Pakistan Young Leaders’ Conference”, which took place bi-annually at both the University of Oxford and the Convention Centre in Islamabad in order to develop key policies around education, law, healthcare, the environment and more.
Sara has received numerous awards for her voluntary work and hopes that by joining the CMF Executive, she will be able to increase Muslim engagement within the Conservative Party in order to make a true and positive difference to the country we all call home.
Suzy Webb has been a member of the CMF since 2017. She is a Christian but a great believer in the Abrahamic faiths and that we are all one family. She is the proud Mother of tv two adult daughters. A retired barrister, specialising in Criminal and General Common Law, she is still exceptionally busy with several charitable and civic causes. Suzy was a councillor and past Mayor of the Borough of Spelthorne.
She is presently;
Senior governor of a Muslim sixth form college;
Special adviser to the Egyptian British Centre,
Director and trustee of both the Hampton and Kempton Steam Museum and Railway;
Volunteer visitor for Embracing Age (Richmond);
Patron of Revolution Care, Supported Housing, providing education, advice and accommodation for ex-service people who have become involved with the Criminal Justice System,
President of Spelthorne District Scouts and executive committee member and trustee of The First City of London (Lord Mayor’s Own) Scout Group;
City Diocesan Synod Representative;
Governor of the Corporation of the Sons of the Clergy;
Member of the Barnes Ward Conservative Committee.
Socially, Suzy is involved with the following:
Past Chairman and member of The Vintry and Dowgate Wards’ Club in the City of London;
A Freeman of the City of London.
A Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Needlemakers;
Member of Middle Temple;
Patron of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Zaid M. Belbagi
A trusted private adviser to high profile individuals and leading organisations, his particular specialism is strategic communications and advisory. A graduate of both the Middle East Centre at the University of Oxford and the Department of International Relations at the London School of Economics, he retains a great interest in the academia focusing on the Middle East.
As a co-founder of the Oxford Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Studies Programme (OxGAPs), he is frequently asked to provide his opinion on Gulf affairs and recently Chaired a Chatham House forum on “Social Media and the State” in Kuwait last year.
In 2013 he launched “How the Middle East Tweets”, the first ever study of the political usage of Twitter in the Middle East with the support of TwoFour54 in Abu Dhabi.
A published English-language writer, with fluent Arabic and French, Zaid continues to play a critical role traversing East and West and is held in high regard by those that work with him for his professionalism and his very clear interest in high-level communications projects.
Frequently asked for his views on current affairs, Zaid has often been interviewed on the BBC TODAY programme, BBC Newsnight, BBC World, CNN and Channel 4 News.
Through his academic background, his professional experience, keen understanding of the media and knowledge of the subject matter he is a key asset to his long-standing clients.
With a pronounced interest in the history of art and antiquities, Zaid completed a diploma at Christie’s in the History of Islamic Art last year. He is now a Brand Ambassador for Christie’s in the Middle East.