Khurshid Drabu

Kashmir-born UK judge Khurshid Drabu has been chosen for  Britain’s second highest honour, the Commander of the British Empire (CBE) title, from the Queen on the recommendation of the British prime minister “for bringing communities together”. Drabu, a jurist and a former cricketer who played domestic cricket in India, is only the third Muslim and the first Kashmiri to receive this award. He would be honoured at a glittering ceremony by Queen Elizabeth in London on June 12.  
Throughout his judicial career Drabu has been involved in community-based work. He also drafted the constitution of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) launched in 1997. He is currently the chairman of the MCB’s legal committee. An alumnus of the Srinagar SP College and the Aligarh Muslim University, Drabu represented Kashmir in India’s domestic cricket Ranji Trophy. Drabu was also the first Muslim judge in the British judiciary. Later, he rose to become the vice president of the Immigration Appeal Tribunal.
Drabu was in Srinagar when the news of his selection for the award reached him. His wife Rifat could not accompany him as Indian government declined her a visa because of her Pakistani origin. Drabu is considered one of the most influential Muslims in Britain. He has played a key role in changing the attitude of British authorities towards its Muslims, including special provisions in the British army, like Imams and permission to grow a beard for a Muslim soldier. His wife was also included in the list of the most powerful Muslim women in Britain issued by the Times Magazine.

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