Kofi Annan Foundation counter-extremism advocate

1013. Fatima Zaman

Fatima Zaman, from London, is a civil servant and activist tackling extremism by educating young people and helping them to counter early signs of radicalisation.

Fatima Zaman

She was moved to take action after witnessing the 7/7 London bombings during her early teens and experiencing Islamophobia in the wake of the attacks. Fatima tours universities and colleges around the UK, leading workshops educate young people in countering radicalisation. The Former Secretary-General of the UN, Kofi Annan, invited Fatima to work with ‘Kofi Annan Foundation’ and the European Commission as the UK Countering Violent Extremism advocate for the ‘Extremely Together Programme’. As part of this work she helped to create the first ever youth-led practical resource which empowers young people to actively prevent violent extremism, recognising the important role they can play in safeguarding their vulnerable peers and stopping them from joining extremist groups.

In a personal letter to Fatima, Prime Minister Theresa May said:

“Through your inspiring work helping to create the first ever youth-led resource that empowers young people to prevent violent extremism, you are tackling one of the greatest challenges of our time. It is a testament to your exceptional work that the late Kofi Annan asked you to work with his Foundation and educate young people in how to spot early signs of radicalisation.”

Rushanara Ali, Fatima’s local MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, said:

“I’m delighted to hear that Fatima has received the Points of Light award. She is an exceptional campaigner and her work in tackling extremism has been ground-breaking. It’s fantastic to see young BME women, like Fatima, taking action on important issues and being a powerful force for change.”

Fatima said:

“I’m incredibly honoured and grateful to be receiving the Points of Light Award from the Prime Minister. Working to counter violent extremism does not always bring you a positive reception and so I’m am delighted to be recognised for this work by the highest office in the land, and by a Prime Minister who has herself personally committed this cause.

“The conditions under which one works in this field and the personal risks one undertakes, become a part of everyday life. However, when you are able to successfully dissuade a young man or woman away from extreme violence, you can consider it a job well done. This award will undoubtedly allow me to draw strength and drive from an incredibly rich and diverse group of volunteers, and affirms that the path of public service is worthy one. I hope that through my work, I can inspire others to volunteer and dedicate their time for the betterment of British society.”

Watch Fatima’s response to receiving her award:

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