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WW1 Commonwealth Contribution

November 25, 2014 1:42 PM
By Zuffah Haq, Parliamentary Spokesperson for Harborough
Originally published by East Midlands Liberal Democrats

As we mark the centenary year of the First World War, I want to pay my own tribute to the brave men and women who lost their lives during the conflict and all those since. I have attended several Remembrance services during the month of November.

I would also like to highlight the contribution by commonwealth soldiers. As many as 400,000 Muslims made up one-third of the Indian Army of 1.3 million, along with 100,000 Sikhs, and up to 800,000 Hindu soldiers. Yet, when asked to estimate how many Muslims fought on the British side in 1914, only 2% of those surveyed by British Future correctly placed the number between 250,000 and 500,000.

I have organised an event which will takes place in Leicester on Sunday 30th November at 1.30pm at Oadby Community Center Sandhurst Street, Oadby, Leicester, LE2 5AR, to highlight this contribution and draw on the little known role played by Commonwealth soldiers.

The First World War is quickly vanishing from living memory but the event, which includes an exhibition containing a series of photographs and other memorabilia, will remind us of the sacrifices made.

I thought it was important to play my part in marking this important moment of national reflection and shared commemoration.

It is also good for the wider British society to realise that our contribution to Britain goes back much further than many will realise; this could help us come together to address the challenges of integration that we face in Britain today.

During this remembrance year, I learnt that the Regent's Park Mosque in London was founded during World War II, in recognition of the support of the Muslim population during the War.

It is because of the tremendous courage of soldiers from every faith, race and nationality who fought and died together in both world wars that we enjoy the freedom we do today.