This morning, our guest, Adam Aslam shared our Remembrance Day service and shared with us some little known facts. 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 who fought on the British side from 1914 to 1918.
Further research shows that over 62 000 Indian soldiers were killed in action, obviously many more were injured and Brighton Pavilion was used as a hospital for Indian soldiers. Eight Indians received the Victoria Cross!
But Muslims from other countries such as the North African states also fought and so the total number Muslim soldiers was over 885 000 soldiers of whom at least 89 000 died.
Of course, many Indian soldiers and Muslims from all nations also fought on the side of the Allies during the Second World War. A little research using Google reveals some amazing stories that we are so ignorant about. Sadly, my research also uncovered some websites that were hostile to this information and are trying to stir up fear, suspicion, doubt and even hatred.
During this anti-Islamaphobia month, and beyond, I think it would be good for us to explore some of the amazing stories of these people who left their homes on the other side of the world and came to fight alongside our ancestors and for us to work on breaking down the fear and suspicion that so many people have for our Muslim brothers and sisters.