HomeLatest NewsEx-UK chancellor calls for memorial for Muslim soldiers

Ex-UK chancellor calls for memorial for Muslim soldiers

LONDON: The UK should build a memorial to Muslim soldiers who fought in the First and Second World Wars, former Chancellor Sir Sajid Javid told the BBC.

He said a memorial should be erected at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire to “help honour the fallen and educate future generations” about the 140,000 Muslims who “made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom.”

He urged current Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to consider the project. Hunt said Treasury officials would “be happy to engage with him to identify how best the government can help make this vision a reality.”

The campaign for a Muslim war memorial was first launched in 2015 in a bid to mark the centenary of the First World War.

The World Wars Muslim Memorial Trust aimed to raise £1 million ($1.26 million) for the project.

Permission for it was provisionally granted by the National Memorial Arboretum Landscapes and Memorials Committee last year.

The arboretum’s lead, Mark Ellis, told the BBC: “We wish them the very best in their fundraising efforts and look forward to this fitting tribute to the service and sacrifice of Muslim service personnel being installed and dedicated in the future.”

Sir Sajid told the BBC: “The National Memorial Arboretum holds a special place in national life and already does so much to commemorate different communities who bravely served.

“Muslim service also deserves recognition. A new powerful symbol … will help honour the fallen and educate future generations.” He added: “I hope the chancellor will help make this vision a reality at the Spring Budget.”

A spokesperson for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, which cares for the graves, memorials and records of fallen servicemen and women, said: “We regularly collaborate with religion and worldview communities to remember the diverse faiths, beliefs and worldviews held by of all those who gave their lives in the conflicts of the First and Second World Wars.” BBC

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