Remembrance Sunday

landscape red field flowers
Photo by Pixabay on

On Remembrance Sunday, I stood alongside my friend Julie and at one
point looked up into the blue-sky and sighed. I sighed noticing the
lack of diversity and the failure to recognize the contributions of
our armed forces by my community that included 1.5 million Muslims
contributing to the Allied cause in WW1.

It had me wondering about the number of Muslims who knew the history
of WW1 and so I reflected back to my history lessons. Our history
curriculum never taught us about the contributions of our Commonwealth
soldiers and if we want young Muslims to connect, we need to talk more
about the sacrifices the Indian Army made. This year marking the
centenary, British Future have been fantastic at doing just this –
running a campaign called Remember Together working with MINAB and
schools to raise awareness of the contributions of Muslim soldiers.

Flip the coin, we as a community also have a duty to see past current
conflicts and recognize that without Great Britain and the soldiers
who fought, we may not even be here today and should learn to separate
the words of politicians and those who serve our country in the armed

A touching moment was noticing the beauty & strength in uniting with
members of the Church congregation who welcomed and looked after us
with open arms. At the end of the service, a member of the
congregation turned around and apologized for the Christian service
and spoke of his ‘embarrassment’ that the service did not make more
mention of the diversity of soldiers who fought. We thanked him and
reassured him that he shouldn’t feel embarrassed and that education is
key going forward.

In a dark world where Christians, Muslims, Jewish & other faiths were
rehearsed in the rituals of burial for the inevitable, it is important
to recognize the values they lived by – respect, tolerance, humanity,
integrity, friendship, courage and love – values we should all live

The contributions of the Commonwealth should matter to everyone in a
time of where Islamophobia and far-right extremism is on the rise. We
all share a common history and one we should remember together to
bring us together. We all need to build on the work British Future
have done and be committed to sharing the stories of Commonwealth
contributions to ensure all young people of all backgrounds understand
why Remembrance Sunday is important.

By Tameena Hussain
Tameena is an IT engineer by profession but her passion lies in advocating for gender equality and  human rights all whilst being actively involved in her community, having sat on the TVP Independent Advisory Group and the One Borough Council Panel to campaigning on local issues that affect residents. A Pakistani Muslim who is breaking cultural barriers by playing amateur cricket and going against cultural norms to speak out on a number of issues that affect British Pakistanis. She has encountered her fair share of challenges along the way, and as a survivor of child sexual abuse, her experiences have made her determined to challenge the patriarchy and injustice faced by females, particularly within the Pakistani community.
Disclaimer: the opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the original author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the website.

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