Defense minister urges more British Muslims to join armed forces

The defence minister, Bob Ainsworth, has appealed to British Muslims to join the armed forces, saying that it was “vitally important that our army, navy and air force are reflective of the hugely diverse society in which we live”.

In an address to the Armed Forces Muslim Conference, Ainsworth said the services were a “fundamental and very positive part of British society, and that they need to be a positive part of Muslim society as well”.

His address follows last month’s Royal Anglican Regiment homecoming in Luton at which a group of Muslims protested, prompting angry scenes involving some of those who had been welcoming the return of the troops. Today there are about 390 Muslims serving across the armed forces.