Report: A million British Muslims reject extremists on poppy wearing

November 7, 2013

 

One million British Muslims support wearing a poppy to mark Remembrance Day, showing just how marginal the views of “anti-poppy” extremists like Anjem Choudary are, writes Steve Ballinger.

Figures from the latest Ethnic Minority British Election Survey (EMBES), in an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) study published by the Oxford University Press, show that over half of Pakistanis and 46% of Bangladeshis in Britain say that they wear the poppy to mark Remembrance Day.

Using figures from the 2011 Census in England and Wales, British Future calculates that these findings equate to approximately 800,000 poppy wearers from these two communities alone, who make up two-thirds of Britain’s 2.7 million Muslims. This figure grows to over a million once the remainder of Britain’s Muslim community is considered, based on the EMBES study’s findings on poppy wearing among African, Indian and other British ethnic minority communities.

The figures show just how marginal the views of extremists like Anjem Choudary really are, with significant numbers of British Muslims supporting the wearing of poppies as an act of remembrance at this time of year.

The figures come as Muslim leaders joined Imams and the London Faith Forum this week to urge more British Muslims to wear poppies and support Remembrance Day.

They want to drown out the marginal views of extremists like Choudary, who in a statement this week said that those who sell poppies today will “burn in hellfire tomorrow.”

 

British Future: http://www.britishfuture.org/articles/news/million-british-muslims-reject-extremists-on-poppy-wearing/

One million Muslims will wear Remembrance poppies despite extremists’ opposition, say researchers

November 6, 2013

 

More than one million Muslims will be sporting poppies this weekend to mark Remembrance Sunday despite the bitter opposition of Islamist hardliners, research disclosed tonight. Some radical voices argue that poppy-wearing, ceremonies to commemorate the fallen dead and the one minute’s silence on Armistice Day are all forbidden to devout Muslims. But a new survey shows large numbers of people from Pakistani and Bangladeshi backgrounds, who comprise about two-thirds of the Muslim population, support the sale of poppies.

The think-tank British Future said the findings equated to some 800,000 poppy-wearers from these two groups alone and calculated the overall figure for the Muslim community to be well over one million. It released the research in an effort to counter charges that British Muslims are unpatriotic because of protests against UK troops returning from war zones.

Although they acknowledge many Muslims are uncomfortable about military action in Afghanistan and Iraq, several major mosques have set up poppy stalls this week. They argue that thousands of Muslims were killed in the First World War serving in the British Indian army. The radical Islamist Anjem Choudray retaliated this week by denouncing supporters of Remembrance Sunday as hypocrites, bootlickers and sycophants and said Muslims who sell poppies today will “burn in hellfire tomorrow”.

The survey found 62 per cent of ethnic minority Britons said they would wear a poppy on Sunday. That included 69 per cent of people of Indian heritage, 53 per cent from Pakistani backgrounds, 46 per cent of Bangladeshi heritage, 74 per cent of Black Caribbeans and 55 per cent from Black African background. There are no figures for white Britons although researchers believe they would not be significantly higher than for other groups.

Dilwar Hussein, Chair of the charity New Horizons in British Islam, said: “These figures show most ordinary British men and women of Muslim background are just like the rest of us when it comes to Remembrance Day. As they go about their daily business as British citizens we should acknowledge this quiet yet profound form of integration.

The figures emerged as the Islamic Society of Britain (ISB) joined imams and the London Faith Forum this week to urge more British Muslims to wear poppies and support tributes to the war dead. The ISB says on its website: “Remembrance Day will be taking place throughout the country with many different approaches of appreciation. We urge and encourage you to become involved by participating in your local areas.”

It says: “It is easy to forget that millions of Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and people of other minority faiths have served in the British Armed Forces across two World Wars, facing down the hatred of Nazism and helping keep Britain safe in its direst hours of need.”

 

The Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/one-million-muslims-will-wear-remembrance-poppies-despite-extremists-opposition-say-researchers-8924933.html

Vandalism at Toronto war memorial probed as hate crime

CBC News – November 12, 2012

 

A war memorial was vandalized in Toronto’s Coronation Park, just hours after Canadians paid tribute to veterans and fallen soldiers on Remembrance Day. Someone scrawled the message “Canada Will Burn Praise Allah” on the Victory Peace memorial, located near Lake Shore Boulevard and Strachan Avenue. Toronto police are treating the vandalism as a hate crime.

“It offends the nation at large because these war veterans have made the ultimate sacrifice and that’s just a slap in the face,” said Det. Anthony Williams. The Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations released a statement saying that both “Islam and Canada’s proud heritage are denigrated by this ignorant act.”

Muslim Against Crusades Banned Ahead of Planned Protest

10./ 11.11.2011

The UK Home Office has banned the controversial Islamist group Muslims Against Crusades (MAC) ahead of its planned protest (Hell for Heroes) at Armisticie Day Ceremonies (as reported). The decision to ban the group was made by Home Secretary Theresa May, who said that MAC was “simply another name for an organisation already proscribed under a number of names” (e.g. Islam4UK). The group was originally set up by extremist preacher Omar Bakri, who fled the UK six years ago, and was now led by Anjem Choudary. The ban of the group makes it a criminal offence to be a member of or fundraise for MAC. Following the ban of the group, Anjem Choudary had his house searched by the police. Choudary dismissed this search as a “fishing expedition”. While the MAC’s Remembrance Day protests were cancelled following the ban, Choudary announced, however, that it will not stop him from propagating what he believes in.

Extreme Muslim Group Plans “Hell for Heroes” Demonstration

31.10.2011

The extreme Muslim group “Muslim Against Crusades” (MAC), some of whose members burned poppies during Remembrance Day ceremonies last year (as reported), is planning another protest for November 11th.  Mocking the charity “Help for Heroes” by calling their protest “Hell for Heroes”, the group announced they will not observe the minute of silence at the annual services to remember and honour the fallen soldiers. Instead, they are planning to disturb the silence around Royal Albert Hall by chanting. According to the Daily Mail, Cleric Anjem Choudary, who has links to MAC, said it was “one thing to remember the dead from the First World War and subsequent wars but it’s quite another when they say we need to remember the dead from Afghanistan and Iraq”.

Muslim and Jewish youth meet in Milan

Representatives from Italy’s Muslim and Jewish youth organizations plan to meet in Milan, as part of an inter-faith dialogue initiative. Daniele Nahim, president of the Young Jews of Italy will sit next to Abdallah Kabakebbji, a representative from the group Young Muslims of Italy. The meeting will take place at an exhibition called The Fairness of Islam at Milan’s Centre of Culture and Missionary Activity, PIME on Thursday; the day of the meeting is also Holocaust Remembrance Day. The exhibition will also present stories of Muslims who were killed in the Holocaust, and stories of Muslims helping Jews during Nazi rule.