Senior Reform Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner has joined calls for a wider recognition of Muslims’ contribution to Britain’s war effort 100 years ago.
The Reform rabbi teamed up with bishops, imams and Hindu leaders in a letter to the Sunday Telegraph highlighting the Army’s multicultural composition and urging people to “put differences and divisions aside,” 100 years since the end of the First World War.
In it, they write: “British troops fought alongside soldiers of different colours and creeds from across the Commonwealth, including some 1.5 million Indian soldiers, 400,000 of them Muslims from present-day Pakistan, yet only a minority knows that thousands of Muslim soldiers fought for Britain.”
Signatories including past and present military leaders drew attention to soldiers like Khudadad Khan, who was awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery in 1914, saying: “This shared history of service and contribution is something that we can all commemorate in Britain, whatever our ethnicity or faith.”
Jointly backing the ‘Remember Together’ initiative, which launches this week, the faith leaders said respect was important now more than ever, noting that the centenary “comes at a time when Britain’s society can feel more fragmented and anxious than any of us would want”.
Janner-Klausner said: “The bullets on the battlefields of World War One did not discriminate between Sikhs, Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Jews and others. One hundred years later, we honour those who fought together by remembering them together.”
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