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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the government funding this project?

The memorial is not a government initiative, though the government has pledged funds to support us. The Trust was started nearly a decade ago by Tazi Husain, a retired NHS consultant, who was previously involved in the creation of a  memorial at Tempsford in Bedfordshire, built for the women who fought for Special Operations Executive in WWII.

The Trust is working with multiple stakeholders who feel passionate about creating a national memorial for Muslim soldiers who died fighting in Britain’s armed forces. We are continuing to fundraise with communities, private individuals and institutions who have shown enthusiastic support for this exciting project.


Why do we need a Muslim Memorial, aren’t there already memorials that recognise shared sacrifice by all?

There are very important memorials to honour all those who died, such as the Cenotaph, but we have found that very few people are aware of the specific contributions Muslims made. An overarching ambition is our desire to create an educational legacy to draw attention to this part of history The first shot fired in World War I was by a Muslim soldier, Alhaji Grunshi, serving in the Gold Coast Regiment. Khudadad Khan, meanwhile, was a Punjabi Muslim and the first
Indian Army soldier to win the Victoria Cross. These are stories we would like to tell.

Isn’t creating a memorial based on religion divisive?

No, it shouldn’t be. Many religions and others have been remembered, including Sikhs, Hindus, Jews and Gurkhas, but there is no national memorial for Muslims. Highlighting different communities only serves to enrich our understanding of history and to commemorate in multiple ways. There are thousands of war memorials in the UK, including more than 400 in the National Memorial Arboretum where ours will be built. Almost all these memorials focus on
commemorating individuals, religious groups, specific engagements or named units of the military.

This memorial is intended to unite people in a shared understanding of our common history. We want to provide a positive focus emphasising shared-sacrifices, a common history and values, and an inclusive programme of education for everyone in the UK – for Muslims and non-Muslims. Our memorial will be a physical reminder of how people of all faiths have in the past made an impact working together and can continue to do so despite the challenges that may
attempt to divide our society.

How important really was the Muslim contribution to the World Wars?

It was extremely significant. In the two world wars, more than 750,000 Muslims served in the Indian and Allied armies, of whom 147,000 were killed. These statistics are derived from a variety of primary sources in archives and museums in the United Kingdom and India. There are certain engagements where Muslim contributions were critical, including the Battle of Ypres.

Will the memorial commemorate sailors and airmen as well as soldiers?

Yes, the memorial is for all who served the Crown in both World Wars and since, whether in the army, the Royal Air Force, the Royal Navy or the Merchant Marine. It is for men and women, and for all Muslims regardless of their country or place of origin. We look forward to being able to tell these stories and a number of people have already come forward to share more stories with us since the government funding was announced.

When will the memorial be built?

Our aim is to begin building the memorial in latter half of 2024, and have it ready for unveiling to the public in 2025.

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