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Former chancellor calls for memorial for Muslim soldiers

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THE former chancellor, Sir Sajid Javid, has urged one of his successors to fund a memorial for Muslim soldiers who served and died fighting for Britain during the two world wars.

Javid told the Commons this week that an estimated 750,000 Muslims fought for Britain during the first and second world wars, and approximately 147,000 sacrificed their lives.

Speaking exclusively to Eastern Eye, Javid said, “Muslims have a proud history of serving the British armed forces, including my own brother.

“An estimated 140,000 have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom.

“Muslim service deserves recognition at the National Memorial Arboretum, which is why I am proud to support the campaign established by Tazi Husain as the World Wars Muslim Memorial Trust.

“A dedicated memorial to Muslims in the British armed forces will help honour their memory and educate future generations about their incredible sacrifice.

“Previous budgets have included support for memorials to honour our brave fallen soldiers. I have raised this specific proposal for a Muslim memorial with the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

“I hope to receive his support in order to make it a reality.”

According to Sir Sajid, who is standing down at the next election, the World Wars Muslim Memorial Trust is the only organisation with approved designs and planning permission.

The plans show a memorial in the shape of a minaret, drawn from a variety of Islamic architectural influences.

In 2015, Major General Patrick Sanders, businessman Peter Singh Virdee and Jay Singh-Sohal unveiled a memorial in honour of Sikh soldiers who fought during World War One at the arboretum in Staffordshire.

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