WNIA - West Norfolk Islamic Association

West Norfolk Islamic Association
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The Sacrifice of Muslim Soldiers in World War One

"It is thought that only one in fifty people actually know just how big the Muslim contribution to World War One was (1914-1918). For instance, one and a half million Indian soldiers contributed to the war, and 400,000 of these were Muslims. Tens of thousands of Arabs also contributed to the war. At least 89,000 Muslims died fighting on the British side. It is important for every British person – Muslim or not – to remember the sacrifice that the Muslims made for this country."

Azam Gabbair 
West Norfolk Islamic Association & Masjid Al-Noor



The exhibition developed by the British Muslim Heritage Centre (BMHC) and part funded by the Community Covenant, gives an insight into the selfless sacrifice of Muslim soldiers. Greater Manchester’s Lord Lieutenant Warren Smith officially launched the exhibition during the exclusive Annual Gala Dinner at the British Muslim Heritage Centre, Manchester.

Complete with a virtual library, lesson plans and a toolkit for schools, this exhibition is the first long-term exhibition of its kind, devoted solely to exemplifying the Muslim community’s contribution and sacrifices during WW1. Located in the heart of a diverse and developing Manchester, it will provide a stimulating platform from which to discuss and celebrate Muslim identity, belonging and contribution, not only to the region, but to the United Kingdom as a whole.

Four hundred thousand Muslim Soldiers from India fought for Britain in WW1, in addition to a further 280,000 Algerians, Moroccans and Tunisians who fought for the allies. At least 89,000 Muslims were recorded as having given their lives for this country It is a little known fact that 20% of British Empire recruits were actually Muslims. 


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