The project ‘Muslim Roots in British Army’ was led by a team of enthusiastic and determined young people from Huddersfield of British Pakistani heritage. “The Lost Legacy” exhibition is an outcome of their efforts to research, compile and showcase the legacy of their forefathers in the great British army. It presents the sacrifices, bravery and achievements of their forefathers as part of their attempt to make a sense of their presence in Britain.
This exciting project with all its outcomes and benefits would not have happened without the generous support of the Heritage Lottery Fund. We are very much indebted to the Heritage Lottery Fund for seeing the exciting potential this project presented.
The ‘Muslim Roots in the British Army’ Project was designed to trace, research, collate, archive and share historical Muslim participation/ contribution to the British Army of British Muslims of Pakistani /Kashmiri origin, constituting the largest of ethnic group of British Muslims. Young British born Muslims feel disenfranchised from the British Army particularly in the present climate they perceive their relationship with the British Armed forces in terms of ‘us’ and ‘them’. This is partly due to lack of understanding of the positive history of Muslims with the British Armed forces.
Historically, Muslim contribution to the British Army is significant but has been lost over time. With the support and guidance from the Huddersfield Pakistani Alliance (HPCA) youth workers and the British Army Historian, A team of 20 young people ( male and female), aged 16 to 20 years, were given the task of researching , retrieving and collating stories of involvement in British Arm forces in the WW1 and WW2.
The project was based on belief that the Muslim heritage should be proudly promoted in the society, particularly, at a time, when confusions are enforced and young Muslims are questioning their identity.
Social Media ‘Influencer’ Saima Chowdhury (known as ‘saimasmileslike’ on Youtube) was invited to cover the launch of the exhibition by the Armed Forces Muslim Association (AFMA), see her Vlog ‘Remembering Our Muslim Heroes #VLOG’ by following the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usWu-HgxpF4
Our local newspaper, Huddersfield Examiner, gave coverage to the launch on two occasions, see following links: