British army seeks to recruit more Muslim soldiers

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SHAFAQNA – In an attempt to draw talents from across the society, the UK announced plans to boost the number of Muslims in the army, amid worries over minorities’ low representation in the army.

“My highest priority is ensuring we continue to have the best possible talent throughout our Army,” General Sir Nicholas Carter, chief of the general staff, the told the BBC on Friday, February 6.

“Our recruitment from the black, Asian and minority ethnic communities has been improving over the years, but it is nowhere near where it needs to be. We have to do more.

“The values and standards we espouse resonate closely with these communities and there is much common ground that we can build on to broaden our recruitment base.”

According to Gen Carter, Muslims, who represent 4.4% of the UK population, make only 0.45% of the British army.

On the other hand, soldiers from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) make just over 10% of the British Army’s 87,000 regular personnel.

The army must “draw talent from all of the society we represent” to find the best recruits, Gen Carter said, adding that: Army values share “common ground” with BAME communities.

Official results put the number of Muslims at nearly 2.7 million of the British people.

In 2011, think tank Demo found that Muslims in the United Kingdom are more patriotic than the rest of population.

Responding to the statement “I am proud to be a British citizen”, 83% of Muslims said they are proud of being British.

Reflecting a deep-rooted relationship, a synagogue in the northern British city of Bradford has appointed, this month, its first Muslim member, in a decision passed unanimously by its ruling body.

Diversity

Seeking more representation of British minorities in the army, a monthly national drive will be launched for recruitments.

The campaign will include 10 events that aim to engage with the BAME communities across UK.

“It is important that Muslim and, indeed, other minorities know that those in senior ranks are on their side and stand by them,” General Sir David Richards, the former head of the British military, told The Independent.

Besides Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Humanists, Jewish people, Sikhs and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender personnel will targeted by the army drive.

Praising the army’s approach to diversify its soldiers, Imam Asim Hafiz, Islamic religious adviser to the chief of the defense staff and service chiefs, said: “Diversity is one of our nation’s greatest strengths and it is only right that our armed forces benefit from that capital.

“This not only brings them closer to the people that they serve, but also enhances the military’s cultural understanding when deployed.”

Imam Hafiz also told the Guardian: “In my view, the values of the armed forces are fully compatible with the values of Islam as well as other faiths,” he said.

In 2011, think tank Demo found that Muslims in the United Kingdom are more patriotic than the rest of population.

Responding to the statement “I am proud to be a British citizen”, 83% of Muslims said they are proud of being British.

Around 1.2 million soldiers from undivided India fought for the British Empire during the war. About 74,000 of those soldiers died.

Baroness Warsi, whose grandparents fought in the Second World War, recently said that the anniversary was particularly poignant given tensions today.

 

Source:Onislam.net

www.shafaqna.com

 

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