Date :Monday, November 12th, 2018 | Time : 18:50 |ID: 77415 | Print

Historical Photographs of Muslims in the First World War

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SHAFAQNA- They rarely get mentioned during Remembrance Day and Armistice Day tributes, but hundreds of thousands of Muslim soldiers fought for the Allied cause during the First World War — around 885,000, according to the British Royal Legion.

Some 400,000 of them hailed from the British Indian Army, whose 1.5 million troops comprised the largest volunteer force in history.

Now, a century after Muslim soldiers from South Asia, North Africa and elsewhere went to war for their colonial masters, a U.K.-based campaign is working to shed light on their oft-overlooked sacrifices.

The idea is to give overdue appreciation for the Muslim contribution to the war effort and use the stories of Muslim soldiers to counter Islamophobic and anti-immigrant narratives in Europe and North America.

King George V pays his respects to Algerian Spahi soldiers during a visit to the front lines in France


Indian troops serving with the British Army pray outside the Shah Jahan Mosque in Woking, Surrey, during the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha in 1916.


The tombstones of Muslim soldiers are seen in the Douaumont ossuary on Dec. 5, 2013, during the burial of French soldiers who died during the First World War.


Ali Nawaz Chaudhary stands next to a portrait of his grandfather Khudadad Khan, the first Indian Recipient of the Victoria Cross, at the National Army Museum in London, May 17, 2018.


King George V talks to Mir Dast and civil service official Sir Walter Lawrence




400,000 Indians (British Indian army)

200,000 Algerians , 100,000 Tunisians, 40,000 Moroccans, 100,000 West Africans, 5,000 Somalis and Libyans (French army)

5,000 American Muslims

1.3 million Russian Muslims


100,000 Egyptians

35,000 Chinese Muslims

130,000 North Africans

200,000 Sub Saharan Africans

40,000 Indians


Read more from Shafaqna:

Infographics: 10 Key dates of The First World War

Why British Muslims need a ‘poppy hijab’ to remember World War One

Historical Photo: French Muslim Soldiers Praying while Captive, 1940

British army seeks to recruit more Muslim soldiers


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