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The New Arab

Forget the 'caliph', fight for the Queen

The British army is encouraging Muslims to join up [twitter]

Date of publication: 26 March, 2016

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The British armed forces have launched a recruitment drive aimed at British Muslims arguing that their faith is perfectly compatible with fighting for the crown.
The British Army appears to be expanding their efforts to recruit British Muslims, emphasising that they can keep their faith while fighting for the queen.

In a newly released video, called "five policies for British Muslims you didn't know existed" the "Armed Forces Muslim Association" outlines the ways that British Muslims can practice their religion.

The videos says that Muslim recruits are able to pray, and just in case you are worried that this excludes Islam's holy day, the video stresses that this also applies to Fridays. Halal food is available, with eight different airplane-meal-esque choices available.

"Support" is available through the holy fasting month of Ramadan, and men are permitted to grow beards and women can also fight for the Queen.

Finally Muslims will be able to "grow" throughout their time in the armed forces with the help of dedicated Imams.

The association gives examples of British Muslims who serve in prominent positions in the army, such as Captain Naveed Muhammad who was awarded an OBE for his service to the UK.

He describes his "deep loyalty and sense of obligation" to serve his country as "nothing new."

"Hundreds of thousands of Muslims before me have loyally served the Crown with distinction," he said. "Thousands having given their lives for the prosperity and future of others."

The group also emphasises the sacrifices Muslim soldiers who served in the British army during World War I and other conflicts.

The issue of British Muslims serving in the British forces was raised when Donald Trump tweeted that more British Muslims fight for the Islamic State group than the army.

According to the association, there around 650 Muslim recruits in the army, navy and airforces out of around 88,500 recruits.

British authorities estimate that around 800 British Muslims have traveled to Syria to fight for rebel and jihadist groups.

Yet when commentators frantically broke down the figures they suggested that at no given point did the number fighting for IS eclipse those fighting the army.

Yet out of a population of 2.7 million, it's fairly clear that neither the British Army or Jihadist recruitment efforts have made huge inroads in the community.

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