Deserved or Divisive? Muslim Soldiers Tribute Sparks Discord Among Tory Party

A divisive debate has erupted over the government’s plans to erect a memorial honouring Muslim soldiers who fought in Britain’s wars after what was meant to be a gesture of inclusivity and recognition has morphed into a battleground within the Conservative Party. Here’s the full story.

Muslim Memorial

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Koca Vehbi

With Islamophobia, a hot-button topic in the UK within recent weeks, following outbursts from former Conservative MP Lee Anderson and former Home Secretary Suella Braverman attacking Muslims and their apparent inability to integrate into British society.

The Conservative government’s decision to erect a memorial for Muslims who fought in the world wars has sparked controversy within the party.

Deep-Seated Reservations

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Tero Vesalainen

In privately shared messages, which The Guardian exposed, Conservative MPs have revealed deep-seated reservations regarding the necessity of a memorial dedicated explicitly to Muslim soldiers.

£1 Million Memorial

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Pigprox

Marco Longhi and Jill Mortimer, elected in 2019, raised eyebrows with their questioning of the proposal, which followed Jeremy Hunt’s budget announcement allocating £1 million for the Muslim soldiers’ memorial.

“Never Forget”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Sergey Nivens

In his speech, the Chancellor stated, “Whatever your faith or colour or class, this country will never forget the sacrifices made for our future.”

A Chorus of Dissent

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Salivanchuk Semen

This announcement triggered a chorus of dissent from within the Conservative ranks after the plan for the memorial was posted in a Conservative MPs WhatsApp group.

“They Die for Their Country”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Dragana Gordic

In the messages seen by The Guardian, Longhi queries, “So is the memorial for all religious groupings or for all religions? When soldiers die at war they die for their country, irrespective of religion.”

Stick to Topic

Image Credit: Shutterstock / aerogondo2

Longhi continues, “Furthermore, why wouldn’t the PM announce this? I still fail to see how this is about fiscal policy.”

Simplistic and Dignified

Image Credit: Shutterstock / l i g h t p o e t

In later remarks, Mortimer speaks of the headstones from the First World War, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, and praises their “simplistic” and “dignified” design.

“Reinforce Division”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / YuRi Photolife

She then calls for memorials around the UK to be based on the same ethos, stating the headstones were “All the same regardless of rank, race or religion. The only differences marked by a simple symbol or in the inscription. I think he had the right idea – to single peoples out is to reinforce division.”

History of Controversy

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Lisa-S

These remarks have garnered considerable controversy following other contentious statements by former deputy Tory chairman Lee Anderson.

Refusing to Apologise

Image Credit: Shutterstock / ANDREY-SHA74

Anderson had previously told GB News that the Labour mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, had “given our capital city away to his mates,” in roundly condemned remarks that Anderson refused to apologise for.

Fractious Unity

Image Credit: Shutterstock / chase4concept

Anderson was subsequently suspended from the Conservative Party whip in another blow to the party’s already fractious unity.

Close Confidant

Image Credit: Shutterstock / aerogondo2

Anderson’s refusal to apologise for his incendiary comments resonates with those who question the need for a separate memorial for Muslim soldiers, such as Longhi, who is a close confidant of Andersons.

Return to the Fold

Image Credit: Shutterstock / William Barton

Longhi had previously justified Anderson’s remarks, telling the BBC, “I think it’s right that Lee works this out and I would like to see him return in the Conservative fold as soon as possible.”

“The Final Nail”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Alex Photo Stock

Mortimer has also defended Anderson’s remarks in leaked WhatsApp messages, stating that “Lee Anderson’s suspension is the final nail in the party’s coffin.”

Friendly Fire

Image Credit: Shutterstock /AboutLife

These divisions within the Conservative Party are all the more surprising considering that Sajid Javid, a former Conservative Chancellor, put forward the planned memorial for Muslim soldiers.

Muslim Contributions

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Bhutinat65

Despite the discord, there remains a compelling case for recognizing the contributions of Muslim soldiers to Britain’s wartime efforts.

The Forgotten Soldiers

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Kitreel

During the two world wars, approximately 750,000 Muslims from the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, and North Africa bravely fought for the United Kingdom. The exact number of Muslim casualties is not known, according to the National Muslim War Memorial Trust.

Other Memorials

Image Credit: Shutterstock / arindambanerjee

Around the UK, other memorials exist for soldiers who fought for the UK from religious backgrounds as disparate as Catholics, Sikhs, and Hindus.

Litmus Test

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Goksi

As the debate rages on, the proposed memorial for Muslim soldiers who fought for Britain serves more as a litmus test for the Conservative party’s commitment to confronting issues of Islamophobia within their ranks.

Not Forgotten

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Frame Stock Footage

However, the factional infighting within the Conservative Party over culture war issues does not diminish the sacrifices of thousands of Muslims from all over the British Empire who answered the call to fight for the UK.

The Least We Can Do

Image Credit: Shutterstock / – Yuri A

For those who gave up everything to fight for a cause they believed in, many around the country, and even some within the Conservative Party, believe that a monument to their bravery is the least this country can do.

25 Things You CAN’T Talk About Anymore

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Motortion Films

Remember the days when you could freely discuss just about anything without fear of sparking controversy? Well, those days are long gone. In today’s hyper-sensitive world, there are topics so fraught with tension that even mentioning them can lead to heated debates and hurt feelings. 25 Things You CAN’T Talk About Anymore

Stranded: 15 Worst British Cars in History

Image Credit: Shutterstock / John Selway

Ever had a car that spent more time with the mechanic than on the road? A car that turned every journey into a game of “Will we actually get there?” If so, you might just see a familiar face (or should we say, chassis) in our countdown to the most unreliable British car in history. Stranded: 15 Worst British Cars in History

“Britain Will Become Unrecognizable” – Suella Braverman Spells Disaster for UK Amid Steep Rise in Visas Issued

Image Credit: Shutterstock / I T S

Former Home Secretary Suella Braverman has warned that Britain will become “unrecognizable,” criticizing the amount of work visas the Home Office has approved, despite only being removed from her role in November. “Britain Will Become Unrecognizable” – Suella Braverman Spells Disaster for UK Amid Steep Rise in Visas Issued

20 Things From the ‘70s That Are Not OK Today

Image Credit: Shutterstock / HappySloth

Step into the time machine and set the dial to the 1970s, a decade of disco, bell-bottoms, and some rather questionable choices. While the ’70s gave us iconic music and groundbreaking TV, not everything from this groovy era would get a green light today. 20 Things From the ‘70s That Are Not OK Today

20 Best and Worst Universities in the UK

Image Credit: Shutterstock / William Barton

Navigating the UK university landscape is like deciphering a complex code of rankings, reviews, and reputations to uncover where you’ll not just learn, but truly flourish. Whether you’re drawn to the historic halls of Oxford or the creative buzz of Goldsmiths, finding your perfect fit is about aligning your aspirations with the unique offerings of each institution. 20 Best and Worst Universities in the UK

The post Deserved or Divisive? Muslim Soldiers Tribute Sparks Discord Among Tory Party first appeared on Edge Media.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / I T S.

Grant Gallacher is a seasoned writer with expertise in politics and impactful daily news. His work, deeply rooted in addressing issues that resonate with a wide audience, showcases an unwavering commitment to bringing forth the stories that matter. He is also known for satirical writing and stand up comedy.

Leave a Comment