Birmingham Central Mosque has pledged its support for the military by signing the “British Armed Forces Covenant”.
Senior representatives from the Army, Navy and Royal Air Force gathered at the mosque on Friday to witness the signing.
The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise to ensure that those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, are treated fairly.
Leicester Central Mosque became the first in the UK to sign the covenant last September, followed by Nottingham’s Karimia Mosque in December.
Mosque chairman Muhammad Afzal said: “It gives me great pleasure to have signed the Covenant with the British Armed Forces on behalf of Birmingham Central Mosque. I hope this agreement will further strengthen our relationship with the Armed Forces to bring more respect and mutual understanding between the Muslim community and other communities living in the UK.”
Colonel Richard Maybery said he was delighted to co-sign the Armed Forces Covenant with the Chairman of Birmingham Central Mosque, and very much appreciated the support from the Mosque for the Armed Forces.
He said: “One of the reasons for the signing is to publicly demonstrate the mutual respect between the Armed Forces and the Muslim community in the West Midlands and nationally.
“It underlines our desire to develop our mutual understanding and to better integrate the Armed Forces with the Muslim community. I very much look forward to working with the Mosque in the future.”
The move is likely to prove controversial within Muslim communities given the Armed Forces’ role in recent wars against Muslim nations such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, which have led to hundreds of thousands of deaths.
Due to these invasions, occupations and bombing campaigns many British Muslims shun the Armed Forces and accuse them of waging war against Muslims, and being responsible for the shedding of a huge amount of Muslim blood.