Sunday 12 November 2017

Has the BBC fact-checked this?

This morning's Sunday on Radio 4 marked Remembrance Day by, among other things, featuring an interview with Hayyan Ayaz Bhabha, secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims. 

That's a very 'Sunday' thing to do!

Hayyan is also associated with Muslims in WW1, a group dedicated to investigating "the global allied Muslim contribution in the First World War", and Sunday invited him on this morning to tell Radio 4 listeners about the group's startling claim that the number of Muslims fighting for the allies in World War One has been massively underestimated. 

The traditional figure,  Ed Stourton informed us, is 900,000, but Hayyan reckons it's more like over two-and-a-half million - and that, he says, is "just scratching the surface" and that the actual figures will be "much higher". 

It emerged, however, during the course of the interview that Muslims in WW1 is including labourers as well as soldiers to achieve these high figures. Ed asked if it's right that that's "not traditionally been done" and Hayyan replied, "I'm not sure" - which doesn't exactly inspire me with confidence.

One for More or Less or the BBC's Reality Check maybe. (As if!)

Also, as the interviewed closed, Ed asked him why the number of Muslims serving in the British Army now is so "tiny" (just a few hundred, a mere 0.5% of the total). Hayyan replied that Muslims in the UK aren't comfortable with some of the UK's recent military interventions, especially in Muslim majority countries. And guess what his solution is to that? Yes, he wants the Government to listen more to Muslim concerns. And Ed then closed the interview. 

I'm wondering what the 'true' Hindu and Sikh numbers are? Is anyone investigating that?


  1. I'm pretty sure that any contribution on the allied side will have been outweighed by the Muslims (millions of real soldiers backed up by millions of labourers) fighting for the Ottoman Empire in support of the Central Powers. As always, we have a bit of Taqiyya going on here - of the "We're on your side" variety.

    Ed Stourton and his team of appeasers have absolutely no interest in how many Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists or Animists "fought" on the allied side.

    1. There also Muslim regiments fighting for the Axis in WW2. All very much downplayed now.


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