Posted on December 6, 2005

UK Military Chief Wants More Muslims in Armed Forces

Evening Echo (Cork, Ireland), Dec. 3, 2005

The head of the UK Armed Forces today made a direct appeal to the British Islamic community to encourage more Muslims to join up.

The Chief of Defence Staff, General Michael Walker, promised “fulfilling careers and high-quality training” for recruits.

Addressing leading members of the Muslim community, he paid tribute to the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) for promoting tolerance and understanding of different cultures in Britain.

Speaking at the Islamic Cultural Centre in Regent’s Park, central London, he said: “I would like to pay tribute to the MCB’s invaluable work to promote better community relations and increase knowledge and understanding of the Muslim faith within British society.

“The MCB has made a real and lasting contribution to the creation of a just and tolerant society.

“I would also like to emphasise my personal commitment to creating Armed Forces which reflect more fully the religious, cultural and ethnic diversity of the society we serve. In return we can offer fulfilling careers and high-quality training and education.”

There are 300 personnel in the UK Armed Forces registered as Muslim.

The presence of such a high-profile military figure at today’s meeting demonstrates the Armed Forces’ determination to come across as an inclusive and representative body.