FAITH leaders gathered at the city’s war memorial to sell Remembrance poppies as new research suggests that remembering those who gave their lives for Britain in the past can promote social cohesion today.
Iman Qari Asim of Leeds Makkah mosque, Rabbi Ian Morris of Sinai Synagogue, Roundhay and Rev Heston Groenwald of All Hallows Church in Hyde Park, came together as polling for think tank British Futures found 72 per cent of people think Remembrance Day brings people of all faiths and ethnicities together.
More than half of people from ethnic minorities say they will wear a poppy this November.
Dr Asim MBE said: “Remembering how Muslims, Jews and Christians stood side-by-side to defend Britain in both World Wars reminds us of the shared history and British identity that is common to us all.
“We hear too much about what divides Britain’s different communities and not enough about the values we share that bring us together.”
Rev Groenwold said: “At Remembrance time, we mark that the idea that the greatest love you can show is to give your life for someone else. We are all human, regardless of our faith.”
British Futures, backed by business secretary Sajid Javid, has launched a new campaign to highlight the contribution of the 400,000 Muslim soldiers who fought for Britain in as part of the 1.5 million-strong army of pre-partition India in World War One.
The poll found that only 22 per cent of people know about this contribution and only 2 per cent are aware of its scale.
Avaes Mohammad, of British Future, said telling the “unknown and untold” story of Muslim soldiers can help young British Muslims and other minorities understand their long connection with the country.