‘Remember Us – Muslim Communities and the First World War’.

Today the West of Scotland Regional Equality Council has received £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a Glasgow-based project: ‘Remember Us – Muslim Communities and the First World War’. Made possible by National Lottery players through HLF’s First World War then and now programme, the project will focus on increasing public awareness of the little-known contribution of Muslim communities to the First World War.

To mark the Centenary, the project will enable diverse participants in Glasgow and across the West of Scotland to come together to preserve the memories and heritage of many Muslim people who lived through this time period. This project will offer the opportunity for intergenerational volunteers to delve into archives in order to develop their knowledge of the contribution of those often left out of mainstream narratives.

Through training, workshops, and visits to local Mosques and the National War Museum, participants will develop skills in journalism, research, exhibition curation, and creative participatory practice. Using these skills, enhanced through two six week programmes, two groups will contribute to a community exhibition and video which will showcase their learning and responses and will be made available to the wider public. This project process will encourage intercultural dialogue and the final exhibition will aid in breaking down barriers and misconceptions through a more inclusive analysis of historical events. The project will also look at more contemporary contributions of Muslim communities in the UK. In this way, we hope to contribute to changing negative attitudes and behaviours often faced by these communities due to mainstream media portrayals of global incidents.

Pre – Partition of India there were over 400,000 Muslims who played an active role and who fought and died alongside British troops, however according to an ICM survey released by the think tank British Future, only 2% of people are aware of this. Through this project we will leave a lasting legacy, documenting a more nuanced interpretation of history which is more representative of minority community contributions for the First World War.

The final materials will be housed online through our existing resource: thisisglasgow.org and this will be widely publicised through our WSREC website and social media pages.

Commenting on the award, Executive Director, Mohammed Razaq said: “We are thrilled to have received the support of the National Lottery. This funding will allow for raising awareness of the important contribution made by Muslims in the First World War and support one of our organisation’s key stated aims: ‘The promotion of good community relations between all people of all communities”.

Heritage Lottery Fund and support for First World War heritage

  • Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. hlf.org.uk. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #HLFsupported.

  • To date, £82million in HLF grants has been awarded to projects across the UK so they can mark the Centenary and explore all aspects of First World War heritage that matters to them. Through its First World War: then and now programme, HLF is making at least £1million available per year for six years until 2019. It is providing grants between £3,000 and £10,000 enabling communities and groups right across the UK to explore, conserve and share their First World War heritage and deepen their understanding of the impact of the conflict.  To find out how to apply for funding visit hlf.org.uk/thenandnow  If a group needs a grant of more than £10,000

  • for a First World War project, it can apply to HLF through its open programmes hlf.org.uk/firstworldwar

  • To join the conversation on social media please use #understandingww1

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