Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remembrance Day: Muslim Soldiers in Western Cemeteries

It is easy to forget, or never to have been taught or known, of the Muslims who have fallen in combat, fighting for their Western countries. As above, all are united in death, and should be in memory, and in life. Some reminders follow.


Battle of Verdun 1916
Cimétière Militaire de Douaumont/French National Cemetery at Douaumont
(15,000 graves; >16,100 buried; 130, 000 unknown soldiers in the ossuary)

The memorial dedicated to the Muslim soldiers who died for France in this WWI battle, inaugurated in 2006.

Muslim gravs facing Makkah, the ossuary in the distance (containing 100,000 unknown French and German soldiers)

Battle of Artois
Cimétière Militaire de Notre Dame de Lorette/French National Cemetery at Notre Dame de Lorette at Ablain-Saint-Nazaire, North Pas-de-Calais
(22,970 unknown soldiers buried in ossuaries)

The vastness of the cemetery

576 Fallen Muslim Soldiers of the Algerian and Moroccan Colonial Regiments are buried here; 52 headstones were defaced with swastikas in April 2007, and 148 a year later. Both times all parties and religions contributed to cleaning and guarding them. Both Muslims and Jews served in the Maghrebi colonial regiments, and both are buried in this cemetery in their respective areas. The neo-Nazis defaced only the Muslim graves.

The second time, in April 2008, amidst the swastiskas and other insults (like schwarz-black), the name of Muslim Rachida Dati, a French Minister of Moroccan descent and a favourite of President Sarkozy, was spelled out.


Cimetière de Saint-Claude à Besançon/French Military Cemetery at Besançon in the South of France, graves of Muslim colonial troops who died in both World Wars


Grave of a Muslim soldier, who served in the French army during World War II, at the military cemetery near the citadel of Dinant in the Belgian Ardennes. The headstone says his name is BEN MOHAMED Tagele, Died for France 20-5-1940. Photo Credit: © Guido Van Damme 2009

Cemetery of Montjoie-Saint-Martin, western France

British Muslim soldier's grave

More Recent Wars

Muslim American soldier's grave in Arlington Cemetery

American Muslim mother at son's grave, fallen in the Iraq War


WWII, Cyprus, A Muslim, A Jew, A Christian Unknown German Soldier (Getty Images)

Your thoughts, comments, impressions, experiences?

Related Posts:
Remembrance and Family Heritage in Bicultural Saudi/non-Saudi Families
The Liberation of Paris: Black and White Photos, and Whitening the Troops
Remembrance Day: Armistice of The War to End All Wars November 11, 1918
The Poppies of Remembrance


Susanne said...

Enjoyed these nice photos...thank you!

Wendy said...

Beautiful post, Chiara!

oby said...

Very moving post...touched my heart. Thanks

Majed said...

I don't know if any degree of patriotism is involved in fighting other peoples 's wars, to me, it looks like that this people were no more than mecrcenaries, only credit I can give them is that they fought and died to provide a good life for their families, but does killing others to give good life to ourselves and our families is any better than what hitmen do.

I think unless I am fighting to fend myself,my family,my home land, then all I do is agression and murder.

Just have a look with whome American is fighting its wars,but at least america shows appreciation.

Anonymous said...

Brought tears to my eyes. Thank you.
Asger, European Muslim


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