Lance-Corporal Jabron Hashmi died for Britain and Islam

#1
My brother died for Britain and Islam says family of first soldier to be killed fighting the Taliban

The family of the first Islamic soldier to be killed fighting the Taliban tells of his sense of duty and the hostility of other Muslims

Just days before the first anniversary of the 7/7 London terrorist attacks, news emerged of a young Muslim killed while fighting in a foreign land, thousands of miles from home. “It was 2.30 in the morning when my younger sister woke me to say there were two men knocking on the door,” Zeeshan Hashmi recalls. “I knew instantly it was about my brother.”

But Zeeshan’s brother Jabron, 24, was no terrorist. The men were from the Ministry of Defence and told him that Lance-Corporal Hashmi had died while fighting the Taliban in Helmand province.

Even now, to be a Muslim fighting with the British in Iraq or Afghanistan is controversial. Only last month Parviz Khan pleaded guilty to plotting to kidnap a Muslim British soldier and “behead him like a pig”. When Jabron died the family did not know what to expect.

A visiting imam lambasted the young serviceman, and fears that Islamist groups would disrupt funeral proceedings at the Central Jamia mosque in Birmingham prompted the West Midlands police to provide an escort for the funeral cortege.

In the event, the funeral passed without incident. Zeeshan says he is not surprised by the number of wellwishers who packed the mosque’s prayer hall for Jabron’s final rites: “He was my brother, but he didn’t just belong to me. He was from the community and represented them.”

Jabron’s family live among the rows of anonymous terraced houses in Small Heath, an area of acute Muslim concentration in Birmingham. Over coffee at their house, Zeeshan and his sister Zoubia admit that they found Jabron’s critics “hypocritical” and suggest that extremists are “creating greater divides in society”, but they refuse to condemn those who celebrated Jabron’s death.

“They have their opinions,” Zeeshan says, “but they’re not something I’d ever accept.”

Born and raised in Pakistan’s lawless North West Frontier Province, just 40 minutes from the Afghan border, Zeeshan and his brother were enrolled on a “hafiz” course in their local madrasah, a process by which students commit the Koran to memory.

The family moved to Birmingham in 1994, when Zeeshan went to college to take his GCSEs. He served as a soldier in 2000-5, completing two tours of duty in Afghanistan.

“I chose to be here,” he says, “and we should be like anyone else and give back to our society in whatever way, whether it’s joining the army or the civil service or being a doctor – that’s up to you.”

Zeeshan says that before joining the British Army he visited Pakistan and told an imam of his intentions. “He was delighted,” Zeeshan says.

He understands why many young Muslims are finding it difficult to unravel what they regard as competing loyalties, but says the upbringing that he and Jabron enjoyed meant this was never a problem.

What worries him is that his brother’s death may somehow have inspired the plot to kidnap and kill a Muslim British soldier. It was – literally – close to home. Khan was arrested during raids on a dozen addresses in the Hashmi family’s neighbourhood, including a bookshop in an adjacent street.

Khan’s plot marks a worrying shift in Al-Qaeda’s strategy in the West.

Whereas previous acts of terrorism have been indiscriminate, threatening the population as a whole, this plot was more specific, targeting Muslims whom Khan regarded as traitors because they were collaborating with the security apparatus of the British state. The message he intended to send to other Muslims was clear: if you integrate, you are a target for attack.

As a former soldier himself, Zeeshan is philosophical about the dangers faced by Muslim servicemen. “Extremism has always existed.

Previously the IRA killed off-duty servicemen. As a soldier you know what you’re getting into,” he says. “Obviously I’m aware, but I’m not really scared.”

He accepts that fears of reprisals have discouraged some Muslims from joining the army, but admits that there are other difficulties too.

“I’m glad I wasn’t deployed to Iraq,” he concedes. “But if I had been asked to go, I would have gone. It’s a professional army and you go where the orders are given.”

He tells me that most of his Muslim friends in the army have been deployed to Iraq, but fails to see how their personal reservations, either about the conflict’s validity or about the shambolic and largely nonexistent reconstruction planning, are any different from the concerns of their nonMuslim counterparts. “You do your job and raise your concerns within the system, just like any ordinary citizen,” he says, before pointing out the violence that Muslims have inflicted against one another, particularly in Pakistan and Iraq.

Explaining Jabron’s motivation to join the army, Zeeshan quotes the prophet Muhammad saying that actions are judged by intention.

“He went to Afghanistan hoping to build bridges between the East and the West. He combined his love of Islam with the love of Britain and his main reason for joining the army was to make a difference. He certainly did that.”

His commitment is something that the family is keen to honour. Two pictures of Jabron, dressed in full military regalia and beaming with a glowing smile, have pride of place in the living room, alongside copies of the Koran and rolled-up prayer mats.

His mother and three sisters were also invited to lay the foundation stone for a new war memorial unveiled by the Queen last year in Staffordshire to commemorate British soldiers killed since 1945 in conflicts, peacekeeping missions and terrorist attacks.

“Has all this been worth it?” I ask. Zeeshan points out that the timing of Jabron’s death was significant. Coming just days before the first anniversary of the July 7 attacks, it contrasted the positive contribution that young Muslims can make against the horrors they have sometimes perpetrated.

Although some of the arrested men behind the latest plot were taken from within his own community, Zeeshan is sanguine but not naive about the future.

“We all have to break the barriers ourselves. Jabron’s death reflects on Muslims generally, not just my family,” he says. “Being Muslim does not restrict us from bring British.”
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article3341040.ece
 
#3
Errr this one is about a British Soldier Killed on ops who happened to be Muslim and his Brother who was also in the forces. Both known to many ARRSERS.

Have you bothered to read it?
 
#4
armchair_jihad said:
Errr this one is about a British Soldier Killed on ops who happened to be Muslim and his Brother who was also in the forces. Both known to many ARRSERS.

Have you bothered to read it?
They sound like decent people. It is a shame that they are unwilling to criticise the extremists though. RIP Jabron. Our country needs people like this.
 
#5
finally a display of loyalty from a british muslim. RIP.
 
#6
Pretty balanced bloke - regardless of religion.
 
#7
A visiting imam lambasted the young serviceman, and fears that Islamist groups would disrupt funeral proceedings at the Central Jamia mosque in Birmingham prompted the West Midlands police to provide an escort for the funeral cortege.
What happened to death removing all nationality and emnity?
With our current mindset, civilised over the millenia, we will always be on the back foot against Islamic militants, who have little regard for basic human decency towards the living, let alone the dead. Even Khomieni's funeral was like a frantic game of pass the parcel.
 
#8
British citizen - British Army - Risk of being killed in the line of duty for both "Queen and country"!

Remember all those from India who gave their lives in WW1 & 2? And they didn't even live here or have British citizenship!

So if you are a British citizen and want to prove your loyality and stop pulling all these excuses for not being British, carry one.

This young man died for being British, being a muslim is incidential (RIP)
 
#11
boredofmyjob said:
finally a display of loyalty from a british muslim. RIP.
I think you will find out there are thousands and thousands of loyal British muslims out there both served, serving and trying to make the difference. Its the the bad ones unfortunately who the journo scum like to highlight, just like the minority hoodie teenagers out there too who get the headlines over the normal kids.
 
#12
The_IRON said:
boredofmyjob said:
finally a display of loyalty from a british muslim. RIP.
I think you will find out there are thousands and thousands of loyal British muslims out there both served, serving and trying to make the difference. Its the the bad ones unfortunately who the journo scum like to highlight, just like the minority hoodie teenagers out there too who get the headlines over the normal kids.
Finally?? I'm certainly with the Iron on this one. Over the decades / centuries? many Muslims have died in the service of the Crown.

CPL Hashmi and others are following in a proud tradition. Sadly like a number of soldiers from Irish Regiments, Muslim soldiers now have to face the possiblity of a domestic threat, when they are at home in UK with their families.

I don't think that many of the rest of us WASPs us are in a position to question such comittment?
 
#13
The_IRON said:
boredofmyjob said:
finally a display of loyalty from a british muslim. RIP.
I think you will find out there are thousands and thousands of loyal British muslims out there both served, serving and trying to make the difference. Its the the bad ones unfortunately who the journo scum like to highlight, just like the minority hoodie teenagers out there too who get the headlines over the normal kids.
Agreed.

I am sure that there are many muslims that apreciate living in the UK. It is a shame that the vocal militants get all the headlines.

I am somewhat dissapointed though that the muslims that like the UK get drowned out by those UK hating loudmouthed ignorant scum. Perhaps the reasonable people of Islamic belief should speak up more. Condemning extremists would be a start.

Just watched a debate on BBC news 24 that got quite heated between a male Islamic apologist and a female Islamic refugee.

It was good to see/hear he ignorant medieval male (intelectually) shot-down by the Iranian woman.
 
#14
subbsonic said:
The_IRON said:
boredofmyjob said:
finally a display of loyalty from a british muslim. RIP.
I think you will find out there are thousands and thousands of loyal British muslims out there both served, serving and trying to make the difference. Its the the bad ones unfortunately who the journo scum like to highlight, just like the minority hoodie teenagers out there too who get the headlines over the normal kids.
Finally?? I'm certainly with the Iron on this one. Over the decades / centuries? many Muslims have died in the service of the Crown.

CPL Hashmi and others are following in a proud tradition. Sadly like a number of soldiers from Irish Regiments, Muslim soldiers now have to face the possiblity of a domestic threat, when they are at home in UK with their families.

I don't think that many of the rest of us WASPs us are in a position to question such comittment?
I see from his past posts that boredofmyjob plans to join the Army this month, so he isn't even a sprog yet. I hope his dickish comments reflect youthful lack of any judgement rather than considered views, otherwise he's going to find he's in an organisation he won't be happy in, and we'll have picked up a (racist?) halfwit we don't want.

Jabron Hashmi (and Cpl Peter Thorpe, killed in the same incident) demonstrated commitment through their service and their willingness to give their lives. Neither of them had anything to prove to a child who hasn't even served yet. Tosser.

Don
 
#15
I like the bit saying "actions are judged by intention" - I think those critics of Islam seem to have missed out on the bits such as this, where actually I think it's pretty spot on. One of those points where morals and religion cross paths.

There needs to be a new religion made with the best bits from each, withput all the 'do this or your eyes will melt from your anus and your nose shall fly from your face' crap stuck in to scare people into conforming throughout the years.

That little off-topic minirant aside... He's another soldier who has done his country and family proud, the fact he was a muslim should not be the main drawing point of this article.
 
#16
Boredofmyjob:

"finally a display of loyalty from a british muslim. RIP."

If I can echo those who have picked up on your naive comment, Britishness isn't to be a white christian, were it so we'd never have had an Empire.

LCpl Hashmi is one in a long line of followers of his faith who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in a British uniform, I'm sadly certain he won't be the last.

RIP all those who have fallen

GOTW
 
#17
RIP Jabron.

enjoy paradise.
 
#19
Muslin, Christian, Athiest, Jedi Knight. It doesn't matter. I don't know what the big deal is. Hats off to yet another brave fellow who's given his life for for what we all believe in, regardless of race/religion etc. Isn't that the point that should be made, rather than the boys with the HUGE bollocks tarring everyone with the same brush? It and you are a fucking outrage.
 
#20
I did read the article. I get the feeling that it was aimed at the Muslim community - an attempt to show that, as the article says, being Muslim and being British are not mutually exclusive.

Boredofmyjob? I'm bored of you.

Eat my hoop you ignorant tosser.
 

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