London Muslim believes the Blair legacy of transforming our armed forces into a mercenary outfit for the Americans where they have been ultimately responsible for the death and slaughter of thousands of innocent Muslim civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan cannot be underestimated. In the minds of many, our boys are no longer only associated with the defeat of Nazi tyranny or Galtieri's conscripts in the Falklands. In the case of Afghanistan the British Army is fighting and dying for a Karzai regime whose leaders are mostly on the CIA payroll, carry out fraudulent elections, have increased the supply of opium largely through Karzai's brother who is one of the world's biggest drug barons and have allowed rampant corruption. Not worth the blood of British soldiers.
The blurring of the role of our armed forces who now help to prop up corrupt CIA regimes in Afghanistan has led many to associate a poppy with support for these latest disastrous military adventures. Lets be clear when British soldiers are killed by Afghans fighting to liberate their country from foreign occupation why should we be surprised. What do we expect Afghans to do, sit in their villages or farms and wait to be bombed by American drones. Although we never learn from history Afghans will kill British soldiers as surely as we would kill Afghans if they militarily occupied Britain.
In addition, the role the Commonwealth played from the West Indies to India has also been downplayed to the extent that one can often recall the role Australians and Kiwi's played but until recently the non white commonwealth contribution has been relegated to an afterthought. The interesting reaction when the non white commonwealth contribution is highlighted is to emphasise the importance of all those who fought the Nazis, which while correct is slightly disingenuous because that has not been happening until recently.
Should Muslims wear a poppy? In my opinion no. Lets respect what our gallant heroes did in both world wars but lets not allow sentimental rituals to inculcate a collective amnesia where we remember but never learn. Surely if remembrance is to mean anything it should mean never again. Remembrance and poppy wearing has still allowed wars with Muslims dying in their thousands along with British soldiers. I will grieve for both but not with a poppy.