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The Myths about Poppies and Muslims

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We all know what the Poppy represents. Some choose to wear one, some do not. There is no shame in not wearing one. It is a matter of personal choice.

Speaking personally, I choose to wear a Poppy every year. I do this to remember all those who fell in the Great Wars and those currently serving in our armed forces.

I also wear the poppy to remember my Great Grandfather who fought in World War II. He became a Prisoner of War, even seeing Hitler in the flesh. My Great Grandfather was a courageous man who escaped the enemy on several occasions. He saw very horrifying things during the war but afterwards went on to meet my Great Grandmother who he married after the war.

The Poppy is a symbol of Remembrance. We wear it to remember those who bravely fought and died so we could have our freedom and liberty. We wear it to remember men who signed up for war at eighteen years old and who never returned home from the horrors they endured. We wear it to remember those who did return, traumatised by what they had seen and experienced. We wear it to remember those who became Prisoners of War and those who survived but who suffered their friends and brothers dying around them in some of the darkest periods in our history.

The Poppy represents hope to the millions who wear it. It has a practical purpose beyond the symbolism too – it raises much funds for veterans and their families.

Every year social media experiences an influx of memes and indignant posts spouting lies and myths about the Poppy and, in particular, the Poppy and its relationship with the Islamic community.

These are some of the most common myths that we have encountered:

Muslims do not wear poppies
Muslims are offended by poppies
Muslims want poppies banned
Muslims assault people who wear poppies

All these are lies spread by the far right to create hate and fear. Far right media uses the myth that Muslims have a problem with poppies to increase the reach of their extremist Islamophobia. They know millions of people will see these lies on social media and will believe them. Haters use far right media outlets to spread their hate, using big sites like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook to further their lies. A favourite tactic is to download videos on non English speakers and use video editing software to add their own subtitles. The false subtitles mean those wanting to spread lies can add credibility to the myths they want people to believe.

The truth is that Muslims do respect the Poppy. The great majority certainly do not hate it. In my job I have served many Muslims customers who proudly wear their poppy and many others who have been positive about the poppy that I wear. Not once have I ever been shown any sign of resentment for openly wearing a poppy. I have always been shown respect by Muslims and non Muslims alike.

Never have I seen a Muslim walk up to a Poppy stand to say they are offended to see poppies on sale. I recall one time, there was a Muslim paying respects on Remembrance Sunday at my town’s Cenotaph. Did we give them hate for it? No, we came together as a town to remember our fallen. All faiths and cultures remembering those who fought and died for their country.

Many Muslim soldiers fought for the British Army and the safety of Britain. They believed in defending our country and the people who live here.

Equally, just because someone chooses not to wear a Poppy, doesn’t mean they are against what the Poppy represents. I don’t wear pink, but I still support Cancer Research. We cannot point to anyone – Muslim or Non Muslim – who chooses not to wear a poppy as evidence that they are not supportive of our country and the people who have fought for it.

I genuinely think that the only people who are offended by the Poppy and what it stands for is the far right themselves. They are offended by the unity it represents. Many of the far right claim to be patriots but, to me, a patriot is someone who has fought for their country to ensure its citizens are free and living a life free of hate and Fascism. A patriot is not a racist xenophobic thug.

Hatred of a religion and blaming members of a faith for the problems of a country is Fascism. This is what the people we remember with our poppies fought against. As the older generation pass away, they take the memories with them of what fascism truly involved. Now these middle aged bigots, most of whom have never seen combat are ironically using the very symbol of fighting fascism to fuel their own personal agenda of hate and religious prejudice.

It is this prejudice that has caused these false claims that Muslims hate poppies to spread. Yes, the media has shown incidents where Poppies were burned but these individuals are no more representatives of their community than the flag waving ‘patriots’ who film themselves burning the Quran are reflective of a Christian community.

There is a Poppy Hijab available to lady Muslims who wish to wear a Poppy. This further proves the myth that Muslims hate Poppies is highly untrue and nothing more than hate speech. (If the far right want to call me out on this one, the Poppy Hijab is sold by the Royal British Legion themselves.)

Now if Muslims hated Poppies, why would the Royal British Legion be selling a Poppy Hijab if it wasn’t going to be popular? In fact, the Hijab is so popular, it has had nearly 80 five star reviews. Retailing at £19.99 – that is a lot of money raised for The Royal British Legion.

Remembering and honouring our war dead should not be used to exploit and divide our country. This is a time to unite us all together in thanks to those who stood proud against Fascism.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them

To our fallen heroes, past present and future. To our serving heroes, thank you for your courage and bravery and sacrifice. Your courage will always be remembered, we are a nation proud of the bravery you show. There are no words to describe how grateful we are as a nation for you ensuring we are free from Fascism.

We will honour your memories by standing together as a unified country.

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10 thoughts on “The Myths about Poppies and Muslims

  1. In Central Europe, the poppy seed is known as Mak. It is a very common cooking ingredient when sweetened. There is no connection to war. The poppy seed is a mild form of narcotic that is used in a tea for babies and an afternoon nap for the older folk who eat the cakes made from it. I doubt if the Muslims actually eat or drink any of this.

    1. You doubt if the Muslims actually eat or drink any of this. Do you KNOW that they don’t? Probably not. Will you ask a Muslim out of curiosity if they do eat or drink any of this? I doubt you actually will. You might, but as you see, I cast doubt on you without giving you the benefit of the doubt. Here’s the correct answer as I have copied from Islamweb.net. “Opium is unlawful because it is hazardous to health, destructive to the mind, and drives one away from the remembrance of Allaah. However, opium is not extracted from the poppy seeds, rather from the ripe pods of the poppy tree as described earlier. Therefore, it is permissible to use and sell poppy seeds unless proven to be hazardous to health or intoxicant; in this case, they would be unlawful.”

      1. Clearly you don’t understand anything. The thing you quoted is talking about opium drugs e.g. heroin. How is that relevant to the current article?

  2. Excellent article! A much needed one in the run up to anithe Armistice Day and the usual social media cr*p… 😔

  3. I don’t wear a Poppy. The reason, quite simply is this. The men and women we will always remember, it’s the lessons we forget…….

  4. Sometimes if you were to watch Hollywood films and war documentaries on the BBC you would be convinced that it was “Just White People Alone”… that defended Britain during those dark days from 1939-1945.

    (Remember how history was constantly rewritten, purged,edited and whitewashed in “Orwell’s 1984”)

    In reality men and women of colour from all over the British Commonwealth volunteered to help defend “THE MOTHER COUNTRY” from Adolph Hitler and the Nazi’s, in all areas of the war effort. Airforce, Army, Navy both Military and Merchant, Factory Workers etc, but now their descendants in Britain are the victims of racial hate crimes, targeted and used by right wing press, served up as as potential terrorists threats, to whip up racial division in multicultural Britain.

    Along with Indian, African and West Indian service men & women and those who served in the merchant navy it is amazing how quickly the contributions to Britain’s war effort of people of colour from all over the commonwealth has … and can be “convienently be forgotten” when present day Tory policy is aimed at … creating a “hostile environment” and low minded right wing racist “gammonfodder” march in the streets calling for deportations and the rounding up of Muslims.

    I WILL WEAR MY POPPY.
    I WILL WEAR MY POPPY.
    I “WILL” WEAR MY POPPY.

    It is forgotten that THE WINDRUSH GENERATIONS were not refugees, asylum seekers or illegal immigrants but invited “loyal” British Subjects who answered the call to help REBUILD, a war ravaged, a manpower depleted and a finacially broken Britain. (Rationing and ration books continued for almost decaded after the war finished up until 1954)

    I WILL WEAR MY POPPY.
    I WILL WEAR MY POPPY.
    I “WILL” WEAR MY POPPY.

    “Selective Amnesia”…
    is a phrase that comes to mind …
    and that describes
    a “despicable” hypocritical attitude
    that means in these circumstances …
    forgetting who came to your aid
    when the Nazi’s wanted to conquer,
    to enslave and rule the British ..

    The way the British had conquered,
    brutally enslaved and ruled …
    millions of people of colour
    for hundreds of years.

    I wear my poppy
    not for Winston Churchill
    and those rich,
    racist, elite white men
    who sent others to die
    while they secretly
    made profit from the death
    of the poor working class people
    from Britain and the Commonwealth.

    I WILL WEAR MY POPPY.
    I WILL WEAR MY POPPY.
    I “WILL” WEAR MY POPPY.

    I wear my poppy for…
    ALL those brainwashed
    military men and women
    who unknowingly sacrificed their lives
    to make
    “some people very rich and maintain their power”.

    I WILL WEAR MY POPPY.
    I WILL WEAR MY POPPY.
    I “WILL” WEAR MY POPPY.

    I WEAR MY POPPY FOR THE CIVILLIANS ..
    who were as much targets
    as men on the frontline
    or seamen on the high seas
    and by ALL civillians…
    British, German, French, Russian, Polish, Czech, Slovaks, Romany, Japanese, Arab, African, Italians, Dutch, Belgian, Scandanavian and many more besides…
    whose names are not on “phallic monuments”
    in cities across the world
    as symbols of
    “man’s inhumanity to man”

    I WILL WEAR MY POPPY.
    I WILL WEAR MY POPPY.
    I “WILL” WEAR MY POPPY.

    I wear my poppy
    for the child
    that died screaming
    in a “fire storm blitz”
    alone and afraid.

    I WILL WEAR MY POPPY.
    I WILL WEAR MY POPPY.
    I “WILL” WEAR MY POPPY.

    I will wear my poppy for all of them,
    who were sacrificed
    on the altars of all modern wars
    to create this illusion of democracy …
    we NOW call life.

    I WILL WEAR MY POPPY.
    I WILL WEAR MY POPPY.
    I “WILL” WEAR MY POPPY.

    I will wear my poppy
    in the hope that never again
    will we witness
    the depravity of a World War
    for the blood soaked profits
    of a few
    corrupt bankers,
    politicians and
    business magnates.

    I WILL WEAR MY POPPY.
    I WILL WEAR MY POPPY.
    I “WILL” WEAR MY POPPY.

    I wear my poppy for
    the innocent people of Syria,
    for the innocent people of Yemen
    and most of all for the
    innocent people of Palestine and Gaza
    AND
    for those Israeli’s
    who recognize
    the Crime against Humanity
    and do not support the crimes
    that the right wing Zionists commit
    in the name of Israel …

    I “WILL” WEAR MY POPPY.

    I WILL WEAR MY POPPY.
    I WILL WEAR MY POPPY.
    I “WILL” WEAR MY POPPY.

    “Theresa May… you cunt !”

    I WILL WEAR MY POPPY.
    I WILL WEAR MY POPPY.
    I “WILL” WEAR MY POPPY.

    WITH PRIDE…..

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