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Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

#REMEMBRANCE: Majority of British Muslims WILL wear a Poppy - Research

A vast majority of Muslims will be buying and wearing poppies this week to mark Remembrance Sunday, despite hardliners saying it is forbidden under Islam, new research has revealed.

A new survey by British Future, a think tank that studies migration and integration, suggests that a majority of Muslims regard as “nonsense” the extremist views held by radical preachers such as Anjum Choudhry.

Choudray was quoted this week denouncing Muslim supporters of Remembrance Sunday as “hypocrites”, “bootlickers” and “sycophants” adding that Muslims who sell poppies will “burn in hellfire”.

Despite the unease felt by many Muslims about British military action in Afghanistan and Iraq, several major mosques in the country have set up poppy stalls and British Future’s findings equated to some 800,000 poppy-wearers from among Pakistani and Bangladeshi Muslims who constitute more than two thirds of all British Muslims.

Sunder Katwala, the director of British Future, called the results a “crushing blow to anti-poppy extremists”.

Mr Katwala said: "As they quietly join in our solemn national acts of remembrance, how sick and tired British Muslims must be of the divisive image that the noisy extremists present of their faith."

The survey found 62 per cent of ethnic minority Britons said they would wear a poppy on Sunday.

That included 69 per cent of people of Indian heritage, 53 per cent from Pakistani backgrounds, 46 per cent of Bangladeshi heritage, 74 per cent of Black Caribbeans and 55 per cent from Black African background.

Dilwar Hussein, Chair of the charity New Horizons in British Islam, told the Independent: "These figures show most ordinary British men and women of Muslim background are just like the rest of us when it comes to Remembrance Day. As they go about their daily business as British citizens we should acknowledge this quiet yet profound form of integration.

"My grandfather served in the British army and was a prisoner of war in Asia.  Like a million other British Muslims, I feel it is important to remember and honour the sacrifice of those who fell while defending us."

The figures emerged as the Islamic Society of Britain (ISB) joined imams and the London Faith Forum this week to urge more British Muslims to wear poppies and support tributes to the war dead.

The ISB says on its website: "Remembrance Day will be taking place throughout the country with many different approaches of appreciation. We urge and encourage you to become involved by participating in your local areas."

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