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First Imam to British Armed Forces: Joining Forces Doesn’t Contradict with Islam | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Imam Asim Hafiz, OBE the Islamic advisor to the Armed Forces leads the Prayers in the Ministry of Defense last July. (Credit: UK Ministry of Defence)

London – Islamic Religious Advisor to the Chief of the Defence Staff and Service Chiefs Asim Hafiz speaks of his experience as First Imam to British Armed Forces.

Hafiz, who has been working with the Armed Forces for 11 years, said that being a Muslim didn’t stop him from joining the British Armed Forces.

“Serving in the Armed Forces is in fact fully compatible with being a Muslim,” he said. Hafiz added that serving the Armed Forces helped him better defend the Islamic values.

During an interview with Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA), Asim said that joining the forces doesn’t contradict with Islamic values, adding that many have misconceptions about the forces.

Hafiz explained that the values of the Armed Forces such as honesty, courage, discipline, commitment, and devotion are all values within the Islamic community.

“I really feel what I’m doing is part of my faith and what my faith expects me to do. I believe that I have an opportunity to improve people’s understanding of each other,” he commented.

Hafiz highlighted that being part of the Armed Forces is not only about participating in wars and military operations. He explained that the Armed Forces also help and protect people in case of terrorist acts or natural disasters.

There are over 800 Muslims in the British Armed Forces who can fast during the holy month of Ramadan. They receive kosher food and are entitled to holidays on Futr and Adha feasts.