Minhaj ul Quran London, in partnership with the Imperial War Museum launched its “Far from the Western Front” exhibition highlighting the role played by South Asians in the First World War. The exhibition has previously been shown at the Royal Geographical Society, and the Karamel Gallery, and has been referred to as “hugely moving”, “eye-opening”, “so, so important” and “beautifully presented”. The exhibition started on Thursday 2nd February 2017 and ends on the 27th March 2017.
There was a wonderful Grand opening on Saturday 11th February 2017 with dignitaries and local, and south Asian media present. News coverage went to over 90 countries around the world. The Local Newspaper described the exhibition as Forest Gate mosque makes history with first exhibition.
The exhibition is the result of a London-wide research project, started in response to a need for more awareness about the role played by South Asians in the First World War. For more than a year, members of the Indian, Pakistani, Nepalese and British communities across London have worked together to research and curate this exhibition for all, exploring the untold stories of South Asians in the First World War.
The exhibition challenges perceptions of the First World War as a European war, fought by white men in the trenches.
For Minhaj ul Quran, which has its UK headquarters in Newham, this has been an auspicious event as we reach out to bring together people from all walks of life to understand and appreciate the tragedy of war, and recognise the contributions made by people from South Asia to the United Kingdom. It also recognises how history shapes our past, present. and our future, and how we need to work together to create love and understanding.
The finale of this exhibition will draw upon the huge contribution of all the various Worlds communities to Britain. It will looks at the rich and diverse cultures of people from all the world, and what every person, no matter where they are from, and what they believe in, has contributed to enrich and shape Britain to what it is today. We will also look at heritage and legacy and how it is vital for the community at a time when there are calls from certain quarters to build walls, to build strong bridges of love, peace and harmony. At the finale those present will decide on what other projects they would like to see to bring more community cohesion and better understanding between the diverse communities.