British armyís Muslim 90M recruitment drive fails

The British army is facing fresh claims of a recruitment crisis after the failure of a high-profile campaign to get Muslims to join up, the Daily Telegraph reports. Only a handful of the 200,000-strong Muslim community in the British Midlands have joined the army since the first recruitment drive aimed specifically at Muslims last year.

The campaign, which included activity days and promoted the use of headscarves for female Muslim soldiers, hoped to target 1,200 new recruits by April 2007. It is thought that many did not want to join up because they opposed the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. There are just 330 Muslims in the entire British armed forces. More than 14,000 personnel left the service last year, while there were 12,730 recruits, leading the opposition Conservative party to claim it was suffering a “retention crisis”. Shorter gaps between tours of duty, concerns over equipment and resentment at the allegedly poor state of accommodation for some servicemen and their families are being blamed.The military death tolls in Iraq and Afghanistan are also continuing to rise.

In November, a group of young Muslims from Birmingham took part in a three-day infantry training course at Gamecock Barracks in Nuneaton. The event was described as a success but only 15 Muslims are said to have joined up since then. On Saturday it was revealed that the maximum age for recruits to the army was being raised to 33 from 26 but the Ministry of Defence said it was to bring it into line with the Navy and the RAF, not to boost numbers.

Posted by, Asif Yusuf.



Comments for article #11

Go Back to Previous Page