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Pte. Hasan Amat was 23 when he died fighting for Canada in the Battle of Hill 70


In 2017 RMC honoured lone Muslim Canadian known to have died in WWI.

Back in 2017 Capt. Ryan Carter had organized a ceremony to honour Muslim Canadians who fought in times of conflicts and war. 

Though Carter is an imam, he's still referred to as "padre" at the Royal Military College (RMC) in Kingston — also a first for the RMC. In 2003, the Canadian Forces announced its first-ever Muslim chaplain, Capt. Suleyman Demiray of Ottawa. 

The event was on of the ways for Carter to spread awareness about the contributions of Muslims in the Canadian military, and dispel any misconceptions that their involvement today is a new phenomenon. 

"[Muslims] were part of the force like anybody else," Carter told CBC Radio's All in a Day.

"I think it was a revelation for most people. It was a revelation for me, myself, to know Canadian Muslims were involved in the very inception of World War One, and certainly continued to serve up until the present. I never realized it went that far back."

22 Muslims fought for Canada 

Carter has organized remembrance ceremonies in the past in Toronto and Edmonton, but Kingston's ceremony came after he researched the issue in more depth over the summer months. He read about it in Filling the Ranks, a book by Richard Holt, who researched Canada's military efforts in the First World War.



According to the book, 22 Muslims fought for Canada in the war, but Pte. Hasan Amat, originally from Singapore, was the only one who died. 

The 23-year-old soldier from western Ontario died in the Battle of Hill 70 in France fighting for the 1st Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. His body was never recovered. The battle in August 1917 lasted 10 days and ended with 9,000 Canadians killed in action, but was hailed as a victory because German casualties exceeded 20,000. 

Carter also read a verse from the Qur'an about the tragedy — and sometimes, the necessity — of war.

"If fighting were not to take place then certainly all things sacred — whether it be mosques, synagogues, and monasteries — would have been surely destroyed. The verse brings attention to the grim reality of war, but sometimes that war is necessary," Carter said. 

He said now that Library and Archives Canada has digitized many soldiers' military records, it's easier to research the contributions of Muslims in subsequent wars. 

"I think this is the research that I really want to involve myself in, and I hope that we'll find more and more as the years go by," he said. 

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Article Source: ALAMEENPOST