In the Telegraph today there is an obituary of a splendid fellow named Lt-Col ‘Shufti’ Chaudhri who won an MC (Military Cross – Britain’s third highest gallantry award) fighting in the Italian Campaign in 1944.
In the early hours of January 26, three platoons pushed forward to reconnoitre the enemy positions. At first light, Chaudhri discovered that one of the platoon leaders and an NCO were missing. He set out through driving rain and under intense mortar fire and found that the two men had been taken prisoner and that their platoon was in a critical situation, low on ammunition and facing strong opposition.
No sooner had he reorganised the platoon’s defences than the enemy launched a determined attack. Chaudhri ordered his men to hold their nerve and they waited until the Germans were 40 yards away before they opened fire. Chaudhri killed or mortally wounded several of them. The rest were pinned down but were far from beaten. For the next four hours, Chaudhri and his men came under mortar and machine gunfire but they held on.
They were then ordered to pull back under cover of a smokescreen. The withdrawal was managed without further casualties and seven wounded men were safely evacuated. The citation for the award to Chaudhri of an Immediate MC stated that his conduct had been in the finest tradition of Indian fighting men.
Chaudhri – who retired as a Lt Col in the Pakistan Army – was, of course, a Muslim.
Is this not one of the saddest changes that has occurred between then and now: the development of the idea, hugely fashionable from inner city Rochdale and Bradford to Luton among Chaudri’s grandchildren’s generation, that a Muslim of Pakistani heritage ought to owe no loyalty to the Queen or to Britain or to the Commonwealth or the country of their adoption or birth, only to the Umma and barbaric regimes like Islamic State?If World War II were to break out again today, you wonder, which side would these young Islamists take?