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Solemn and binding

14th July 2007

The scale of the event was a great surprise.

The opening of new area for Muslim burials in st Woolos Cemetery Newport was likely to be a minor event- which I was looking forward to attending. Sadly a number of distinguished senior Muslim citizens have died recently. None more prominent that 'Dada" Muhammad Hyat who served in the Indian Army and was captured in Iraq.

Grave

It was gratifying that all the British Legion's banners were paraded in his honour and in tribute to the many other other Muslim soldiers who have served our country. Representatives of all three services, the Queen, the Police and the Gurkhas attended. Prayers were offered by the Newport Iman.

The service was unique, dignified, solemn and binding. It proved the unity of the people of Newport as a mixed community based on mutual respect.

It was powerful statement of rejection of the divisions that are so dreadfully exposed elsewhere.