At a time of heightening xenophobia and anti-immigrant hysteria in the United Kingdom and the European Union, a 25-year-old Grenadian immigrant who only arrived in London on the eve of the new millennium received the UK 's highest award, the Victoria Cross (VC), for gallant service to the British Army.  Private Johnson Gideon Beharry risked his life on two separate occasions in incredible acts of bravery under fire near the British-occupied city of Basra , Iraq last year. 

Muslims have long served in the armed forces fighting in World War I and World War II, and on 1 July 2006, Lance Corporal Jabron Hashmi became the first British Muslim soldier to be killed in Afghanistan.

L/Cpl Hashmi died along with his comrade Corporal Peter Thorpe in an attack on their base. A statement at the time was issued by his commanding officer, Lt Col Steve Vickery, which described Jabron Hashmi as "enthusiastic, confident and immensely popular".