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The following is a collection of News Articles, going
back to 2004, concerning Noor-un-nisa Inayat Khan, GC,CdG,MBE

Viewing Page 1 of 8 (Total Entries: 76)

January 7th 2015
12:55:21 AM
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The Documentary - Codename: Madeleine

NOTE: Click on the above photo to listen to this BBC World Service Documentary

Noor Inayat Khan was one of the most courageous, unusual secret agents of World War Two.

Growing up in Paris under the influence of her Indian father, a famous Sufi teacher and musician, she had an idyllic upbringing, playing the harp, writing stories for children. In the June of 1940 though, as the Germans approached Paris, Noor fled to Britain – and this is where her adventure begins.

She was determined that even as a Muslim of mixed origin and as someone with Sufi pacifist beliefs, she would commit to the British war effort. Signing up with the Women’s Auxiliary Airforce as a trainee radio operator she soon caught the attention of the British Special Operations Executive (SOE), Churchill’s secret organisation, designed ‘to set Europe ablaze’, and she was recruited as an agent. With her fluent French and her radio skills, Noor was in some ways a prime candidate, but she was also gentle and naive, incapable of lying and unsuited to this ‘ministry of ungentlemanly warfare’. Despite mixed training reports, Noor was the first British female radio operator flown into occupied Paris.

But within days of her arrival, her SOE network was blown. Noor was on her own. She managed to elude the Gestapo for nearly three months, carrying out vital SOE work, but was eventually captured. She revealed nothing under interrogation but her meticulously filed codebook was also seized – a fatal mistake that cost lives. Noor was finally executed in Dachau, 1944. She was just 30.

Shahidha Bari uncovers Khan’s story. As a British Muslim herself, Shahidha looks at Khan’s unusual background and asks how Khan’s race and religion impacted her work and how relevant she is to modern multicultural Britain.

(Photo: Memorial of Noor Inayat Khan in central London)


September 30th 2014
02:01:32 PM
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Heroism of Indian Muslim woman in World War II inspires today
By Teresa Stepzinski

The quiet, unwavering heroism of a young Indian Muslim woman who sacrificed her life to fight against Nazi domination during World War II offers lessons of faith, courage and inspiration as relevant now as it was back then, say those who heard her story Sunday.

“It really makes you think. What would I do in a situation like that? … I hope I would have had her courage,” said K.C. Emerson of Jacksonville, who decided at the last minute Sunday afternoon to attend the screening of “Enemy of the Reich: The Noor Inayat Khan Story” followed by a panel discussion at the University of North Florida’s Andrew A. Robinson Jr. Theater.

The film is the true story of Khan, who sacrificed her life to fight against Nazi domination during World War II. The daughter of an American mother and Indian Muslim father, Khan grew up in a home that nurtured interfaith dialogue and cooperation at a Sufi center of learning in Paris.

In early 1943, she was recruited as a covert operative into Winston Churchill’s Special Operations Executive. By then Khan had trained as a wireless operator in Britain’s Women’s Auxiliary Air Force. As a covert agent, Khan was instrumental to the French Underground’s direct attack on Nazi units in preparation for the Allies’ D-Day invasions.

In August 1943, Khan was the last surviving clandestine radio operator in Paris and signaled London for additional weapons and explosives for the French underground. Khan ultimately was captured and executed at Dachau, the Nazi concentration camp in Germany.

On Sunday, Emerson was among Northeast Florida residents as well as UNF students nearly filling the theater for the screening and panel discussion, part of the 2014 Distinguished Voices Lecture Series. The program co-hosted by UNF and Better Together at UNF, a student organization composed of religiously diverse students with a mission of mobilizing their peers to voice their values, engage with others, and act together to make the world a better place.

“It’s an exploration into meaning and purpose of life, and what values might be worth risking it,” Tarah Trueblood, director of UNF Interfaith Center, said of the program.

Such dialogue, she said, is especially crucial now, given the conflict in the Middle East and fear generated by ISIS and other terrorist groups.

“Peace happens one relationship at a time. And getting to know your neighbor can be that one big step you take today,” said Trueblood, adding sometimes that can take a lot of courage to reach out to our neighbors if they are different from us.

“We want our politicians to make peace or somebody else to make peace. But making peace takes us going over to our neighbors and getting to know them,” Trueblood said.

Refusing an order to return to England, Khan stayed in Paris and continued radioing information to the Allies after all her comrades were captured by the Nazis.

“In her case, she just had the determination. She had come with these people, bonded with these people and they had all been captured, but she didn’t want their sacrifice to be meaningless. In retrospect, it was a giant decision to make because it led to her ultimately being killed. But at the time, it was a small decision of heroism,” Kronemer said. “That’s really where I think heroes are made. … Today, what are the small decisions of heroism that we’re making?”

Parvez Ahmed, a faculty mentor and UNF professor, encouraged the audience to continue the conversation sparked Sunday through the program.

“I want us to draw upon the inspiration that Noor gave us through our life and our sacrifices. It would be nice if we could all go beyond the lip service that we often give such inspiration and do something that is actually long-lasting and sustainable,” Ahmed said.

To that end, Ahmed said the UNF Interfaith Center is instituting a service award to be presented annually to one or more deserving students. In the form of a scholarship, it will be the Noor Inayat Khan Interfaith Service Award, he said.

Excerpted From:


September 28th 2014
12:41:25 AM
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Not your average princess
Sharmila Ganesan Ram

It takes a secure man to admit he cried through the story of a princess. But then, Noor Inayat Khan wasn\'t a regular princess with cute problems. A descendant of Tipu Sultan, she a was British spy who was shot dead at a concentration camp at age 30 during World War II. In her interview with the British military, the excruciatingly honest Khan had openly said that she wanted to fight for India\'s Independence after the war.

\"That\'s almost like applying to work at a construction site and saying you plan on tearing the building down afterwards,\" says Jason Porath, an American animator who wept as he recently visualized the secret agent\'s gritty last few months.

Shackled in chains by the Gestapo, Khan, who worked as a radio operator in France, would endure beatings daily, scratch out messages at the back of food bowls to identify herself to new inmates and feed lies to the Germans. Just before she was executed, Khan was said to have uttered the word, \"Liberte\".

That is the kind of princess that 32-year-old Porath likes to draw, honour and resurrect online every Wednesday. On his blog \'The Rejected Princesses\', the self-taught illustrator gives a Disney makeover to women from history and mythology who are \"too dark, awful or awesome for kids\' movies\". The list includes transgender Native-American Osh-Tisch, serial-killer princess Fredegund and even Sita.

As someone who animates effects for Dream-Works, Porath has sympathy for big animation studios because they have to appeal to a huge audience. But as a feminist and mythology nerd who grew up admiring layered Japanese heroines like Princess Mononoke, their approach irked him. \"There should be room for edgier characterizations in these heroines,\" he says, \"even if they don\'t make a billion dollars.\"

This restlessness was fanned by a lunch conversation over an article which argued that the Frozen princesses weren\'t good role models. \"Who is the least likely candidate for an animated princess you can think of ?\" he asked his Facebook pals. The flood of suggestions, from the sexually-precocious Lolita to Iceni warrior queen Boudicca, gave shape to the idea of the blog.

Here, not only do his illustrations come with deliciously, reckless American prose (\"for 90% of the book, it\'s basically Mario/Princess/Browser via Tarantino,\" he writes about the Ramayana) but also snappy art notes. \"The project is my art school,\" says the film criticism graduate who has no background in illustration and yet manages to cram background, perspective and even subtext in to each artwork. Irish mythology figure Etain, for instance, is rolling her eyes because Porath figured she\'d be annoyed at being traded around.

\"I gather as much visual reference as possible,\" says Porath, who refers to scholarly works and criticism for a rounded view of the character\'s life. That\'s perhaps why Porath\'s Sita is leaping into a pit of lava in a Bollywood-esque pose, while giving Rama the finger. \"I wanted the image to be a moment of strength for her,\" says the Los-Angeles-based animator, who read the Ramayana during a visit to Goa and was transfixed by it. \"In my mind, her return to the earth was a repudiation of how Rama had treated her.\"

Given the varied cultural nuances these women embody, he is cautious. \"It\'s very easy to come off as tone deaf with this sort of thing,\" admits Porath, who found Osh-Tisch, the Native-American transgender warrior tricky to draw because of the issues surrounding gender, sex, and representation in that story. In such cases, he invites help. While a lot of historians send him helpful corrections, Porath\'s blog has also received flattery. \"One person even asked for permission to use one of my designs as a tattoo,\" says the animator, whose entry on Sikh warrior saint Mai Bhago was shared by many members of the community.

What doesn\'t cease to astound Porath, who has 600 more princesses on his list, is the sheer number of women who took up the sword \"and kicked butt\". \"India is home to a huge number,\" he says, citing Abbakka Devi, the Jain Queen of Ullal who fought the Portuguese and Onake Obavva, who single-handedly took on the forces of Hyder Ali with a pestle.

Excerpted From:

Click HERE to read a Jason Porath\'s article entitled: \"Noor Inayat Khan - The Spy Princess\"


September 25th 2014
09:39:37 AM
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Noor Inayat Khan: The Muslim WWII heroine who helped Jews
By Tanveer Khadim Published: September 24, 2014

Noor Inayat Khan will remain a source of inspiration for females as her astonishing life tells us that a woman can be a war heroine; she can sacrifice her life in the line of duty.

Noorunnisa Inayat Khan, also known as Madeleine or Nora Baker, a Muslim woman who is known for her valour and fearlessness during the World War II, was introduced to the world in the recent docudrama, Enemy of the Reich: The Noor Inayat Khan Story, played by an Indian-American actress, Grace Srinivasan.

It is based on the chronicles of Khan as a British secret spy in Nazi occupied Paris, France. The year 2014 has been chosen for the release because it marks Khan’s 100th birthday and 70th anniversary of the D-Day.

Filmed in Baltimore, the 60-minutes-long biographical docudrama is produced by Alex Kronemer with Michael Wolfe and directed by three times Emmy award winner and an Academy Award Nominee, Robert H Gardner, whose prominent works include The Courage to Care, Egypt: Quest for Immortality and Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land. It is narrated by an Academy award winning actress, Helen Mirren. The dramatised story gives detailed information about Khan’s short but noteworthy life.

Khan was born on January 2, 1914, in Russia, to an Indian Sufi master and musician, Hazrat Inayat Khan and an American mother, Ora Ray Baker. Khan’s father was a descendent of Tipu Sultan, the ruler of Mysore. Her family fled to England after the Nazis invaded France in 1940. There, she joined Britain’s Women’s Auxiliary Air Force as a wireless operator. In 1943, she was posted to Directorate of Air Intelligence, as a covert agent for Winston Churchill’s Special Operations Executive (SOE) and was flown to France under the hidden identity of Jeanne-Marie Regnier, Assistant Section Officer and Ensign.

The work of the SOE was to help the French forces for preparations of D-Day invasion and Khan clandestinely transmitted vital information back to Britain. After the arrest of her entire network by Gestapo, she became the only connection between Britain and France – synchronising sensitive work and was labelled as the most wanted British agent. She was eventually arrested and interrogated by the Nazis but she never revealed her identity. She tried to escape from her captors but failed, and so she was sent to the notorious Dachau concentration camp in Germany as a result. On September 13, 1944, she was executed by a gunshot in her head. Her last word was ‘liberte’ (freedom).

Noor Inayat Khan was posthumously awarded by Britain and France; including a George Cross award and Croix de Guerre with a gold star. A plaque in her memory hangs at Dachau and a memorial statue was placed in her honour in London’s Gordon Square in 2012.

WWII is considered to be the deadliest war in human history that left a profound impact on the international arena. It reshaped the map of the world, particularly the Arab world, resulting in the emergence of a Jew state – Israel. Millions of civilians lost their lives; power poles shifted and paved the way for the Cold War. The United Nations came into effect in 1945 to resolve disputes. And the US and western countries created the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). During such turbulent times; there was an understanding between the Jews and the Muslims, an understanding we don’t see today.

Very few people are aware of the role of Muslims in WWII; how they played a significant role by providing safety to Jews against Nazi oppression. The Grand Mosque in Paris gave protection to Jewish cabaret singer, Simon Halali and the Franco-Muslim Hospital provided shelter to people, irrespective of their faith. Likewise, Algerian Muslim immigrants fought along with French troops.

This docudrama, therefore, defies the allegations that Muslims are anti-Semitic. It demonstrates that Muslims and Jews can work together for a better cause. Khan’s laudable anecdote gives a vital message to both Muslims and other communities to have a good understanding of what Islam really stands for. Amidst the on-going Israel-Palestine conflict, this movie makes one wonder whether this animosity is inherent. History shows us that Muslims helped the Jews in times of need and never really protested till their land was being taken over.

Excerpted from: From:

Click HERE to read a NEW article entitled: \"Noor Inayat Khan - The Spy Princess\"


September 14th 2014
06:54:26 AM
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One Woman, Many Surprises: Pacifist Muslim, British Spy, WWII Hero
by NPR Staff

Noor Inayat Khan, one of the heroines of World War II, had a short, astonishing life, one that took her from a pacifist childhood to a daring career in covert operations. She was a Muslim woman who worked as a British spy — a radio operator — in Nazi-occupied Paris.

A new docudrama about her, Enemy of the Reich: The Noor Inayat Khan Story,appeared on PBS.

Alex Kronemer, executive producer of the film, calls Inayat Khan \"a very unlikely British agent\" — in part because of her spiritual background. Born in Moscow in 1914, Inayat Khan was the daughter of an American mother and an Indian father. Her father, a Sufi Muslim who preached tolerance and believed all religions were one, raised his daughter as a pacifist.

\"A woman who grew up raised not to lie, raised to be a pacifist — and yet here she was doing one of the most dangerous missions available in the war and doing it when many other people backed away,\" Kronemer tells NPR\'s Arun Rath.



September 13th 2014
04:00:01 AM
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Let\'s Watch \"Enemy of the Reich\" on PBS Tonight

In August of 1943, the last surviving clandestine radio operator in Paris desperately signaled London for additional weapons and supplies for the French underground. The Gestapo was closing in and she knew her time was limited. Everything depended on her. How did a Sorbonne educated musician, a student of child psychology, and an author of a book of fairy tales became a daring spy who died fighting the Nazis?
With an American mother and Indian Muslim father, Noor Inayat Khan was an extremely unusual British agent, and her life spent growing up in a Sufi center of learning in Paris seemed an unlikely preparation for the dangerous work to come. Yet, it was in this place of universal peace and contemplation that her remarkable courage was forged.

When the Nazi’s invaded France in 1940, she fled to England with her widowed mother and three younger siblings and could have waited out the war in relative safety. But, she felt compelled by the lessons of tolerance and inclusiveness of her upbringing to take an active role in opposing the Nazis. She joined Britain’s Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, and was recruited as a wireless operator into Winston Churchill’s Special Operations Executive (SOE), secretly returning to Paris to support the French Underground as England prepared for the D-Day invasions.

After the penetration and arrest of her entire network by the Gestapo, Noor became the only surviving radio operator in Paris during four crucial months of the war, coordinating the air-drop of weapons, supplies and agents, and supporting the rescue of downed allied fliers. She was ultimately betrayed by a French collaborator and interrogated for months by the Gestapo. She never gave up any information, not even her real name, and she organized two breakouts from Gestapo headquarters. For this and the damage she did to the Nazi’s war efforts, she was executed in Dachau. 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of her birth.



August 25th 2014
12:36:42 PM
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A spy and a saint

Did Noor Inayat Khan, super secret agent during World War 2, ever visit Delhi? Perhaps we’ll never find out, but the story of her father, Inayat Khan, and his legacy in Delhi, is intriguing in its own way

In this time of World War anniversaries few are aware that Noor Inayat Khan, super secret agent, had a close link with a Delhi shrine. And thereby hangs a tale that goes back to Tipu Sultan, who died fighting the British at Seringapatnam during the Fourth Mysore War in 1799. Long after that, one of his descendants founded a Sufi order in Delhi. Hazrat Inayat Khan, great-grandson of Tipu, was a man of many tastes who went abroad in 1920 to give music concerts, having become a musician of note early in life. According to Sadia Dehlvi, Inayat Khan died in 1927 and was buried in Delhi, though he had settled down with his wife in Suresness, a Parisian suburb. His son, Pir Vilayat Khan succeeded him, whose successor was Pir Zia Khan, head of the Sufi Order International.

Inayat Khan’s daughter, Noor Inayat Khan (just as famous as Mata Hari) was a British Special Operations Agent (Madeline) during World War II. She became the first female radio operator to be sent by the Allies into occupied France to aid the French Resistance (under Gen Charles de Gaulle). Captured by the Germans, Noor was executed in Sept 1944 when she was 30 and was posthumously given the highest civilian award (George Cross) by the British Govt. in 1949. Recently a special postage stamp was issued and a statue installed in her memory in Britain.

Dr. A. Ali, who long ago organised lectures in Delhi by Pir Vilayat Khan on behalf of Hamdard, remembers him as a handsome man with European features, who had a mastery over written and spoken English and hardly looked like an Indian Sufi divine. Incidentally, his half-brother was an American Yogi. The message he preached (like his father) was that one doesn’t have to embrace Islam to become a Sufi. Hazrat Inayat Khan had defined Sufism as a religious philosophy of love, harmony and beauty for all. His dargah is not far from the one of Hazrat Nizamuddin. Situated in an “elegant modern structure”, it is quite unlike the usual conception of a dargah. Some call it the “white man’s dargah” as most of the visitors are foreigners, who stay in the rooms attached to it and attend cultural events hosted by Dr. Fareeda of the West Indies.

There are many in Delhi and elsewhere who do not subscribe to Inayat Khan’s philosophy but still visit the dargah on Fridays when qawwalis are held. This is a departure from tradition as qawwalis are generally held on Thursdays at sufi dargahs.

Hazrat Inayat Khan preceded Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and Osho Rajneesh in popularising Eastern philosophy abroad (to which Pandit Ravi Shankar also made his contribution) and the Beatles and Mia Farrow were among the devotees who came to India. Somehow Inayat Khan did not attract much attention in Delhi, known as the “Threshold of the 22 Khwajas” or saints.

Be that as it may, it cannot be denied that the Sufi Pir’s daughter played a role in countering the Nazi dream of world domination, after trying her hand as a writer of children’s stories and a stint in Paris as an artist. Did Noor Inayat Khan visit Delhi? No one is sure as there is no record of it, but Khushwant Singh, while once commenting on her, thought it was quite likely she did.

For this he cited a member of the Nizami family of Pirs who escorted a pretty westernised young woman to the shrine of Inayat Khan on a cold, bleak, afternoon. Asked for her name she said it reflected the Noor of the saint and disappeared with a wave of her hand. If she was really Noor Inayat, then the incident could have taken place before the war broke though it is more likely that she came as a teenager during her father’s funeral. Those were the days when people came in ships via the Suez Canal, landed in Calcutta or Bombay and then made their way to Delhi by train.

But imagine Noor Inayat arriving at Old Delhi station all by herself later, which in itself was a courageous act.

It was of the likes of her that Jawaharlal Nehru said that such heroines gave the lie to the belief that Eastern women were not meant to lead but to be led. One thinks of this when one visits Inayat Khan’s dargah on a wet Friday evening.

Excerpted From:

NOTE: Regarding the question as to whether Noor had visited Delhi.

Here is a quote from: \"Noor-un-nisa Inayat Khan, GC, MBE, CdG\" by
Jean Overton Fuller.

Page 48

Noor:\"We have all been to pay homage at my father\'s tomb.\"


June 19th 2014
08:44:52 PM
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Birth centenary of Noor Inayat Khan, Indian-origin WWII spy observed in England

London, 19 June 2014: The centenary year of Noor Inayat Khan, the famous Indian-origin World War II spy, was observed in the UK this week. Popular English novelist and political commentator Frederick Forsyth was among the key guests at a special memorial event in London to celebrate the life of Noor, the great-great-great-grand-daughter of Tipu Sultan, who became the first female radio operator to be sent from Britain into occupied France. \"What is so remarkable about Noor Inayat Khan is that she owed us nothing; she didn’t have to go,\" said Forsyth, the well-known thriller writer behind books such as ’The Day of the Jackal’ and ’The Odessa File’ who compared her to the 18th century ruler, Tipu Sultan, known as the ’Tiger of Mysore’.

Family of Noor Inayat Khan

\"When it came to being recruited for the SOE (Special Operations Executive), she could have said ’thank you but no’...but she volunteered. There must be something of the old tiger in her genes. It is recorded that she fought like a tigress...Noor absolutely did not die for nothing. She is an amazement, a remarkable and extraordinarily brave woman who did what she did for a country to which she owed nothing,\" Forsyth said.

The memorial event was organised by the Noor Inayat Khan Memorial Trust set up by Shrabani Basu – author of the World War II heroine’s biography ’Spy Princess’. It coincided with the dates of June 16-17, 1943, when Noor – under her codename Madeleine – was flown to the landing ground in Northern France. \"She combined the rational side of her personality with her hatred of injustice and became one of our greatest heroines. My hope is that she would have gone back to that inner life that sustained her,\" said Christine Crawley, a Labour party politician who has campaigned for the contribution of women agents in the war to be commemorated.

Noor Inayat Khan

The SOE was an underground force established in Britain in 1940 by war-time Prime Minister Winston Churchill to \"set Europe ablaze\". It recruited men and women to launch a guerilla war against Hitler’s forces.

Noor, born on January 1, 1914 to an Indian Muslim father and an American mother, grew up in Britain and France. Despite her pacifist views, she decided to join the war effort to defeat the Nazis and was eventually captured. In spite of being repeatedly tortured and interrogated, she revealed nothing and was executed by an SS officer on September 13, 1944, at Dachau concentration camp at the age of 30. She was later awarded the George Cross, the highest civilian decoration in the UK, in recognition of her bravery.

A bust in Noor’s memory now stands at Gordon Square in central London, a stone’s throw from the home she briefly lived in.



May 6th 2014
08:47:31 AM
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First female president of Islamic Society of Britain, Sughra Ahmed, to give lecture at Stortford college


THE first woman to be appointed president of the Islamic Society of Britain, Sughra Ahmed, will give the next Ferguson Lecture at Bishop’s Stortford College.

She will give an insight into Islam, Christianity and British Muslims.

The Ferguson Lectures are a programme to provide opportunities for people to meet, discuss and ponder on a wide range of contemporary topics, named after an eminent former pupil Professor John Ferguson to commemorate his outstanding contribution to education.

Sughra, pictured, is programmes manager at the Woolf Institute in the Centre for Policy and Public Education at Cambridge, where she has responsibility for the design and delivery of research and training on issues such as faith, belief, integration and cohesion.

Previously, she worked as research fellow in the Policy Research Centre where she explored the migratory and settlement experiences of first generation Muslim women and men in the UK, and worked with a number of organisations to consider the issues young people face whilst growing up in the UK and the impact of this on wider British communities. She has published a number of papers and key reports – Seen and Not Heard: Voices of Young British Muslims (2009) and British by Dissent (2014).

Sughra is a trustee of the Inter Faith Network UK, the president of Islamic Society of Britain and an advisor to FaithxChange. She has a BA (Hons) in English language and literature and an MA in Islamic studies. She is also a qualified chaplain and holds a diploma in Islamic jurisprudence.

Active in interfaith work both locally and nationally working with organisations to help build stronger and more effective relationships across faith and beliefs, Sughra regularly contributes to debates in the media and is a contributor to Radio 2’s Pause for Thought. She was recently awarded the Noor Inayat Khan Memorial Award, for Muslim Woman of the Year at the British Muslim Awards.

The lecture takes place on Wednesday, May 14, at at 4pm in the Ferguson Lecture Theatre. Entry is free, but places need to be booked in advance. See or call 01279 838575.



April 23rd 2014
09:39:55 AM
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SVSU to host film \'Enemy of the Reich\' in honor of Dr. Raana Akbar

KOCHVILLE TOWNSHIP, MI – While everything around her erupted in fear and anger following the terrorist attacks in 2001, Dr. Raana Akbar reached out in peace.

The Saginaw Township allergist, who died in 2009, visited churches, schools and civic groups so that people would better understand the Muslim faith she embraced, one that condemned the violent acts of rogue extremists.

And as the fifth anniversary of her death approaches in December, Saginaw Township orthopedic surgeon Dr. Waheed Akbar continues his wife’s quest Thursday, April 24, with the Saginaw premiere of the docudrama \'Enemy of the Reich: The Noor Inayat Khan Story\' at the Malcolm Field Theatre for Performing Arts at Saginaw Valley State University, 7400 Bay.

Khan, a young Muslim who with her family fled Paris during the Nazi invasion, later volunteered to help the French Resistance as a radio operator at great personal sacrifice. Her heroism is recognized to this day; she received Great Britain and France’s highest honors for civilian service following the war, and two weeks ago, Great Britain issued a postage stamp honoring her contributions during World War II.

The free program, which starts at 6 p.m., also features a question-and-answer period with producer Michael Wolfe, an American Muslim convert who opened the Raana Akbar Memorial Lecture Series in 2011.

\'We knew Michael for 20 years and would give his book, ‘The Hadj: An American’s Pilgrimage to Mecca’ to friends making their first pilgrimage,\' Akbar said. \'He is very well published, and when he realized how little most people know about Islam, he moved into television and movies.\'

That includes working as a consultant in Hollywood as television and movie producers attempt to accurately reflect the typical Muslim.

\'He decided to do something about the lack of understanding, and that’s what we’re doing events like this,\' Akbar said. \'In the past few weeks, we’ve had two tragic events, but can you tell me the religion of the gunman at Fort Hood?

\'National statistics show the negative view of Muslims is rising, but here, we have churches calling us to schedule visits and school groups visiting our Islamic center. We never give up; through microcosms of our history, such as this film, we show that true Muslims respect those around them.\'

As \'The Cosby Show\' and \'Murphy Brown\' in past decades changed Americans’ view of African-Americans and powerful women, said Wolfe, the work he and others such as his co-producer Alex Kronemer continue through the Unity Productions Foundation could do the same.

\'We’re working with a lot of TV programs, dozens of them on an ongoing basis,\' he said as he waited in an airport for his flight to Los Angeles. While he isn’t allowed to name specific shows, \'it’s a function of Hollywood, through great storytelling making certain factions more familiar.\'

The sense of fear that followed the 2001 attacks, not only among Americans but innocents in Iraq and Afghanistan fearing reprisal, is dispelled as we realize the common ground we share, Wolfe said.

\'As Muslims, we’re the new kids on the block, but we have rites of passage, we have jobs and mortgages, and we’re working hard to make this world a better place,\' he said. \'’The Hadj’ was directed toward people who don’t know anything about Muslim. And we hope \'Enemy of the Reich,\' through PBS and showings in schools, churches, synagogues and mosques, will engage Americans again in our shared history.\'

First and foremost, Wolfe said, it’s an inspiring story, and that’s the response he gets from audiences, as well.

\'This has been a real education for me,\' he said, describing how, on opposite coasts, he and Kronemer started hearing stories of Muslim bravery during World War II from Holocaust survivors.

\'Those stories were difficult to substantiate, but in the process of checking them out, we heard about Noor Inayat Khan,\' he said.

Born to an American mother and Indian father in Moscow, she was raised in France, and with her mother and brother, fled to Great Britain during the Nazi invasion.

\'She was a writer, her father was well-known, and she joined the resistance effort, which was well documented in Great Britain. Curiosity led us to find out who she was and what happened. I don’t want to say it was a detective story, but it was investigative journalism.\'

Set against a very real and dangerous backdrop, it’s a powerful story of high ideals and personal sacrifice for the greater good.

Excerpted From:

Read Also This Article, entitled: How Muslims Won the Second World War


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