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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



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November 29th 2016
01:02:29 AM
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Read more about Tipu Sultan (Princess Noor\'s Ancestor) HERE

   

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November 22nd 2016
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Meet the Muslims who sacrificed themselves to save Jews and fight Nazis in World War II
By Michael Wolfe
Given recent history, it\'s a story that deserves retelling.


Britain issues a stamp to commemorate Khan. (Courtesy of the Royal Mail)

Noor Inayat Khan led a very unusual life. She was born in 1914 to an Indian Sufi mystic of noble lineage and an American half-sister of Perry Baker, often credited with introducing yoga into America. As a child, she and her parents escaped the chaos of revolutionary Moscow in a carriage belonging to Tolstoy’s son. Raised in Paris in a mansion filled with her father’s students and devotees, Khan became a virtuoso of the harp and the veena, dressed in Western clothes, graduated from the Sorbonne and published a book of children’s tales — all before she was 25.

One year later, in May 1940, the Germans occupied Paris. Khan, her mother, and a younger brother and sister fled like millions of others, catching the last boat from Bordeaux to England, where she immediately joined the British war effort. In 1942, she was recruited by Churchill’s elite Special Operations Executive (SOE) to work in Paris as a wireless operator. Her clandestine efforts supported the French Underground as England prepared for the D-Day invasions. Among SOE agents, the wireless operator had the most dangerous job of all, because the occupation authorities were skilled at tracking their signals. The average survival time for a Resistance telegrapher in Paris was about six weeks.

Khan’s service continued from June 1943 until her capture and arrest by the Gestapo in October. Her amazing life and eventual murder in Germany’s Dachau prison camp in September 1944 are the focus of a PBS film I co-produced that is airing this week. In researching her story, I came across quite a number of other Muslims who bravely served the Allied cause — and sometimes made the ultimate sacrifice. History is rich with examples of their daring heroism and split-second decisions that helped defeat the Nazis.

Behic Erkin, the Turkish ambassador in Paris, provided citizenship papers and passports to thousands of Jews (many with only distant claims to Turkish connections) and arranged their evacuation by rail across Europe. One fateful day, Necdet Kent, the Turkish consul-general in Marseille, stymied the shipment of 80 Turkish Jews to Germany by forcing his way onto a train bearing them to their likely death and arranging for their return, unharmed, to France.

Abdol-Hossein Sardari used his position at the Iranian consulate in Paris to help thousands of Jews evade Nazi capture. Later dubbed the Iranian Schindler, he convinced the occupying Germans that Iranians were Aryans and that the Jews of Iran had been Iranian since the days of Cyrus the Great — and, therefore, should not be persecuted. Then he issued hundreds of Iranian passports to non-Iranian Jews and saved their lives.

Ahmed Somia, the Tunisian co-director of the French Muslim Hospital outside Paris, organized weapon caches, facilitated Resistance radio transmissions, treated wounded Resistance fighters, and helped save many downed U.S. and British pilots by hiding them in fake T.B. wards where Gestapo and French gendarmes feared to go.

Continued below:

   

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November 22nd 2016
11:12:06 AM
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Continued from above:

Khan was posthumously decorated with the highest British and French civilian and military honors, but so were other Muslims, including standout heroes among the 2.5 million British Indian troops fighting Axis forces around the globe. In this largest volunteer army in recorded history, Muslims (roughly one-third of the force), like Hindus and Buddhists, played prominent roles. In a letter to President Roosevelt during the war, Churchill pointed out that Muslim soldiers were providing “the main army elements on which we [the British] must rely for the immediate fighting.” In 1944-45, the French Army of Africa, joined to de Gaulle’s Free French Forces, was expanded to 260,000 men, of whom 50 percent were North African, the great majority being Muslim, while another substantial group were Senegalese Muslim riflemen. These forces invaded Italy and helped liberate southern France. According to American historian Juan Cole, fighting these dark-skinned Africans in “Aryan” Europe, and losing to them, dismayed many German soldiers steeped in trumped-up theories of racial inferiority.

Eastern Europe offered more examples. In the Balkans, for instance, only 200 Jews lived in Albania before WWII. Yet by war’s end, almost 2,000 Jews lived in the country, because so many had fled Greece, Austria and other locations in Europe to take shelter there among the predominantly Muslim population, which hid and protected them.

As Cole wrote elsewhere, commemorating the 70th anniversary of D-Day: “While a few Muslims did support the Axis, out of resentment of Western colonialism and hopes that the rise of an alternative power center would aid their quest for independence, they were tiny in their numbers compared to the Muslims who not just supported the Allies… but actively fought on their behalf.”

One of the jobs of documentary film is to rescue stories that fall out of the history books. Khan’s account, and others like it, seems at odds with the history of the modern Middle East, whose combatants — whether Arab, Turkish, Iranian or Israeli — may want for their own reasons to bury stories about Muslim-Jewish collaboration. But these tales should be remembered and honored. It is my sincere hope that with the story of Noor Inayat Khan, we have done just that.

Excerpted From: http://feed.hypervocal.com

   

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September 19th 2016
02:12:46 PM
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The call of the one to the many



Idealistic, cosmopolitan and full of heroic courage. It is almost 75 years since the death of Sufi princess Noor Inayat Khan – murdered in Dachau concentration camp – who served as a secret agent in France during the Second World War.

The website \"Rejected Princesses\" lists the names of princesses who, in a just world, would have been featured in a Walt Disney film. Top of the list is Noor Inayat Khan, the ravishingly beautiful Sufi princess, musician, celebrated author and resistance fighter against the Nazi regime. Yet, who was this woman, remembered in Germany by little more than a memorial plaque in Dachau concentration camp crematorium?

Noor-un-Nisa Inayat Khan was born in Moscow on New Year\'s day in 1914. She was the oldest daughter of the American Ora Ray Baker and the renowned Sufi teacher and musician Hazrat Inayat Khan, who at the time held a post at the Moscow Conservatory. She was also the great-great granddaughter of Tipu Sultan, ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore, who fought three wars against the colonising British forces.

With the start of the First World War, the family was forced to flee to London, where Noor\'s three siblings, Vilayat, Hidayat and Khair-un-Nisa were born. Six years later, they settled in the Paris suburb of Suresnes. What followed was an idyllic family life, full of spirituality, religious studies and frequent international guests. After the death of her father in 1927, Noor assumed responsibility for her siblings and the \"Fazal Mansil\" or \"House of Blessing\" remained their secure home.

For the peaceful unity of all beings

In Paris, she studied harp and piano under, among others, the famous composition teacher Nadia Boulanger. She also studied child psychology at the Sorbonne and wrote a column for the children\'s section of Le Figaro. In 1939, she published a book entitled \"Twenty Jataka Tales\", a collection of parables on previous incarnations of the Buddha Siddhartha Gautama.

Even here, one can see the outlines of her doctrine that an individual should be prepared to resolutely champion the peaceful unity of all beings, even at the cost of one\'s own life. Accordingly, she studiously researched all the prophetic traditions and religious cultures with the aim of uncovering a common core and overcoming obstacles to interfaith contact.

In 1940, the family was forced to flee to London to escape from the Nazi regime. Upon hearing reports on the inhumane conditions in concentration camps, Noor and her siblings quickly decided to support the war effort. Noor became a highly specialised wireless operator with the Special Operations Executive (SOE), a special unit of the British intelligence service. Her brother Vilayat joined the Royal Navy.

Throughout this entire period, Noor continued to write stories. Her capacity for dedication and her artistic power seem to have been inexhaustible. She delved deeply into European literary history, occupying herself with the Chansons de Geste and Reinecke Fuchs. Yet, she also focused on non-European stories such as Scheherazade, the wise King Akbar and the Indian musician Mira Bai. These were followed by Japanese, Russian and Polish legends, as well as stories from both Nordic and Greek mythology. She dedicated three stories to Christianity and, in particular, to the Christmas festivities she loved so much.

An affinity for heroes

In all of her stories, Noor displays an affinity for heroes who overreach themselves and stumble accordingly. She liked to tell tales of moral misconduct while simultaneously inspiring courage. She focused on the theme of cultivating the soul in order to achieve a state of conscientious awareness, a never-ending process, marked by repeated mistakes and setbacks, which can only be endured with a generous portion of humour.

In June 1943, the SOE flew Noor to Paris, where she provided backup for the resistance, eventually serving as the last wireless connection between the French Resistance and the Allies. Although a pacifist, she allowed herself to be trained in the use of weapons, only to discard her pistol before leaving England.

Noor\'s brother Vilayat wrote in his memoirs: \"Sometimes I ask myself whether those who live today in prosperity, or at least enjoy the highly cherished political freedom of our modern societies, realise that they owe a debt of gratitude to those people who were tortured and died for them.\"

Continued Below:

   

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September 19th 2016
02:07:41 PM
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Continued from above:

Tortured, sexually abused and murdered

According to legend, Noor\'s beauty proved her downfall. She was betrayed by the sister of an agent, captured by the Gestapo and, after two attempts at escape, was sent to a prison in Pforzheim. There she was tortured, suffered terrible starvation and was probably also sexually abused, before finally being transferred to the Dachau concentration camp.

On 13 September 1944, Noor Inayat Khan and three other female colleagues from the SOE were taken by SS officers and lined up in front of a wall near the crematorium at Dachau concentration camp. Eduard Weiter, the camp commander and two other SS officers were already waiting for them there. The women were ordered to kneel on the ground and to hold hands. One after another, they were shot in the back of the head at point blank range. According to Shribanu Basu in her impressive biography of Noor, the \"Spy Princess\", her last word was \"Liberte\".

Noor Inayat Khan was honoured posthumously in England and France with the George Cross and the Croix de Guerre. In London\'s Gordon Square Gardens, where she would often sit to read and write, the first and only monument in Britain to an Asian woman was erected and unveiled by Anne, the Princess Royal. The Oscar prize-winning actress Helen Mirren provided Noor with her voice in a documentary film on her life\'s work. Muslims and non-Muslims from all over the world honour her as an embodiment of spiritual chivalry. And who knows, perhaps there will one day be a monument to her in Germany as well – or maybe Disney will create a princess in her image.

The persecution and mass murder of European Jews left Noor Inayat Khan shaken to her core. As to why God would permit so much horror and evil in the world, she provided an answer in her stories with the greatest gift endowed to her by the Creator: namely, we all have the freedom to choose good. In her own words, it is \"the call of the one to the many.\"

Her writings and her non-violent resistance to the Nazis are a direct reflection of her active dedication to interreligious Sufism.

Eric Schumacher

© Qantara.de 2016

Translated from the German by John Bergeron

VIDEO: Princess Spy - Documentary

From: https://en.qantara.de

   

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April 19th 2016
01:01:55 PM
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How an Indian Sufi teacher left an imprint on Claude Debussy (and western classical music)
The famous French composer\'s fascination with the Orient deepened after he met the pioneering Hazrat Inayat Khan.




No matter how many times the story of Hazrat Inayat Khan (1882-1927) is told, it’s always fascinating. He was the great-great-grandson of Tipu Sultan, the “Tiger of Mysore”. He was the father of Noor-un-Nisa Inayat Khan, a British espionage agent and the first female radio operator to be sent into German-occupied France to aid the Resistance. He founded the mystical Sufi Order of the West. He was a trained Northern Indian classical musician. And, unknown to many, he was an influence on western classical music, in particular the music of French composer Claude Debussy (1862-1918).

Scottish pianist and musicologist Roy Howat has looked closely at the influence of the Orient on the music of Debussy. In his book Debussy in Proportion: A Musical Analysis, and in his essay Debussy and the Orient in the book Recovering the Orient, Howat describes a meeting between Debussy and Inayat Khan in May 1913. The introduction had been made by a mutual friend, the pianist Walter Rummel, while Inayat Khan and his family of musicians were on a performance tour of Europe and America.

In a letter to Rummel, Debussy recounted that the musicians chose a day to play for him at their convenience but the performance’s time was almost predetermined – “around 5 o’clock, which I understand is their usual time”.

Inayat Khan’s youngest brother Musharaff Khan, who was also present there, described the encounter. He remembered Debussy calling it “the evening of emotions”. After hearing their performance, Debussy “sat down at the piano and played, calling out titles that resembled the descriptive names of the ragas” that had been played by Inayat Khan and his musicians. The titles apparently included “rainy season”, “spring” and autumn”.

Could it be that these were Debussy’s “Jardins sous la pluie” (his third Estampe), a piano reduction of “Printemps” (an orchestral work that premiered just a month before), and “Feuilles mortes”, his newly-published prelude?

Use of the Indian palette

Debussy’s fascination with the Orient predated his meeting with Inayat Khan. Among his close friends were ethnomusicologists and Oriental scholars Edmond Bailly and Louis Laloy. Besides, during the Expositions Universelles in 1889 and 1900, which exposed the Parisian public to the cultural treasures of the exotic East, Debussy had famously fallen under the spell of Javanese gamelan music. Perhaps during this time he was also exposed to Indian music.

His love of the visual arts would, surely, have left him impressed by the Indian raga, which in addition to “melody” also means “colour”, “hue”. In a raga, the musician progressively paints an aural canvas using not just a prescribed mode or scale, but a set order in which the notes are introduced for the first time.

In the first movement of Debussy’s 1905 orchestral work La Mer (“De l’aube à midi sur la mer”), there are many references to this: the repeated falling fifth of the bass ostinato line reminds of the Indian tanpura; the fragments of a pentatonic melody played by the woodwinds, with parallel fifths and avoidance of major third intervals, give the work a decidedly Asian mood; and the gradual addition of the “blue” notes is in the manner that an Indian musician would develop a raga.

Perhaps Debussy intentionally chose an Indian palette to colour this movement which charts the progress of the sun from east to west. The title, which translates to “From dawn to noon on the sea”, is unusual for conventional western music in that it specifies a time of day. But for ragas, which are defined by a time of day or night, or mood or mode, the title is commonplace.

It is believed that Inayat and Musharaff Khan helped Debussy through his creative crisis in the years 1913-1915. According to Dutch pianist Hakeem van Lohuizen, who accompanied Musharaff Khan on recordings of Sufi Songs, musical echoes of Inayat Khan’s music can be heard in Debussy’s 1913 ballet for children “La boîte à joujoux” (The Toy Box) and his anti-war offering, Berceuse heroïque (1915).

Excerpted From: http://scroll.in

   

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March 18th 2016
09:50:11 PM
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Indian-origin student wins first Noor Inayat Khan Prize in London


Geetakshi Arora of SOAS South Asia Institute has won the first \'Noor Inayat Khan Prize\' for her MA dissertation. (Photo: Facebook)

London: An Indian-origin student was awarded the inaugural Noor Inayat Khan Prize consisting of 1,000 pounds for a dissertation which was in “keeping with the spirit” of the famous World War II heroine.

Geetakshi Arora of SOAS South Asia Institute has won the first Noor Inayat Khan Prize, the Noor Inayat Khan Memorial Trust announced in London on Thursday.

The Trust is awarding the annual prize to the post-graduate student from SOAS, University of London, working in the area of gender studies and South Asian history.

The prize which consists of 1,000 pounds and a certificate -- is for a dissertation which is in keeping with the spirit of Noor Inayat Khan, a descendant of Tipu Sultan.

“We are delighted to award the prize to Geetakshi for her excellent dissertation. We hope the annual award keeps the memory of Noor Inayat Khan alive in the student community,” said Shrabani Basu, founder and chair of the trust.

Noor was born in Moscow in 1914 to Indian father Hazrat Inayat Khan and American mother Ora Ray Baker. She was a secret agent in World War II and was sent behind enemy lines. She operated from Paris, doing crucial work for the allies.

Noor was betrayed, arrested and killed in Dachau Concentration Camp at the age of 30.

Her last word was ‘Liberte’.

Noor was a Sufi and believed in non-violence and religious harmony. Hazrat Inayat Khan was a descendant of Tipu Sultan, the famous 18th-century ruler of the kingdom of Mysore.

In November 2012, after a high-profile campaign by the Trust, Princess Anne unveiled a memorial to Noor in Gordon Square in London, near the house where she lived.

The Square, which is part of the University of London, is often visited by students.

Geetakshi was presented the award in Delhi by Michael Hu, head of SOAS South Asia Institute.

From: http://deccanchronicle.com

   

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January 27th 2016
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‘I am your protector:’ Muslims who defended Jews during Holocaust honored


By Nabila Pathan Special to Al Arabiya English Wednesday, 27 January 2016





Today is International Holocaust Day and cities across the U.S and Europe will be hosting special events to honor the Muslim heroes who risked their own lives to save Jews during one of the worst genocides in history.

Unveiling the often unknown and rarely talked about Muslim protectors during World War II, New York, Washington, Geneva and Tirana in Albania will be holding interfaith ceremonies, sharing testimonies of the protectors during the Holocaust along with candle lighting ceremonies.



Prominent faith leaders such as Imam Khalid Latif, Rabbi Jehuda Sarna as well as a Holocaust survivor, Johanna Neumann, who was rescued by Muslims during World War II, will be taking part.



In addition, New York will showcase the testimonies through a theatre performance by the Living Theatre, whilst in Tirana, Prince Leka Zog II, will recount the story of his grandfather, King Ahmed Zog I of Albania who saved thousands of Jews during World War II. Albania was the only European country to have a higher number of Jews after the war ended than before it began.

A message of unity

International campaign group, I Am Your Protector (IAYP), which launched in October last year to celebrate those who stand up for each other across religious, racial and gender lines, promoting a message of unity, have been responsible for organizing today\'s events.

The campaign group have already garnered more than 14,000 Facebook members since launching and are collecting testimonies of protectors worldwide to be part of a Protectors’ Database, while campaign material for exhibitions are provided to universities, schools, museums and religious communities, among others.



\"Even more so in times of rising hate and discrimination we wanted to share stories that showed that we always have a choice including in the darkest moments to not be bystanders nor stay silent\" Dani Laurence, team leader of IAYP told Al Arabiya English.



\"The way Muslims are often portrayed in the media, public discourses can lead to fear and hatred. I Am Your Protector highlights Muslim Protectors and gives a platform for people to create posters of Protectors on our website.\"

\"In parallel we want to highlight non-Muslims who protect Muslims for example Churches and Synagogues who take a stand and take action to counter hatred and Islamophobia.\"



Some of these protectors, who either risked their lives to shelter displaced Jewish families or helped transport them to safety during World War II have been highlighted by I Am Your Protector for their bravery and humanitarian instincts.

Some of these include Khaled Abdul Wahab from Tunisia who ferried two dozen Jews in his van to safety, Noor Inayat Khan, who was executed for helping Jews during World War II; and Ismail Necdet Kent who provided Turkish citizenship documents to Turkish Jews in order to save them from the gas chambers.

To discover more stories of protectors you can visit www.iamyourprotector.org

From: http://english.alarabiya.net

   

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October 14th 2015
10:41:28 AM
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Agent’s radio work vital for Britain’s war effort



SHE was about to be executed at the infamous Dachau concentration camp in Germany when she managed one last act of resistance.

Ordered to kneel down beside fellow members of the Special Operations Executive (SOE), Noor Inayat Khan shouted “Liberte” as the Nazi firing squad raised their weapons.

Noor was one of many agents who received some of their training at SOE’s “finishing school” on the Beaulieu Estate.

She was the first female wireless operator to be parachuted into Nazi-occupied France and sent her first message within 72 hours, a feat never before achieved by an agent in the field.


Now the estate, home of the National Motor Museum, is honouring Noor by hosting an exhibition called Liberte, the last word she ever spoke.

The famous wartime agent had an Indian father and was descended from the legendary ruler of Mysore, a kingdom in southern India.

She was born in Russia on January 1 1914 but spent much of her early life in Paris. Her fluent French made her an ideal recruit for SOE, established by Winston Churchill in 1940 to carry out sabotage and subversion behind enemy lines.

On May 9 1943 Noor arrived at Beaulieu, where she was forced to endure mock interrogations as part of her training.

She was flown to France the following month but many of the people she was due to work with were arrested by the Germans, leaving her as SOE’s sole radio operator in Paris.

She told her bosses in London and was urged to return but decided instead to remain in France and help re-establish the network.

Noor did the work of six radio operators, becoming one of London’s key agents in France, and had been transmitting for almost four months when a replacement was finally found.

Arrangements were made for her to fly back on October 14 – but she never saw England again.

Returning to her flat she was confronted by a German officer and a violent struggle ensued. Noor was overpowered and could only stand and watch as the Nazis seized her transmitter and a notebook full of codes.

She was interrogated using various tactics ranging from gentle persuasion to violent threats – but gave nothing away.

On November 25 she was sent to Pforzheim prison in Germany, where she was shackled and kept in solitary confinement.

Ten months later she was transferred to Dachau and brutally tortured. The next day she and three fellow SOE agents were told to kneel down before being shot in the head. She died on September 13 1944, aged 30.

Noor had been given a life expectancy of just six weeks when she arrived in France.

A Beaulieu spokesman said: “She was successful for a while, outwitting the Gestapo by changing her appearance and transmitting from varied locations, but was eventually captured.

“She was kept in isolation, interrogated and tortured. She revealed nothing and ten months later was taken to Dachau and executed.”

Noor was posthumously awarded the two highest civilian honours that can be bestowed by Britain and France – the George Cross and the Croix de Guerre.

The exhibition is on until October 23.

From: www.dailyecho.co.uk

Click HERE for the National Motor Museum

   

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June 20th 2015
09:54:02 PM
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Click HERE for web page exploring the \"Oneness of the Human Family\"


   

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