Noor Inayat Khan: A ‘Spy Princess’ to be face of new British currency

LONDON: Noor Inayat Khan, Britain’s only female Muslim war heroine may be the next face of a redesigned £50 currency note.

The Bank of England is seeking nominations from the public for potential characters to feature on the large denomination note.

A campaign underway for the same is gaining momentum and has already attracted over 1,300 signatures by Wednesday, calling for the Second World War heroine to be recognised as an example of the “positive contributions” of Muslims to Britain.

Raised in Britain and France, Khan, a descendant of Tipu Sultan and daughter of Indian Sufi saint Hazrat Inayat Khan to be considered as the first ethnic minority British woman to be honoured on the currency.

Prominent political leaders, historians and academics in the UK have thrown their support behind a campaign to put the brave Muslim spy on the new £50 note.

Transport Minister Nusrat Ghani told The Telegraph: “It’s a phenomenal story, you don’t think about the money in your purse, when you think about young girls taking a minute to think about the fantastic work that she did and the ultimate sacrifice she made…

“The more you learn about her, the more you learn how brave and bold she was. It’s also interesting and important to note her faith, which drove her to make this ultimate sacrifice and serve her country.”

“Honour to lend support to a great campaign…to recognise a brave British Muslim woman-Noor Inayat Khan as the face of £50 note – she served our nation with courage against Nazi tyranny,” said Foreign Office Minister of State Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon who joined the campaign.

Records show Noor Inayat Khan was the first woman wireless operator sent to Nazi-occupied France during the war in 1943, aged just 29. She was eventually betrayed, captured and killed by the Nazis in 1944, aged only 30.

Despite having the option of a comfortable life, the heroine decided to serve Britain.