Young people from across the West Midlands are to hear the untold story of the millions of Muslims who fought for the Allies in World War One.

A special youth conference on Friday, organised to discuss hate crime, will learn from Hayyan Bhabha, Director of The Muslim Experience in WW1, about his researchers’ discovery of the unknown scale of the contribution Muslims made in the 1914-18 conflict.

Through combing previously untouched archives in Urdu, Farsi and other tongues, the team discovered that more than 2.5 million Muslim troops fought for the Allies in the various campaigns. 

Mr Bhabba's address is one of the final touches put to arrangements for the conference by organisers West Midlands Together.

The event will take place from 10am to 2pm on Friday February 2 at Birmingham City University's Curzon Building, with participants travelling from schools and colleges across the region.

They will perform dance pieces, music, songs, prose, poetry and sketches which they have created to celebrate mutual respect and racial harmony, and to explore concerns over hate crime.

There is also a competition for the best poster design to promote an anti-hate message.

Louise White, Commissioning Officer for West Mercia's Police and Crime Commissioner, has arranged for a number of people to speak about their personal experience of hate crime.

West Midlands Together is a cross-party campaign launched by regional MEPs Anthea McIntyre and Neena Gill following a sharp increase in incidents of hate crime following the Brexit referendum.

Other organisations taking part will be Hope not Hate, Unite the union which has also sponsored catering, and First Class Legacy which specialises in youth and community engagement.

Miss McIntyre, Conservative MEP for the West Midlands, said: "The programme we have managed to put together is really exciting.

"The story of the Muslim participants in World War One is truly inspiring and shows that people from all backgrounds have a stake in our shared history and culture.

"The youngsters involved have really thrown themselves into preparing their messages and performances.  

"We expect it to be colourful, loud, lively and inspirational - everything young people are about - but with a serious message at the heart of things about tolerance, fairness and humanity."

Education establishments taking part will include Smestow School, Wolverhampton; Nishkam High School, Birmingham; Wednesfield High School, Sandwell; Eden Boys School, Aston; Hillcrest Shifnal School, Shropshire; Harborne Academy, Birmingham; South and City College, Birmingham; Bishop Vesey School, Sutton Coldfield; the Khalsa Academy, Wolverhampton, Coventry College and Shireland College, Smethwick.