Tuesday 27 September 2016

Concerns over visit of plans for 'radical' Islamic preachers to address student conference

David Kearns and Robin Schiller

Published 04/03/2016 | 10:56

A woman prays in a mosque
A woman prays in a mosque

A leading Muslim cleric has contacted Gardaí over concerns about a visit from two Kuwaiti preachers who are due to address a student conference later today.

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Dr Othman Al Khamees and Dr Khaled Al Otaibi have been invited to speak at the Dublin Islamic Conference 2016, which is being held at the Islamic Foundation of Ireland mosque on Dublin’s South Circular Road from March 4-5.

Fears that the clerics could spread “extremist ideas” have been raised by Milltown Imam Ali al Saleh, who said that both Kuwaiti men were “prominent Salafi jihad preachers”.

The two preachers are scheduled to take part in Friday prayers today at the Dublin mosque, the country’s oldest, and later told two Q&A discussion groups.

The event is organised by an Irish Kuwaiti student organisation and the Islamic Foundation of Ireland.

A Muslim leader within the Irish Islamic community, Imam Umar al-Qadri, expressed serious concerns over “radical” scholars preaching to young students.

“My concern would be that such people and their ideas radicalises young Muslims.

“I believe that foreign preachers coming to Ireland should sign an agreement that they respect and abide by certain guidelines in order to preach here,” Dr al-Qadri told Independent.ie.

Among the terms in the Imam’s proposal are that preachers agree to denounce terrorists such as Osama Bin-Laden and to respect tolerance and members of the LGBT community.

“Once these terms are agreed on then there shouldn’t be a problem with Islamic preachers coming to Ireland. However most extremists and radicals won’t do that,” Dr al-Qadri said.

Dr Alkhamees and Dr Alotaibi are expected to give talks at the Dublin Islamic Conference 2016 this afternoon and tomorrow.

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