Monday 26 September 2016

Paris Terror Attacks: Irish Muslim leaders condemn senseless bloodshed

Claire McCormack and Maeve Sheehan

Published 14/11/2015 | 23:05

Dr Ali Salem
Dr Ali Salem

MUSLIM leaders in Ireland have condemned the Paris terror attacks as an insult to Islam and Irish Muslim communities are standing in solidarity with the victims and their families.

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However, concerns over  a rise in ‘Islamophobia’ following  the six co-ordinated gun attacks and suicide bombings that killed 128 people and seriously wounded 352 others, have emerged.

Trinity College lecturer Dr Ali Selim, one of the most senior Muslim clerics in Ireland, said: “I definitely condemn what happened and classify it as an atrocity that cannot be justified under any circumstances.

Representing the Irish Council of Imams, Dr Selim said: “The Irish Muslim community shared the shock and the horror that everybody had when seeing these images on the TV and the internet.”

He stressed that the attacks could not be justified in the name of religion.

“Islam is against terrorism and the most horrendous part of terrorism is killing innocent people. The Koran deters people from killing by describing the killing of one person as being as evil as killing all human beings.”

Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri, Imam of the Islamic educational and cultural centre in Dublin’s Blanchardstown, said the most important thing was to send a strong message of unity to the people of Paris.

He said the abomination was not just an attack on Paris and described it as an attack on “all humanity”.

“Islamic State do not represent any religion, they are simply criminals and terrorists. We must unite and combine our efforts against terrorism to eliminate it,” he said.

“Terrorists have no religion whatsoever. Their religion is intolerance and hatred for peace,” he said.

Dr Al-Qadri is calling on religious leaders, religious communities and politicians to attack the problem of extremism together.

“This senseless ideology of Islamic State can only be defeated collectively with combined efforts,” he said.

The chairman of the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council also raised concerns over a worldwide surge in ‘Islamophobia’ in the aftermath of the disaster.

“It will be very difficult now for us because we will see an increase again of Islamophobia, as people will associate the act of these terrorists with all Muslims,” he said.

However, Dr Ali Selim was “very confident” that there would not be any prejudicial backlash towards Muslims in Ireland.

Read more here: Defence Minister Simon Coveney: An attack like Paris terror attacks 'is very unlikely' to happen in Ireland  

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