Friday 21 October 2016

Islam is part of the solution in the fight against extremism

Published 09/08/2016 | 02:30

King Abdullah II of Jordan
King Abdullah II of Jordan

Martina Devlin was disingenuous to state that "It is problematic that Islam is not fundamentally a religion of peace, despite its leaders frequently insisting the opposite" (Irish Independent, July 30).

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This statement is not conducive to building bridges of trust and respect between communities.

The vilification of Muslims helps terrorists to achieve their aims of tearing us apart, sowing the seeds of discord and enmity and inflicting the scourge of untold suffering on humanity and the civilized world.

Terrorists have so far killed people of diverse faiths, but the largest proportion of victims are Muslims. The actions of the terrorists are irreconcilable with the preaching of Islam - exactly as the brutalities of the two World Wars and the unspeakable anguish inflicted upon European Jewry and the decades of colonialism and enslavement and injustices were irreconcilable with Christianity and Judaism.

The Holy Koran teaches that whoever kills an innocent is as if he has killed all mankind, and whoever saves a person, it is as if he has saved all mankind.

Islam should be viewed as part of the solution in combating radical extremism, rather than part of the problem. There could be no one more capable in advancing inter-religious dialogue than King Abdullah II of Jordan. As a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, his words always carry weight. The international community must do more to help him, and the tiny kingdom he leads remains a beacon for dissipating the true image of Islam and championing the guiding principles of Islam, mainly: justice, fairness, equality, peace, social harmony and religious engagement.

Dr Munjed Farid Al Qutob
London NW2 7QY, UK

FF hypocrisy on health spending

Recent media reports quote Micheál Martin declaring the current waiting lists in the health services to be 'unacceptable'.

Is this the same Micheál Martin who was a member of government during the years of the boom when it made decisions that contributed to the bankrupting of the country - and that needed a bailout of ¤85bn to not alone keep the health service functioning but to keep the public services in existence?

A Leavy
Sutton, Dublin 13

A lesson on being a liberal

As a member of the Government, John Halligan should really be more temperate in his language when comparing people in the pro-life movement to Isil.

Is this the sort of rhetoric we can expect in the event of a referendum on the sensitive matter of abortion?

Given Mr Halligan's so-called 'liberal' credentials, he really needs to refresh his memory on the true meaning of the word 'liberal', ie, "a willingness to respect behaviour or opinions different from one's own".

Ann Cotter
Ranelagh, Dublin 6

Catharsis through the letters pages

After writing my first letter to the editor about five years ago, and having written many more since, be they published or not, it has been a great source of comfort in helping to purge any demons I might have, be they past or present. This is pure catharsis.

The letters page is a big asset to any newspaper, and for many readers it's the first page they turn to. A very enjoyable facility in which to air our views.

Long may it continue.

Brian McDevitt
Glenties, Co Donegal

A musical ambassador for Ireland

It is great to see a recital of works by contemporary female composers added to the National Concert Hall's 'Composing the Island: A Century of Music in Ireland 1916-2016' series.

Pianist Isabelle O'Connell will perform a recital of works by some of Ireland's most innovative composers such as Linda Buckley and Ailis Ni Riain. However, it is also a shame to see Michael McGlynn omitted from the concert '100 Years of Irish Choral Music' as part of the same series.

This is not necessarily about whether McGlynn is the best composer for choir in Ireland or even the best known. What McGlynn has done is dedicate his life to the development of a choral voice in Ireland through both his compositions and his ensemble, Anúna. His music acts as a timeless ambassador for Ireland and is something to be proud of.

Gavin Brennan
Clontarf, Dublin 3

DIY Catholicism could fix things

The moral collapse of the Church in Ireland has left many of us in the lurch.

The only answer is to take it into our own hands. Ordain ourselves to minister to each other. Groups of friends could do this, whether or not they continue to attend the formal Church. Don't call it ordination, just selection - then the bishops won't get frightened and condemn you.

Let's be brave and do it ourselves.

Brian Redmond
Saitama, Japan

King Canute was no fool

Martina Devlin writes of clergy who attempt "King Canute-like" to impose Church teachings on those who ignore them (Irish Independent, August 6). But King Canute was a visionary, not a traditionalist. In commanding the tide to turn back, his intention was to demonstrate the worthlessness of temporal power to his courtiers. He knew he was going to get wet.

Dr John Doherty
Gaoth Dobhair, Co Dhún na nGall

Austerity lives on - for some

Reflecting back on the years of austerity this small nation has undergone, while noting some of the news items currently emerging, simply boggles the imagination.

One headline reads "One in 40 people living in Dublin are millionaires" (Irish Independent July 29). In Spear's magazine, the capital was ranked 10th on the list of European cities with the most millionaires per capita - bringing it to a grand total of almost 32,000 millionaires living in Dublin. A picture, no doubt, that depicts a thriving economy to many.

On the same day in the Irish Independent were the following items: "Seizure of 11,000 homes" - these cases are currently before the courts; farther down the page, it says, "800 people are released from bankruptcy due to new law which reduces bankruptcy from three years to one". It remains to be seen what the effect of this change will be.

Add to this the latest startling report that two of our top banks, AIB and BoI, remain the most vulnerable in Europe to financial shock, consequent to recent stress tests. Plenty of food for thought when our sun-tanned politicians return to harness to formulate the next budget.

It's said "great wealth and contentment seldom live together".

James Gleeson
Thurles, Co Tipperary

Irish Independent

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