Wednesday 28 September 2016

'To kill one innocent person is akin to killing all mankind'

Published 17/11/2015 | 02:30

Solidarity: Mourners in Paris
Solidarity: Mourners in Paris

I hope and pray that you have received this message in the best of health.

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In regards to the heinous incident that took place on the eve of November 13, as Imam of the Dublin congregation of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association Ireland, and on the behalf of the Dublin congregation, I would like to first of all offer our deepest and heartfelt condolences to the French nation, and secondly state that we strongly condemn this act of barbarism, which is an atrocity to humanity.

The true teachings of Islam coincide with our motto of 'Love for all, hatred for none'. With these short words I would like to now convey the message of the spiritual head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad.

He writes:"On behalf of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community worldwide, I express my heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the French nation, its people and government following the heinous terrorist attacks that have taken place in Paris.

"This brutal and inhumane attack can only be condemned in the strongest possible terms.

"I would also like to reiterate that all forms of terrorism and extremism are completely against the true teachings of Islam.

"The Holy Koran has said that to kill even one innocent person is akin to killing all of mankind. Thus under no circumstances can murder ever be justified and those who seek to justify their hateful acts in the name of Islam are serving only to defame it in the worst possible way.

"Our sympathies and prayers are with the victims of these attacks and all those who have been left bereaved or affected.

"May God Almighty grant patience to them all and I hope and pray that the perpetrators of this evil act are swiftly brought to justice."

Rabeeb Mirza

Imam of the Dublin congregation of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association Ireland

 

We cannot turn on each other

As the tragic events in Paris unfolded, many thoughts and words of speculations have gone through all our minds.

Even after all the advancements in technology and mankind, we continue to spiral out of control.

Men have long used religion as an excuse for war, causing death and destruction in the name of kingdom. Have we not learnt from the barbarity of World War II?

As the Star of David was used to mark the innocent Jews during World War II, it now it appears that the burka is being used to discriminate against some.

I for one do not believe that god or any god would call for murder in the name of the almighty. Which brings me back to my first point; perhaps if man were more content; if we could truly call each other neighbour instead of foe, it would not matter if I wore a cross or if you wore a burka, we could co-exist happily in this ever-changing world.

I hope with all the hope that exists, that the perpetrators are found and made face the consequences for their actions; but I hope that we will not allow our grief to turn to hatred.

If we turn on each other, then these masked men really have won. Vive le France.

Julie Bennett,

Mountrath, Co Laois

 

We must protect our citizens

In view of the recent horrific bombings and shootings in Paris, should not our Government reconsider their decision to allow into Ireland 4,000 refugees from Syria and other countries?

While I have the greatest sympathy for these people it is not beyond the realms of possibility that Isil may have embedded activists among the refugees.

If these refugees are to be admitted they must be thoroughly vetted by our security forces. It is the primary duty of our Government to protect Irish Citizens.

While our Government claims that Ireland is a neutral country, some may regard the fact that we allow US warplanes to use Shannon Airport as contributing to the bombings in Syria and other Middle East countries. This must be stopped immediately or we leave ourselves open to terrorist attacks .

Mike Mahon

Templeogue, Dublin 6

 

Failure to integrate

Isil has cleverly opted for a 'holistic' coordinated European strategy and an optimal use of the social media.

I suppose we will have to learn how to live more and more with them in the 21st century the way we have learnt how to live with road casualties since the beginning of the 20th Century.

This terrorist army of psychotics has been recruiting all over Europe the hardest-core mental sufferers in our ghettos. Apparently, around a quarter of the so-called "European Isil fighters" were not Muslims originally. They converted to their so-called Islam.

I think it would be a useful idea, for those of us who teach, to speak about this event with our students this week but, instead of talking to them, it might be a better idea to let them talk about it themselves. That is what I will try to do anyway.

I feel that we, as Western societies, have a big responsibility in these events.

For me, these poor people, many of them being late teenagers, who were slaughtered were not French; they were Europeans. However, they are French in the sense that they are also the victims of a total failure of social policy regarding the multi-ethnic integration in France.

Therefore, I must say that I also have a huge level of compassion for the kids who live in ghettos-types of suburbs and who are marginalised.

There are no jobs, no organised leisure activities, no prospects, no future. These socially-disadvantaged areas are the havens of drug dealers and gangs.

What could we do to avoid these tragedies happening in Ireland? What was perceived as a handicap 50 years ago for Ireland might be turning to an advantage. We, as the Irish society, have entered what sociologists call post-modernity later than most of our Western European counterparts.

We still have a bit of time, but not much, to learn from the mistakes of our continental European partners.

I would like to take my own personal experience to illustrate my point. It is likely that, at this time next year, I will be an Irish citizen. But I want more than a passport. I want to be perceived as belonging to the Irish nation, not just the Irish State. I want to be perceived as an Irish man.

I teach and I said to one of my classes last week that I wanted to become an Irish man. They all burst laughing. I was hurt. At this stage of my life, I feel much more Irish than French. And sometimes, it is not particularly pleasant to be stuck in this type of no-man's land.

Gael Le Roux

Clontarf,Dublin 3

Irish Independent

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