News Irish News

Thursday 25 April 2019

Imam would have tried to discourage Lisa Smith's journey to Syria

Videograb captured by an ITV cameraman of a woman believed to be Lisa Smith giving water to a young child in a camp in Syria
Videograb captured by an ITV cameraman of a woman believed to be Lisa Smith giving water to a young child in a camp in Syria

Alan O'Keeffe

The Muslim Imam of Dundalk declared he would have tried "one thousand times" to discourage convert Lisa Smith from travelling to Syria.

Imam Nooh Buye said he did not know the Dundalk woman who converted to Islam and went to live in the Isil caliphate in Syria.

Please log in or register with Independent.ie for free access to this article.

Log In

"I did not know her. I would have tried to discourage her one thousand times from travelling there if I had known her," he said.

"I condemn the violence of Isil. And I condemn Isil. They do not represent the Islam that I know. What they teach is anti-Islamic. I cannot and could not support anyone travelling to join them. I would discourage it one thousand times," added the Imam.

He said that Lisa Smith, like all Muslims, would need to be "brought to book" if she broke any laws of the countries where she lived.

He said Islam was clear that the laws of the land must be upheld in order to protect the people in the community.

Lisa Smith pictured living in Dundalk in 2011. Photo: Tom Conachy/Independent.ie
Lisa Smith pictured living in Dundalk in 2011. Photo: Tom Conachy/Independent.ie

"If she broke laws then, like all others, she must face the consequences," he said.

If a Muslim does wrong, that person must be supported in taking responsibility for the wrong done, he said.

Another Muslim man, Femi Bodunrin, who has lived in Dundalk for 20 years, said he did not know Lisa and he supported the Imam.

At the Dundalk estate where Lisa Smith grew up, people were divided about whether the Government should intervene to seek her release and return to Ireland.

Sunday Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News