Friday 18 October 2019

Mosques here likely to increase security

‘We have to be vigilant’: Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri. Photo: Gerry Mooney
‘We have to be vigilant’: Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Robin Schiller

Robin Schiller

Mosques across Ireland will be increasing their security following the New Zealand terror attack, a senior Muslim cleric has said.

In response to the Christchurch mosque shootings, gardaí said local community officers would be attending yesterday's prayer services at places of worship and "making themselves available to those communities".

The move was welcomed by Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri, Imam of the Dublin-based Islamic Centre of Ireland, who said it would give them an opportunity to discuss security measures at mosques.

"I think, generally speaking, mosques will increase security in Ireland. We don't expect an attack but lone wolf attacks can happen anywhere… so we will have to be vigilant, unfortunately," he said.

Asked if he believed an increase in anti-Muslim rhetoric was a factor in the New Zealand attack, Dr Al-Qadri said: "Absolutely, anyone who would spread a hate narrative or extremist views as a populist view is someone who has contributed to this attack. I expect the Government and the Taoiseach to send a stronger message against Islamophobia because this was an Islamophobic attack."

Mr Varadkar said he condemned the act of terrorism in New Zealand and described it as an "act of cowardice because it targeted children and people who were at prayer.

"I think the most important thing is that we do not be afraid, that we don't allow the terrorists to win by changing our lifestyles or changing the way we look at each other because of what was a terrible act."

Irish Independent

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