Friday 24 November 2017

'Upset and shaken' - Galway mosque attacked during Ramadan prayers

Windows smashed at Masjisd Maryam Galway mosque. Picture Twitter: Imam Ibrahim Noonan
Windows smashed at Masjisd Maryam Galway mosque. Picture Twitter: Imam Ibrahim Noonan
Windows smashed at Masjisd Maryam Galway mosque. Picture Twitter: Imam Ibrahim Noonan
Windows smashed at Masjisd Maryam Galway mosque. Picture Twitter: Imam Ibrahim Noonan
Cathal McMahon

Cathal McMahon

An investigation is underway after an Irish mosque was attacked during prayers overnight.

Members of the Masjisd Maryam Galway mosque were in the middle of their ceremony during the religious month when they heard "very loud bangs".

A number of windows were smashed during the attack shortly after 11pm on the centre which is located on the Monavea Road in Galway.

Imam Ibrahim Noonan said a number of rocks were thrown and when they went outside they saw two young men fleeing the scene.

He told RTÉ Radio One that he believed the attack was connected to the terror attacks in London and Manchester in the last two weeks.

He wrote on Twitter: "Truly sad while men, women, children were praying when I was leading prayer, we were attacked."

He said they were remembering Allah at the time.

Nobody was injured in the incident but Mr Noonan said many members are "upset and shaken".

In the wake of the London attacks Imam Ibrahim Ahmad Noonan had called for all imams to be vetted by authorities, including background checks and for potential links to extremism.

But he also said there is an onus on imams to be more proactive in checking members of their congregations for extremist leanings.

"I'm committed to rooting out extremism in Ireland. I'm committed to it. This is my country. I'm not going to allow these people to get seeded into this country," Mr Ahmad Noonan said.

The Iman, who was born in Waterford, raised Catholic and converted to Islam 26 years ago, said he is considering asking some women and children to stay away from the mosque for a few days for safety reasons.

"Everyone was quite shaken, including myself, and quite upset that it happened while we were praying, especially the ladies and children," he said.

"It's a kind of realisation - we all linked this to what happened in London."

A Garda spokesman said the incident was being investigated as a case of criminal damage.

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