'Positive actions and saying we've got your back important after acts of discrimination'

Sahar Ali pictured in Dublin yesterday. Photo: Arthur Carron

Gavin White

A young Muslim student says people should pre-empt any potential attacks on Irish Muslims with "positive actions".

Sahar Ali (26), who is finishing her MA in Applied Software Technology in DIT, said although she was not surprised by a recent attack on a Galway mosque, she was "more surprised it didn't happen in Dublin".

"I'm lucky because I surround myself with an artistic group of friends, so I am quite isolated to certain abuse, but I know it exists," Ms Ali said on the issue of discrimination.

"I know when I am walking down the street that some people think differently at me in their head without saying anything."

Ms Ali said she was delighted to see a letter of support signed by the members of the wider community being sent to the mosque in Galway after the attack where stones were thrown and windows smashed.

"Of course, it is worrying to see these type of attacks and it reminds me of the arson attack in the States in Texas after the Trump ban.

"But it's important that we can do something like send letters in respect saying 'we've got your back' after something like this," she said.

The letter was signed not only by Muslim people but from people of "all different nationalities", according to Ms Ali.

The student, who has dual Irish and Sudanese citizenship, said she was "shocked" at the recent attacks in Manchester and London.

"It really has been shocking and really strange but I see these type of attacks happen in the Middle East so regularly," she said. Ms Ali said that attacks such as the suicide bomb in Tehran this week were "equally as bad" and shouldn't be treated as anything less.

She was at the Dublin music festival Forbidden Fruit at the weekend and said that any discussions she had were more in "solidarity" than anything negative.