Tuesday 20 August 2019

Real message of Prophet Muhammad is being hijacked by terrorists, warns imam

The 'real message' of the prophet Muhammad has been 'hijacked' by terrorists, an Islamic leader in Dublin has warned. Photo: REUTERS
The 'real message' of the prophet Muhammad has been 'hijacked' by terrorists, an Islamic leader in Dublin has warned. Photo: REUTERS

Sarah MacDonald

The "real message" of the prophet Muhammad has been "hijacked" by terrorists, an Islamic leader in Dublin has warned.

Ali Al Saleh, the imam at the Ahlul Bayt Islamic Centre in Milltown, Dublin, expressed sorrow at the attacks and said that his focus was to promote tolerance.

He was speaking at the launch of the first Dublin City Interfaith Charter at the Mansion House, alongside other religious and political leaders.

The new charter deals with issues such as religious freedom, inter-faith dialogue and the promotion of religious diversity.

Praising the new Dublin Charter, he said: "Look how beautiful it is for our children to grow up together, they have the same title - citizen of Dublin and citizen of Ireland.

"Although we have different religion, cultures and colour, we have tested what it means to live in harmony and peace with each other; we are learning from Irish society."

He assured Irish people that the message of the charter would be discussed by the Islamic leaders who had signed it at Friday prayers at their mosques. "Our message is to protect this country and the teachings of our prophet to protect the society in which we live."

Archbishop of Dublin and Glendalough Dr Michael Jackson praised the initiative at a time when "we all look aghast at the plight of Aleppo", whose people had been "brutalised almost to oblivion".

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Archbishop Jackson warned that the "scandalous" and "destructive" terror attack in Germany could result in people perceiving every refugee as a terrorist.

He said: "My concern would first and foremost be for those who suffered and never expected to suffer - those who were killed and those who, coming up to Christmas, actually have to grieve when they thought they would be rejoicing."

He warned that an open policy on refugees could be destroyed by terrorists: "What I am saying is that not every refugee is a terrorist and we need to be very careful that people who are fleeing from abuse would not be subjected to more abuse and vilification."

Meanwhile, Dublin's Lord Mayor warned that racism, xenophobia and intolerance were "creeping" into societies around the world as he hit out at the Berlin terror attack as an "evil horror". Councillor Brendan Carr expressed the condolences to the people of Berlin.

He told the assembled Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist and Sikh representatives that it was "fitting" they were "standing together shoulder to shoulder to ensure that such an evil act never happens in our city".

Irish Independent

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