Friday 24 January 2020

Don't blame Islam for this latest terrorist outrage

A police officer holding flowers on Westminster Bridge in London
A police officer holding flowers on Westminster Bridge in London
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Like millions of people around the world, I condemn in the strongest terms the terrorist attack in London and the loss of life. My deepest condolences to all of the families of the victims.

There are no words to make sense of this cowardly attack or the ones happening throughout Europe. Like many, I too am worried about such an incident happening in Ireland.

As an imam, I will do everything in my power to help prevent such an attack on our streets and our cities and I will urge all the imams in Ireland to stand up and help me achieve this.

I must advise those who accuse Islam of being the cause of this: this thinking is unwarranted. Those who make such allegations are creating fear, hatred and ill-tolerance in Ireland. I know, I am the one who gets abused every time I am on radio by many Irish people who are not being fair on Islam.

They cherry-pick verses and don't try to understand the context of the verses they quote. In most cases, many are simply using Google.

The fact is Islam does not tolerate terrorism at all, the Koran is full of hundreds of verses that talk about being righteous, tolerant and to never kill another human being.

Here are just two examples; Chapter 2, Verse 22: "Oh ye men, worship your lord who created you and those who were before you, that you may become righteous". Or Chapter 3, Verse 111: "You are the best people raised for the good of mankind; you enjoin what is good and forbid evil and believe in Allah."

One may ask how a righteous person can commit such evil acts when the Koran is telling Muslims to be righteous or God-fearing.

But fire and water cannot coexist together at the same time. Therefore, a Muslim cannot be a terrorist or a terrorist cannot be a Muslim. I urge tolerance and peace and to do justice before blaming Islam.

Imam Ibrahim Noonan

Imam of Galway Mosque

We will never cower before evil

We unreservedly condemn with great indignation the heinous terrorist attack on our symbol of democracy. Britain has always personified social justice, inclusion, multiculturalism and humanitarianism.

The picture of healthcare workers rushing to help even the criminal who perpetrated this evil act is an incontestable proof of our noble principles. Terrorism has no religion, colour, creed or caste.

It is vital to remain vigilant and not rush to condemn the beautiful religion of Islam that enjoins its faithfuls to espouse tolerance, compassion, mercy, mutual respect, justice and peace.

Also, urban planning must take into consideration the myriad challenges of public safety, security in the face of international extremism, radicalism and terrorism.

Road pavements meant for pedestrians should be protected by concrete blocks containing aesthetic flowers. This could act as a deterrent to future terrorist acts.

Last but not least, our message is clear: We will never cower before evil.

Dr Munjed Farid Al Qutob

London, UK

I want to sympathise with the families and friends of those who died and were injured in the terror attack in London - including those of the dead attacker. I also want to congratulate the brave police officers and others who prevented the attacker from inflicting further death and misery on innocent people. It is especially sad that a police officer lost his life in the course of his duty.

Let's hope there are no voices suggesting that the attacker should have been arrested rather than killed. If there is blame to be apportioned, let it rest solely with the dead perpetrator and whatever supporters he may have had in this heinous act.

Noel Huston

Athlone, Co Westmeath

The dangers of US healthcare

David Bradley's letter (Irish Independent, March 21) advocates we become the 51st state of the USA, thereby solving the hospital trolley problem.

I can only assume he has no experience of the US system, where millions of people would be delighted to have a trolley to lie down on, but are denied healthcare due to an inability to pay.

Or indeed the homeless people in America who are not offered a hotel room (in the vast majority of cases) as in this country, but a place on the sidewalk instead.

Give me Berlin and basic human dignity before Boston and the survival of the fittest.

Stephen Gleeson

Killiney, Co Dublin

Let go of the hatred

There have been many different comments made about the life lived by Martin McGuinness since his passing this week.

Among those comments were many who could not forgive him for his time in the IRA.

Many still speak with hatred while referring to him. There is a great sadness about that. I know from personal experience how difficult it is to sleep properly with hatred in your heart and how it can affect relationships, whether that hatred is justified or not.

I wish those who still suffer from the hatred of yesterday, the strength to let it go, and a good sleep for the future.

Damien Carroll

Dublin 24

The children the State forgot

There is an old, retired, teaching nun in my family. Her convent was part of the State/Church system of education for the general population of a town.

In the grounds of the convent was a separate orphanage. It was also part of the State/Church system.

On occasions, my nun relative would save part of her own meals, hide them under her habit and sneak them across the grounds to the area of the orphanage.

There, she would distribute the hidden treats to the little waiting, unloved but grateful faces in the orphanage.

One day, the Reverend Mother discovered this act of daily love, kindness and charity, and put an end to it. Convent spies were mustered to watch my relative as she walked in the grounds.

From that time on, the little waiting faces at the orphanage would no longer see the approaching figure of uplifting kindness walking towards them with their daily helping of emotional nourishment.

They were the little kids that Church and State forgot and goodness knows they didn't want a lot.

It's not generally safe to do good within the fixed inward-looking cultures of regimented organisations.

Look at the Reverend Mother-style regime of spies which Sgt Maurice McCabe is suffering.

Name and address with editor

Irish Independent

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