This is a letter from the Muslim community in Dublin in response to an article by Ian O’Doherty in the Irish Independent (October 31, 2007).
We would like to start by stating that we see his article as a cheap attempt to incite hatred towards Islam and Muslims.
Mr O’Doherty has stated that wherever shariah law is practised in the world, barbaric and disgusting practices take place on a regular basis.
Can Mr O’Doherty even define shariah for us? Where exactly is shariah practised in the world today? Let us start with Saudi Arabia as an example quoted by himcountry in the world named after a family, the Royal House of Saud, continues to rule with a long history of tyranny and oppression.
Even a child with basic knowledge of Islam knows that the Saudi rulers cut off the hands of petty thieves in the name of Islam yet remain the biggest thieves themselves, enriching themselves with the oil wealth, which according to the shariah belongs to the public.
More interestingly, however, it is the “civilised” counterparts of Mr O’Doherty in the West who are the best friends of the brutal Saudi regime.
Afghanistan? Oh really, Mr O’Doherty? Do you know that this shariah that you are talking about in Afghanistan is being implemented there under the leadership of a puppet president called Hamid Karzai, who was placed there by the “civilised” government of the US?
These two examples should suffice as proof of the fact that Mr O’Doherty is no different than people like Abu Hamza (whom he called a hate monkey). He has either no idea of what he is talking about or is deliberately misleading the readers.
Simply put, we believe that Mr O’Doherty and hate preachers like himself have no credibility to discuss issues like the shariah.
Instead, Mr O Doherty should be writing about the murder of half a million Iraqis by the US and the UK in the name of freedom and democracy.
The murderous regimes in the Muslim world and practices like honour killings have nothing to do with Islam. Get your facts right before you write.
We would also like to point out to yourMuslims were unmatched in the advances in the fields of mathematics, medicine, optics, surgery, chemistry, astronomy, jurisprudence, sociology, architecture, history and the quality of living.
Islam gave the world names like Ayesha bint Abu Bakar, Bu Ali Seena, Ibn Haitham, Ibn Rushd, Jabir Bin Hayan, Zaryab, Abdur Rahman Al Sufi, Imam Ghazali, Ibn Khuldoon and Sultan Abdul Majid.
It is highly irresponsible to blame Muslims and Islam for injustice that takes place in the Muslim world.
Bad things happen in Ireland, too. That does not make all the Irish people bad.
Moving on from the shallow-mindedness of people like Mr O’Doherty we send out a warm call to the people of Ireland: reject this bigotry and hate preaching. Our community has and will continue to serve Ireland with its dedicated professionalism and hard work while maintaining a strong Muslim identity.
We have no hesitation to condemn terrorism in the name of Islam. Yet we ask the question if people like Mr O’Doherty are ready to condemn terrorism in the name of freedom – the murder and continued occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan by the US and UK; the torture and killing of innocent civilians at Abu Ghraib and the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay?
If they don’t then they are in no moral authority to demand Muslims’ condemnation for anything.
Politicians, policy makers, students, teachers, young and old alike, please take noteWe want to point out to everyone that the Muslim community is contributing tremendously to other citizen and will not tolerate these cheap and insulting articles.
Muslims being portrayed as evil these days. It is similar to what the British did when the IRA was bombing Britain.
More than 30 surgeons, students, shopkeepers and housewives contributed to this letter and we would all like to thank our non- Muslim friends who encouraged us to write this reply.
Dr Qasim Afridi
St Patrick's Hospital
Dr Mohammed Maghoub
St Jamse's Hospital
St James's Hospital
Mr Mohammed Israr
St James's Hospital
Mr Atif Khan