Brussels attacks: Irish Muslim leaders offer condolences

Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council hopes backlash doesn’t fall on wrong people

The Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council said the attacks in Brussels on Tuesday ‘once again reiterate that the perpetrators are indiscriminate in their actions and seek only to perpetuate fear and anxiety within communities’. Photograph: EPA.

The Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council said the attacks in Brussels on Tuesday ‘once again reiterate that the perpetrators are indiscriminate in their actions and seek only to perpetuate fear and anxiety within communities’. Photograph: EPA.

 

Backlash and blame in the wake of terror attacks too often falls on the wrong people and this “perpetuates the narrative of the extremists”, a Muslim group in Ireland has said.

The Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council said the attacks in Brussels on Tuesday “once again reiterate that the perpetrators are indiscriminate in their actions and seek only to perpetuate fear and anxiety within communities”.

Offering its “deepest condolences” to the families of those who died, the group said: “As is always the case, it is our response in these situations which ultimately defines us as individuals and as a community.

“We must remember that it is our humanity that separates us from those that seek to harm. Let us continue to mourn the loss of lives in our own way and continue to pray for those that have lost their lives in Belgium, Turkey and anywhere else in the world.”

In a statement, the organisation said it was important that religious leaders and members of the community “continue praying for the safety and security of all people and work hand in hand to bring about a lasting change that sees the eradication of hate and violence in our world”.

“Too often we see that after atrocities, the backlash and blame falls on the wrong people which feeds into and perpetuates the narrative of the extremists that perpetrate these crimes,” the group said.

“It shouldn’t be that accusations and blame are put on refugees that are entering into Europe. We cannot forget that those fleeing their homelands in Syria and beyond are escaping from the same terror that has struck Belgium and Turkey.”

Islamophobia

An “unfortunate but inevitable outcome” of terror attacks was the rise in anti-Muslim sentiment and Islamophobia, it added.

“The likes of Daesh that commit such atrocities do so with a false allegiance to Islam and its core tenets.

“It shouldn’t be that the actions of a misguided few tarnishes a whole community that continues to distance itself from such crime.”

The organisation lists among its aims the promotion of “co-operation, consensus and unity on Muslim affairs in Ireland”.

It also aims to promote peace and integration in Ireland and to “facilitate a positive integration experience for Muslims in Ireland”, and to “prevent extremism and isolation in the Muslim community”.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Ireland also offered its condolences to the people and government of Belgium following the attacks on Tuesday.

It said the terrorists were “enemies of freedom and humanity, but their campaign of terror should not break our spirit or dampen our resilience as proponents of world peace”.

The attacks were also condemned by Imam Ibrahim Noonan of the Galway mosque, who said there were “no words that I can say to the people of Ireland to reassure them this has nothing to with Islam”.