Hate letters to mosques referred to gardaí

Correspondence warns of ‘attacks’ on Muslims throughout Ireland

Dr Ali Selim said the letter will not cause worry as it is based on a “total ignorance of the Muslim peoople in this country”. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Dr Ali Selim said the letter will not cause worry as it is based on a “total ignorance of the Muslim peoople in this country”. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Mon, Nov 25, 2013, 15:55

Gardaí are investigating hate letters sent to mosques and Islamic cultural centres across the State.

The correspondence demands all Muslims “get the hell out of our countries and go back to the monstrous hellholes you came from”.

Written entirely in capitals, the letter says: “We will attack any Muslim man, woman and child that enters any mosque in Ireland and especially if the new larger mosque is built in north Dublin and our children will attack yours in schools. Muslims have no right to be in Ireland. The Irish people are not your presence in this country which belongs to the true Irish people.”

It goes on to say they will “attack any Muslim or person we feel is Muslim”.

“This land belongs to the Christian faith and we will not allow you to turn it into a Muslim country...Just remember there are more of us and we have more guns than you will ever see. A mosque and Muslims are the devil and a legitimate target and we will attack.”

Sheik Umar Al-Qadri, Imam of the Al Mustafa Islamic Cultural Centre in Mulhuddhart, Dublin, who received the letter last week, said it was “really worrying”.

“I have been here in Ireland for 10 years and have always had a very wonderful experience. But in the last few months and now with this letter there seems to be emerging a group which is very influenced by right-wing ideology. It is really worrying this letter. It is absolutely so full of hate.”

Dr Ali Selim, a senior member of the Islamic Cultural Centre in Clonskeagh, said there were 65,000 Muslim people in Ireland, one third of who were born here with many more now naturalised Irish citizens.

“My Irishness is a equal as yours,” he said. “We are tax-payers. This letter will not cause us worry as it is based on a total ignorance of the Muslim people in this country.”

The letter has been reported to An Garda Síochána which is investigating it.

The Immigrant Council of Ireland described the letter as “both sinister and alarming”.

Chief executive Denise Charlton said the language used was that more often associated with right wing extremists which have re-emerged in other parts of Europe.

“The Immigrant Council is committed to working with the gardaí to combat racism and is requesting that the force use all available resources to establish which group or individual is behind the letters and the internet postings and to ensure that they face the full rigour of the law.

“The response to this incident will test the effectiveness of Ireland’s incitement to hatred legislation,” she said.

“The tone and language of the letter does not allow for ambiguity, it is by any definition an act of hatred and should be prosecuted as such.”

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter said he utterly condemned “racism and religious bigotry in all of their forms and am appalled by the nature of these communications”.

“Religious intolerance has no place in our society. Incitement to hatred and incitement to violence are offences under our laws. I have brought this matter to the attention of the Garda Commissioner for appropriate action,” he said.

The Immigrant Council became aware of this hate campaign after been contacted by concerned members of the public and we have now established that the contents of the letter have also been placed online, including on an international anti-Islamic website.