Judge urged to withdraw ‘Muslims think they can beat their wives’ remark

Comment was made by Judge Anthony Halpin during the trial of a Somali man

Judge Anthony Halpin was presiding over Tallaght District Court yesterday when he made the comments. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Judge Anthony Halpin was presiding over Tallaght District Court yesterday when he made the comments. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

 

A migrant group has urged a district court judge to withdraw or clarify remarks made in court about Muslims yesterday.

“Muslims think they can actually beat their wives,” Judge Anthony Halpin told Tallaght Court as he was dealing with a Somali man accused of burgling his now divorced wife’s house.

The Immigrant Council of Ireland described the remarks as “disappointing, wrong and offensive” and have asked him to withdraw or clarify the remarks immediately.

“People in positions of authority in the community have a particular duty not to feed racism or xenophobia, this applies to politicians, local media commentators and members of the judiciary. The remarks should either be withdrawn or clarified as a matter of urgency,” a spokesman said.

However the organisation clarified that it had not seen the court record and the remarks were as reported to it.

A spokesman for the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland said it had not heard the judge make the remarks and for that reason could not comment on the matter.

Yesterday’s remarks were made by the judge during the case of Khadar Younis, (46), Belfry Hall, Citywest, who had pleaded not guilty to burglary, contravening a protection order and possession of a knife at an address at Fernwood Avenue, Springfield, Tallaght, on May 10th , 2013.

Sergeant Bernard Jones said the DPP had directed summary disposal in the burglary charge.

Mr Younis’s ex-wife, Kara Ibrahim told the court that on May 10th last, she had been asleep when she heard a noise. She said that she awoke to find Mr Younis threatening her with a knife. She said Mr Younis thought that he could come into the house.

Mr Younis’s lawyer, John O’Leary, said his client had been divorced by a Muslim cleric under the Koran.

Judge Halpin told Mr O’Leary: “Muslims feel as if they can actually beat their wives”.

Mr O’Leary also said there was no evidence of a physical assault. Ms Ibrahim then said that she wanted to drop the case.

Judge Halpin noted that a divorce had been solemnized under the Koran by a Muslim cleric between the couple.

He said he would put the case back for six months to resume the hearing or to strike out the case and told Ms Ibrahim that she was to call the gardai if there were any further breaches.

Judge Halpin remanded Mr Younis on continuing bail to a date in September for hearing.

A Courts Service spokesman said it was not the service’s place to comment on the matter.