Volunteers signing up to fight for radical Islam ‘frustrated’ and ‘misguided’

Spiritual leader inaugurates community’s first Irish mosque in Galway

Maryam Pender (7 months) is carried by her mother Shaista Pender as she chats with other membes of the Ahmadiyya community after the opening of the the Maryam Mosque on the Old Monivea Road, at Ballybrit in Galway. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Maryam Pender (7 months) is carried by her mother Shaista Pender as she chats with other membes of the Ahmadiyya community after the opening of the the Maryam Mosque on the Old Monivea Road, at Ballybrit in Galway. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

 

Europeans volunteering to fight for radical Islam who say they are Muslims are “frustrated” and “misguided” people, the world head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, who are known as Ahmadis, has said in Galway. He had been asked about this week’s EU counter-terrorism report that some 3,000 European citizens were fighting in Syria.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad criticised the “killings and bloodshed” which conveyed a “negative image” of Islam, and urged his community to pursue a path of “peace, love and humility” when he inaugurated the Masjid Maryam or Mosque of Mary in Galway’s Ballybrit.

“Grá do chách, fuath ar duine ar bith” (love for all, hatred for none) is the Hadith, or saying, inscribed in large silver letters on the Connemara limestone mosque, which is the community’s first purpose-built house of prayer in Ireland.

Persecution in Pakistan

Pakistan

Killings of Ahmadis, and the destruction of their mosques, has been rife in Pakistan since General Zia-ul-Haq’s administration banned them from identifying themselves as Muslims in the mid-1980s.

Priority at the service, in the new €1.5 million prayer house with its distinctive dome and minaret, was given to Galway-based male worshippers, while women and children were separately accommodated.

Some 16 of those attending were Irish converts, including Imam Ibrahim Noonan, originally from Waterford, and Yusuf Pender from Quilty, Co Clare, who works as an IT analyst with Hewlett Packard.

Speaking in Urdu, which was then translated into several languages, the Ahmadiyya world spiritual leader urged the congregation to “capture hearts” and increase numbers by “spreading a noble example”.

‘Two different types of Islam’

On one hand, there were “so-called mosques” transmiting “filthy language, abuses and bad feeling” , and on the other side, mosques spreading peace and harmony, he added.

He urged his followers to live up to their responsibilities, and become ambassadors for their community, and condemned those acting in the name of Islam who were involved in “cutting the necks of other people” and other atrocities.

In an interview after the service, the spiritual leader said he was saddened by the fact that the world “is in total chaos”.