Islamic centre says attacks send 'wrong signal'

 

The Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland's executive director said strikes against Afghanistan happened too quickly and sent the "wrong signal".

Dr Nooh Al-Kaddo said Muslims who attended the mosque in Clonskeagh were concerned that the US-led military response would provoke terrorists to commit further atrocities.

"We condemn any killing of any civilians anywhere, because they are all souls," he said.

Dr Al-Kaddo said the Muslim community in Ireland had hoped a trial conducted by the UN would bring the terrorists to justice.

"Now, when they start bombarding and civilians start to be killed, it will give a wrong signal.

"It will provoke the terrorists to do something wrong again and it will provoke those people who had terror in their minds but needed somebody to activate it."

Dr Al-Kaddo said he hoped Ireland's role as head of the UN Security Council would allow it to "adjust" the methods adopted by the US and Britain. "It will be a great opportunity for us in Ireland to see the Irish Government acting in a neutral way.

"I feel that such an opportunity will not be repeated. We have to grab it."

Dr Al-Kaddo said there was no support for the Taliban among the Muslim community who attended the centre, as far as he knew.

He said Muslims living in Ireland were upset by bin Laden's description of the conflict as a battle between Islam and Christianity.

President Bush's analysis of the situation had also put the Muslim community in Ireland in a very awkward situation, he said.

"Bush put people in a corner by saying you're either with me or against me. I was shocked when I heard it from him. It can't be like that!

"My understanding of Western civilisation is that it is based on multiple opinions."

Dr Al-Kaddo said Muslims who lived locally were attending prayers more regularly since September 11th.

Growing numbers of Irish people were also turning up at the centre. He said those who attended the mosque, particularly children, felt nervous and panicky in the aftermath of the attacks on America.

However, there remained hope within the community that the situation could be rectified.