Head of Irish Islamic centre warns of those spreading hate

Dr Umar Al Qadri one of a number of imams refusing funeral prayers for attackers

Dr Umar Al-Qadri, head imam of the Islamic Centre of Ireland. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Dr Umar Al-Qadri, head imam of the Islamic Centre of Ireland. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

 

The head imam of the Islamic Centre of Ireland, Shaykh Dr Umar Al Qadri, has warned that there are people in Ireland trying to spread hate online.

People with extremist views must be challenged, he said this morning in the wake of the latest terrorist attack by Islamic extremists in London on Saturday. One of the three attackers, Rachid Redouane (30), married a British woman in Dublin in 2012 and lived in Rathmines, Dublin for a time.

Dr al-Qadri, Chair of Irish Muslim Peace & Integration Council, told The Irish Times that the face of terrorist Khuram Butt also appeared “familiar” to him, but he could not recall when he had seen him in Dublin. “What I said was that the other person [KHURUM BUTT], his face seemed familiar and I think I have seen him in Dublin somewhere but I’m not sure when or where.

“It seems that I have seen him before but I can’t tell when,” he added the Shaykh.

He condemned the attack on the Galway Mosque overnight, describing the attack as “shocking”.

“I absolutely condemn the attack that took place in Ireland. The Muslims are alive in the war against extremism and we are victims of these extremists ourselves. We are as much appalled and as much saddened by the events in Manchester or London as any other person.

“To blame Muslims would be doing exactly what Isis wants and it is falling into the trap of Isis. I urge everyone to stand up against hatred and stand united with the Muslims. Extremists are enemies of all of us, so therefore I am urging everyone to be united and all of us should stop any support of extremism,” added Dr al-Qadri.

“Unless they are challenged, you can’t counteract radicalisation,” he told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland earlier.

He said it was unfortunate that it was not known to what extent Redouane radicalised others when he was in Ireland. “There is no evidence,” he said. Dr Al Qadri said he did not know “‘this individual”, but said he did know of others in Ireland who were spreading hate online.

‘De-radicalised’

“They must be stopped. They need to be de-radicalised. They should be behind bars so they can be de-radicalised.

“They are spreading dangerous ideas to vulnerable young Muslims.

“These youngsters are very vulnerable to radicalisation and these individuals are trying to exploit that.”

He warned that while they may not “plot something themselves” they are influencing others to do so.

Dr Al Qadri is one of a number of imams who have indicated that they will not perform funeral services or say prayers for the three men involved in the attacks in London at the weekend.

“It is important to send a clear signal to any potential terrorist. We will not even pray for them.”