Row breaks out among Muslims over end date of Ramadan
Holding Eid on Tuesday ‘has not been accepted by the majority of Muslims in Ireland’
Imam Ali Selim of the Clonskeagh mosque said imam al-Qadri had spoken with imam Halawa from the mosque about the date of Eid some time ago. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien
A row has broken out among Muslims in Ireland over when Eid, the feast which marks the end of the fasting month Ramadan, should take place this year.
Those at the Clonskeagh mosque in south Dublin, as well as Tallaght, Portlaoise and a mosque in Cork are celebrating the feast onTuesday while other mosques throughout Ireland will do so on Wednesday.
Imam Umar al-Qadri, of the Blanchardstown mosque in west Dublin, told The Irish Times that they and the South Circular Road mosque in Dublin, as well as other mosques in Galway, Limerick, Cork, were celebrating the feast on Wednesday.
He said the decision to hold Eid on Tuesday “has not been accepted by the majority of Muslims in Ireland”. He continued: “We request humbly that Clonskeagh mosque in future involve all mosques in a democratic process to decide Eid and not dictate the decision of the European Council of Fatwa and Research.”
Imam Hussein Halawa of the Clonskeagh mosque is general secretary of that council.
Imam al-Qadri said that “the majority of Muslims in Ireland have refused to be continuously pressurised by the Clonskeagh mosque and follow their non-democratic instructions. Even though it is heartbreaking that there will be two Eids in Ireland this year, this is a wake up call for the Clonskeagh mosque and a humble request to them to involve a truly democratic process to decide Eid.”
Dr Ali Selim of the Clonskeagh mosque said imam al-Qadri had spoken with imam Halawa about the date of Eid some time ago and said he would follow the decision of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland at Clonskeagh.
Imam al-Qadri said he did not agree to do so but to follow the decision of the majority of Muslims in Ireland. Dr Selim said the decision to hold Eid on Tuesday followed a meeting of Muslim scholars representing 70 countries in Istanbul two weeks ago.
Meanwhile the second annual community Iftar meal at the Blanchardstown mosque on Saturday evening passed off successfully. Holocaust survivor Tomi Reichental, representatives of other faiths and the churches and up to 15 members of the LGBT community attended.
Pakistani ambassador Dr Syed Ridwan commended imam al-Qadri in an address to the gathering for “the work he is doing”. It was “not an easy path” and was “different to most traditional people” but “deserved commendation and support,” he said. It was “the true face of Islam,” he said.