Muslim cleric ‘would not feel safe’ with IS suspect roaming the streets of Ireland

Muslim cleric ‘would not feel safe’ with IS suspect roaming the streets of Ireland

A leading Muslim cleric says he would not feel safe having Islamic State suspect, Lisa Smith, roaming the streets of Ireland unless she goes through a process to de-radicalise her.

Dr Umar Al-Qadri, head Imam of the Islamic Educational and Cultural Centre and chairman of the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council, said formal procedures need to be put in place to deal with the issue of returning IS soldiers and sympathisers.

Dr Al-Qadri said he believes any person who is radicalised is a dangerous person and it is important to find out who or what convinced Ms Smith to align herself to Islamic State: “When did it happen? How did it happen? I believe it’s really important that we find answers to that. The answers may lie on social media. But there is a small chance that she was radicalised face to face by an individual and we have to find answers to that.”

Dr Al-Qadri says Ms Smith should face prosecution here if she has a case to answer but just as important is the need to understand how the former Irish soldier came to be in her current position and to ensure she no longer has contacts with or loyalties to IS.

“We in Ireland need legislation in place to deal with people who have supported or have joined such groups. Before we have that legislation, to bring back citizens without having procedures, it’s quite a problem. She is an Irish citizen so she should be back in Ireland but at the same time I would be concerned at having such an individual roam free in the streets of Dundalk and roam free in Ireland.”

Dr Al-Qadri was speaking on LMFM radio in Ms Smith’s hometown of Dundalk. He urged members of the Muslim community who had contact with her to go to the Gardaí: “Law enforcement needs all the support it can get.”

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