Press Release: Anti-Extremism Statement
Irish Muslim Peace & Integration Council (IMPIC) has released an anti-extremism declaration and is calling all Mosques and Islamic Organisations in Ireland to request foreign speakers who are invited to speak to the Muslim communities in Ireland to sign the declaration.
Shaykh Umar Al-Qadri, Chair of IMPIC and Imam of the Islamic Centre Ireland, welcomed the cancellation of the talks by Dr. Othman Al-Khamees in the Islamic Foundation of Ireland last week, and said this was ‘an achievement of the vigilant Muslims in Ireland‘. He said that he was ‘glad that the talk was cancelled, but serious questions need to be asked to the organisers. Why did they invite Shaykh Al-Khamis to speak ?‘
‘In an increasing Islamophobic environment, the last thing we need is a hate preacher who will not only lead to sectarian tensions, but will also feed into Islamophobic attempts to demonise the Muslim community in Ireland,’ Shaykh Al-Qadri said.
He stressed that he is not in favour of any ban on foreign speakers, as this would be against the fundamental right of freedom of expression. However, ‘he would not like hate preachers to be given a platform on which they can not be challenged‘.
Shaykh Umar Al-Qadri also said that he will write to the Minister of Justice, and he hopes that the Department of Justice will incorporate the signing of the anti-extremism declaration into the visa conditions for foreign speakers.
‘Those who claim that they are peaceful and believe in integration should have no reluctance in signing the anti-extremism statement’, he said. ‘If signing this statement becomes a condition imposed by the Department of Justice in visa applications, radical hate preachers will be put off the idea of visiting Ireland to spread their word‘.
Shaykh Ali al-Saleh of the Milltown Islamic centre said that joint Sunni-Shia efforts resulted in the cancellation of speeches by radical sectarian speaker Dr. Al Khamis, and he believes that this is a precedent for future.
A South African Sunni scholar, Shaykh Fakhrud-Din Owaisi, will be visiting Dublin at the end of March, and he will be the first to sign the anti-extremism statement.