Ireland: Prominent Muslim Imam criticises other leaders for being softer on extremism
`I canâ€™t say this, I canâ€™t say that because….they feed me and they give me my sustenanceâ€™Â
A leading Muslim voice has criticised other Muslim leaders here for being softer on extremism and radicalisation.
Imam Ibrahim Noonan, Ahmadiyya National Imam for Ireland, told a conference at City West in Dublin on Sunday that â€œa very severe and sensitive atmosphereâ€ was developing between Muslim communities and population in countries affected by IS violenceâ€.
Government, law enforcement agencies, the media â€œneed to know the difference between what is Islam and what is not Islam,â€ he said.
Speaking to The Irish Times, Imam Noonan expressed frustration that the Irish Council of Imams, which represented all of Irelandâ€™s Muslims in dialogue with the State, is defunct. It was due to â€œinternal differencesâ€ he said. Some imams believed the council should have no association with â€œradicals and extremistsâ€ and that if this existed â€œwe have to report itâ€.
He said imams in Ireland had said to him â€œyou know I canâ€™t say this, I canâ€™t say that because Iâ€™m basicallyâ€™ . . . as one of them said to me . . . â€˜they feed me and they give me my sustenanceâ€™. I think thatâ€™s whatâ€™s happening.â€
He and such imams â€œtalk nicely to each other. Weâ€™ll have a good chat but they wonâ€™t hold the same view in front of others.â€
More generally imams had visited Ireland from Pakistan, Bradford and Birmingham. In Birmingham â€œthey come from one of the most radical mosques. They spread a very fanatical extremist view. Theyâ€™ve been here.â€
They had â€œprivate meetings, private discussions and we know that in these meetings theyâ€™ll say one thing in public. In private theyâ€™re using words like jihad and these sort of things. We know.â€
Instead of which imams in Ireland â€œshould come together on one platform and that is to reassure the Irish people that Islam is peaceful and we the imams in Ireland will guarantee you that no radicalism, no extremism will come here. But that is not happening,â€ he said.