As well as reporting the comments of the leading Northern Ireland Muslim Abdul Al Jibouri on Radio Ulster’s Sunday Sequence (which may be updated soon) the BBC – report here – have also picked up the Sunday Tribune coverage[free reg req] of comments by Sheikh Dr Shaheed Satardien, the chief cleric of the Supreme Muslim Council of Ireland, which he reportedly first made at a mosque in Blanchardstown, west Dublin, on Friday[free reg req]. In contrast to the open letter from the Muslim Council of Britain, and others, to the British government calling for a change in foreign policy, which drew a sharp response from John Reid, and a sharper editorial in today’s Observer, Dr Satardien, while acknowledging events elsewhere, was critical of the Irish Muslim community, and its leaders.
But Satardien says these events have not occurred in a vaccum. “The true crisis in the Irish Muslim community is the failure of guidance from parents and from leaders. There is a power-struggle in Ireland now among Imams to determine who are the most powerful leaders of the Muslim community in Ireland and the effects of this is that nobody has had the courage to reject the growing fundamentalism that is spreading through our young people, ” Satardien said.
More from the Sunday Tribune quotes from Dr Satardien
“‘Young Muslims here are being torn between two cultures and are being drawn into support for terrorism, anti-Semitism and a hatred of western democracy.
It is inevitable that they will be dragged into the training regimes that occur in parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan. This is a horrifying consideration, ” Satardien says. “There is a failure to integrate that is deeply insettling.
Ireland is an open country but the increasing rejection of democratic values by young Irish-born Muslims will see us end up like London, where rejection of the state and widespread misguidance of Islamic leaders has encouraged support for terrorism among that community.”
He also criticised the Irish government for its inaction
Satardien insists there is an urgent need for the Irish government to introduce strict guidelines on foreign travel.
“Young people cannot go to foreign places where they are being brainwashed and where they are told to reject moderate Islam. Neither should the government allow in any further senior clerics from outside Ireland, from places like Egypt or Sudan. Many of these recent arrivals are preaching a message that is divisive and ultimately very dangerous to Ireland and its citizens, ” Satardien says.
The Sunday Tribune has learned that the Supreme Muslim Council of Ireland provided a detailed briefing to officials in the Department of the Taoiseach as far back as September 2005 in relation to the increasing fanaticism of young muslims.
However, despite officials giving a commitment to re-convene further meetings with the moderate council by March of this year, no further contact has been made by Bertie Ahern’s office. Satardien says that the Taoiseach’s department has demonstrated “no interest” in the subject.
And from the second report, in which Dr Satardien was speaking to the Sunday Tribune journalists, John Burke and Eoghan Rice..
ONE of Ireland’s most senior Islamic clerics has warned of an “ocean of extremism” spreading through young Irish Muslims. Sheikh Dr Shaheed Satardien, the chief religous leader to the Supreme Muslim Council of Ireland, said that Ireland is now a “haven for fundamentalism” and warned that moderate leaders are fighting a battle to contain the spread of extremist teachings here.
Satardien blamed poor leadership by Islamic leaders and Irish government inaction for the radicalisation of young Muslims here. Speaking to the Sunday Tribune this weekend from his Dublin home, the wellrespected moderate cleric warned that a significant number of young Islamic men are now spending lengthy periods of the year travelling to and from the homelands of their parents, including Pakistan, where young western Muslims are dragged into al-Qaeda paramilitary training regimes.
“Irish Muslim leaders are failing our young people who are embracing fundamentalism. It is happening at a remarkable speed before our eyes. . . fascist fanaticism and radicalism is now rife amoung our young, ” Satardien said.
“The true crisis in the Irish Muslim community is the failure of guidance from parents and from leaders. . . young Muslims here are being torn between two cultures, drawing them into support for terrorism, anti- semitism and a hatred of western democracy”.