“fascist fanaticism and radicalism is now rife amoung our young”

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”.

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  • Dread Cthulhu

    Crataegus: “You need to systematically behead these organisations, but to do that you need much better intelligence than I think we currently have. As I mentioned previously I am not entirely a pacifist but for me war needs to bear down on those directly responsible. Going in and shooting up the neighbourhood just isn’t working. ”

    What, like Bomber Comand did in the forties?

    The kind of action you want requires humint, which is troublesome on two fronts. First, thanks to Jimmy Carter, the U.S. intcom is prohibited from working with anyone who isn’t damn near a choir boy… and these are the sort of folks who spy for money, and unless you’re willing to pay, the conditions in these terrorist camps are such that no one in their right mind is going to go up there — bad food, dysentry, etc. Secondly, there is the small problem of indoctrination — there have been assets sent to infiltrate these organizations who have returned and tried to kill their handlers after their indoctrinization by these groups.

    Crataegus: “Personally I would like to see a lot more sentenced for promoting hatred but I don’t know the legal difficulties.”

    Well, I do seem to recall the Musselmen were all for the last effort, until someone pointed out their religion ran risk of being considered “promoting racial hatred” based upon the Koran’s treatment and commentary on the Jews.

    Crataegus: “What I am suggesting does not necessarily exclude the more gun hoe approach. So perhaps we should be investing in a more covert approach now in case the heavy cavalry fail to deliver or simply to aid them. ”

    So long as the likes of the NYT is firmly in the anti-US camp, covert ops are a limited option.

    Crataegus: “You mention seeing this through what do you see as the objective? ”

    Short-term? Most of Iraq is quiet — tamp down the hot spots, get the local police and army up to speed, withdraw from the street and let the troops act as a response force, in the short term. This fufills two goals — the bombers will be targetting Iraqis, putting them on the back foot, H&M wise, and US troops will no longer be patrolling the streets, assuaging the misplaced pride of the Arab street.

    Long-term? That’s tricky — the European legacy in the region — seemingly random and arbitrary borders cutting apart ethnic groups, along with the Iranian pechant for meddling (Katyusha rockets and other arms captured in Iraq) make it a bit of a nettle.

    Then again, what exit strategy was there in Europe during WWII?

  • Crataegus

    My view of the current course would be potentially civil war and the partition of the country, which will increase the influence of both Syria and Iran. So I would see a reappraisal as important as there is a financial cost in long term deployment.

    Agree about handing security over to locals its crucial, but apparently the police etc are well infiltrated by extremists. Getting out respectably and cleanly is going to be very difficult. Whatever government is in there will need to be extremely strong to hold that country together and getting the various groups to cooperate may be well neigh impossible.

    With regards the exit strategy for WW2 some would say it still unfolding. But it will be interesting to see how Iraq turns out in the next 3-4 years. Time will tell which of us are right, probably neither.