The Muslim community in Ireland is vulnerable to discrimination due to acts of terrorism carried out in the name of Islam, the assistant garda commissioner said yesterday.
Detective Chief Superintendent Michael O’Sullivan was speaking at the 15th annual conference of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association of Ireland (AMAI), held yesterday at Dublin’s CityWest Hotel.
The organisation, which was founded in Ireland in 1992, promotes peace, integration, and a greater understanding of Islam, and believes in the separation of state and religion.
Det O’Sullivan addressed issues facing the Muslim communities in Ireland, as did other speakers including Minister of State at the Department of Justice David Stanton and the national president of the AMAI, Iman Anwar Malik.
Det O’Sullivan said members of An Garda Síochána understand that all Muslim sects here in Ireland are peaceful and law-abiding.
“It is of vital importance that An Garda Síochána contain this to ensure that the law-abiding Muslim individuals do not suffer from hate crime or discriminatory profiling in any form brought on as a result of the unlawful actions of the few who declare themselves as representing the community’s interests,” Det O’Sullivan told the conference.
“We hear constantly about violent extremism and radicalisation and I know these words send a shiver down your spine. I’m aware of the acute suffering of all Muslims not just in Ireland but worldwide, who are afflicted with fear, due to collateral damage and fall-out from terrorist atrocities supposedly carried out in the name of Islam.”
AMAI president Iman Malik said: “The wave of recent terror attacks in which hundreds of innocent human beings have been killed, aim to divide communities, spread hatred and cause unrest in the civilised world.
“Our community perceives it as a responsibility to pro-actively counter the extremists, by spreading the true and peaceful teaching of Islam.”
In a separate room, the women of the organisation held their own speeches.
The organisation’s national president for the women, Sajida Aleem, said young people face many diversions, and it is the role of the mothers to educate and stand by their children.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved