Muslims to discuss extremism claims

MUSLIM representatives from across the country are to meet today in response to claims by a Muslim leader of growing extremism among Irish Muslims.

Sheikh Dr Shaheed Satardien, who is based in west Dublin, had warned about an “ocean of extremism” among young Muslims in Ireland and criticised the part played by the religious leaders of the country’s two main mosques.

One of the mosques, the Islamic Cultural Centre, in Clonskeagh, Dublin, has called a meeting to discuss and respond to the comments made by Sheikh Satardien, who has not been invited. “We have requested a meeting because of the articles in the newspapers and radio interviews,” said a spokesperson for the centre.

She said people were coming from Dublin, Galway, Cork, Portlaoise, Cavan and Limerick as well as representatives of the student Islamic societies.

The second main mosque, the Islamic Foundation of Ireland, will also attend, represented by Imam Yahya al-Hussein. The spokeswoman for the cultural centre said its director Dr Nooh al-Kaddo would not give any more interviews until after the meeting. Dr al-Kaddo previously said he totally disagreed with Dr Satardien and questioned where he got his information from.

Dr Satardien, who runs a mosque in Blanchardstown and is chairman of the Interfaith Roundtable, said “fascist fanaticism and radicalism” had grown rapidly among young Muslims.

He said the terrorist threat in Britain would “spill over” to Ireland and criticised radical foreign religious leaders who were preaching here.

Imam Yahya al-Hussein yesterday completely rejected Dr Satardien’s comments.

“I don’t know what he is talking about. There is no basis to what he is saying. I don’t believe this extremism exists. He is making it up,” said Imam al-Hussein.

“We know this man, we know his ways. He is riding on the rising wave we see in the UK and is exploiting the situation.”

Imam al-Hussein said no Muslims in Ireland would agree with Dr Satardien.

“How can he represent Muslims, when he talks about fellow Muslims like that.”

He said all the religious leaders coming to Ireland to preach were “responsible people”.

Dr Satardien last night said he was “not surprised” he wasn’t invited to the meeting as he was not part of the Muslim Brotherhood that the main mosques belonged to. He said the other organisations invited were satellites of the two mosques.

He said there were other representative groups such as the Supreme Muslim Council of Ireland, of which he is a member.

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