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Danger of demonising Muslims fleeing war

It is very worrying to see blatant fear-mongering and misinformation about people who are fleeing from war in your letters page.

Frank Giles claims that refugees have views that are incompatible with Europe’s value system, and John McGrath claims that Muslims embrace a doctrine that denies freedom of conscience and freedom of speech (both last Friday).

Denis Moloney (on Saturday) uses the fact that small numbers of people have gone from Europe to fight in Syria to question the likelihood of Muslims integrating and sharing the values of European society.

Sentiments like these are baseless and dangerous, and there is a grave risk that they will result in more attacks on Muslims living in our communities.

Studies by Dr James Carr of the University of Limerick have shown that anti-Muslim sentiment is already a lived reality for Muslim men and women in Ireland. Surely we should all act more responsibly to ensure we don’t contribute to this trend.

Instead of demonising people of one particular faith, we should be seeking ways to create a respectful value system that doesn’t exclude people whose faith is different to the majority, especially if they are fleeing from war, poverty and oppression.

John Lannon

Raheen

Ballyneety

Co Limerick


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