This is a short note condemning the recent assault on Mosque Maryam in Galway. Alliance of Former Muslims (Ireland) stands with the global Ahmadiyya community, who have endured the most brutal persecution by ‘orthodox’ Muslims since the end of the nineteenth century. They are the last people to be blamed for the attacks in London and Manchester.
Alliance of Former Muslims (Ireland) holds that it is natural and proper for people to be critical of Islam and the intolerant culture that it fosters. However, we deplore the abuse of this logic to justify the assault on Mosque Maryam yesterday evening. It is the height of ignorance to equate the barbarity of ISIS with the Ahmadiyya community, who are perhaps the most peaceful Muslims going: indeed, the imam of the mosque, Ibrahim Ahmad Noonan, has always been explicit in condemning terrorism. To quote Noonan from the relevant Irish Times article:
I was leading the prayers when we heard an extremely loud bang. We were in the middle of the prayers so continued on, but there were one or two people who left the prayers to see what the bang was.
A group of individuals were seen smashing our windows and we believe from the descriptions given, these men are understood to be Irish. They ran away once we came outside to investigate.
The rocks came smashing through the windows and could have seriously injured one of my members. We have had attacks in the past, but I feel this is a deliberate attack. We can tell that this is an attack based on the tragic events in London and Manchester in recent weeks.
Alliance of Former Muslims (Ireland) recognises that it is right for Irish non-Muslims to be apprehensive, particularly given that Rachid Redouane lived in Rathmines for two years. However, if people wish to demonstrate against the evils of Wahhabi-Salafism, then let them join us in our efforts to expose the Clonskeagh Mosque, whose demagogues have a penchant for extremist ideas: witness the bigotry of Ali Selim, who is quite open about his desire for stricter blasphemy laws in Ireland, and is quick to dismiss Ahmadiyya Muslims as “heretics”.
While we understand that the Regressive Left’s denial of faith-based terror makes it easier for people to embrace right-wing politics, ultimately, each of us has a responsibility to think for ourselves. In our response to terror, let us not subvert the values of the Enlightenment, but rather affirm them with equanimity. To finish with a previous quote from Ibrahim Ahmad Noonan, stressing the collective responsibility of Muslim leaders to combat terror:
Until all the imams and sheikhs in Ireland – and indeed, around the world – stand up and condemn this wrongful interpretation of Islam by ISIS and all the other so-called ‘Islamic’ organisations, these acts of evil will not be halted.
Ibrahim Ahmad Noonan, Michael Nugent (Atheist Ireland) and others meet with Council of Europe representatives to discuss secular schools in Ireland.