As ISIS militants increasingly face defeat in Syria, they have stepped up their calls for Muslims in Europe to commit acts of terror. In accordance with this, Wahhabi-Salafi fanatics in Ireland are becoming more strident on the ground. Jim Cusack gives us a flavour of this in an article for the Sunday Independent (July 2016):
In the week after the Paris attacks last November, I was called a ‘kuffar’ by a group of Muslim men at a food shop in Dublin. One of the group of five – it was late and the shop was nearly empty – also decided to make what he thought was a joke about the attacks in Paris which left 130 dead, most of them young people. He said, in a raised voice: “Yes, it was a tragedy…a tragedy they (the attackers) ran out of bullets.” I was momentarily stunned and moved away. I reported the matter unofficially to Gardaí, though it didn’t seem quite to register as an incitement crime… The term ‘kuffar’ should be understood better by Westerners. It is taken to mean, in the teachings of Wahhabi Sunni preachers, that all non-Muslims must be converted or killed, preferably by having their throats cut.
Thus we see that jihadist sympathisers can indulge in hate crime without any recrimination from the Irish State. This is symptomatic of the self-doubt which plagues Western society today – specifically, the fear of being unable to criticise Islam or Muslim behaviour without having racist motives. In reality, there is nothing racist about condemning violent ideologies and holding their espousers to account; indeed, for those of us who have suffered under the faith, the charge of racism is especially absurd.
If we don’t break this psychological stranglehold soon, then Ireland is set to become the latest victim of Islamic terror: for so long as we are reluctant to condemn Islamism, homegrown extremists will use this to their advantage. It is not enough to step up Gardaí surveillance: rather, we need to ignite a sense of pride in the Enlightenment values which make our way of life possible, that ordinary Irish people may be vigilant enough to keep religious barbarism at bay. To quote the philosopher A.C. Grayling in this regard:
Some of the most militant religious fundamentalists, knowing that they cannot realistically hope to overthrow liberal and democratic societies, nevertheless desire to punish them, and do so by acts of mass murder, the worst to date being 9/11 in the United States, the London Underground bombings, the Madrid train bombings, and the attacks in Mumbai. This, obviously, is unacceptable, but so too is the background atmosphere of more general reaction which it both promotes and feeds upon. It is not enough to combat terrorism, therefore. It is also necessary to defend the liberal dispensation that fundamentalism, reaction, and their militant expressions, by their nature oppose.
Most Irish people do not accept Islam as their religion, and thus exist in a state of rebellion to the will of Allah. That is all the jihadist requires to carry out acts of terror: for the history of Islam is one of Muhammad and his successors spreading the deen by the sword, killing and subjugating “those who reject faith”. There is thus no need to invoke grievances over U.S. warplanes refuelling at Shannon Airport, which, in any case, have nothing to do with innocent Muslims being killed, but rather the impending defeat of their apocalyptic death cult.
Indeed, if these people really cared about the welfare of Muslims in Iraq and Syria, they would be taking up arms against ISIS, who have been purging moderate Sunnis and Shi’a Muslims – regarded as the enemy within – for years now. Their concerns are sectarian in nature, not humanitarian; this was made abundantly clear by the Manchester attacks, whose teenage victims betray a conviction that non-Muslims are fair game, regardless of their age or occupation. In the words of Chris Phillips, former head of the National Counter Terrorism Security Office (UK):
Ireland is making the same mistakes that were made by France, Germany and Belgium more than ten years ago. They’re dismissing the threat of radical Islamic terrorism as someone else’s problem… It isn’t enough to pretend that these attacks wouldn’t happen here. A soft target is a soft target. That’s what these groups are looking for. It’s about making a statement.
What follows on this page is a steady flow of information on the Islamist threat in Ireland, corroborating our experiences as ex-Muslims. In part one, we provide an overview of the intimidation and abuse our members are forced to endure by Islamist fanatics in Direct Provision, Ireland’s ‘interim’ accommodation system for asylum seekers in search of international protection. Surnames have been omitted and pseudonyms have been employed to protect the anonymity of our members, though we wish it weren’t necessary.
In part two, we turn our focus to organised Islam in Ireland, with a particular emphasis on the Clonskeagh Mosque. We feel this is appropriate, given that the mosque is essentially a front for the Muslim Brotherhood. We then examine Irish radicalism on a more individual level, from student societies and halaqahs to the likes of Rachid Redouane and Khalid Kelly. Finally, we shine a spotlight on the dubious Muslim National School, heralded by successive Irish governments as a multicultural success story.
It is our hope that, in providing the general public with a concise summary of the Islamist threat, ordinary Irish people will discover the confidence to raise these issues. We owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Mark Humphrys here, whose tireless efforts to expose the Irish Anti-War Movement and groups such as MPAC have allowed us to express existing concerns more vivaciously. The Islamofascists are running the show in Ireland, as a leaked U.S. Cable, titled ‘IRELAND: ISLAM IN EUROPE’ (C-DI5-01478), reminds us:
Only in recent years has Ireland witnessed a significant growth in the numbers of Muslim immigrants. For that reason, discussions on pluralism are just beginning to take place. The Government of Ireland has established programs such as the hiring of non-Irish police officers and creating the National Consultative Committee for Racism and Integration to help assimilate immigrants. From within the Muslim community, however, only a few voices calling for integration can be heard. The loudest of these voices are Shaheed Satardien, Umar al-Qadri and Mian Ghulam Bari. Both Satardien and Qadri have told emboffs that getting out a positive message on integration is difficult because the conservative Muslims, or as Satardien refers to the leaders at ICCI, the Wahhabis and Muslim Brotherhood, control Islam in Ireland.
Islamism in Ireland
Part 1: Testimonies of Ex-Muslims Living in Direct Provision
Alliance of Former Muslims rejects the inhumane treatment of asylum seekers under Irish law, who are forced to subsist on a weekly pittance while their cases are considered – often for years at a time. The situation is particularly bad for ex-Muslims, who are not only put in the same accommodation as Islamist fanatics, but whose negative view of Islam leads multicultural appeasers to undermine their asylum claims, despite them facing persecution and death at home.
1. Testimony of Khalid
Khalid is an ex-Muslim from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He escaped to Ireland in October 2017, under the cover of pursuing third-level education. In December, he was put into Direct Provision in Balseskin, Dublin. He was moved to Kildare four months later, where he continues to reside. In both locations, Khalid has suffered regular abuse and intimidation from Islamist thugs – including physical violence and death threats:
Living as a former Muslim in a Direct Provision centre that has a majority of Arabs and Muslims is really tough.
When I applied for asylum in the International Protection Office (IPO), they took me to Balseskin Accommodation Centre. In the four months I was there, I did my best not to talk to the Arabs or Muslims to avoid any clashes. This would prove impossible, however, for I could not avoid them in the sharing room or in the cafeteria, where anyone can come and sit with you. Assuming I was still a Muslim, these guys would always ask why I would leave Saudi Arabia, it being the birthplace of Islam and a rich country with no wars. My answer was always that I have issues with the current regime, to avoid saying that I have renounced Islam. But this didn’t stop them from constantly asking why I wouldn’t pray with them or come to the mosque inside the centre.
One day I was sitting in my room with my roommate, who was from Libya. While I was using my phone, he brought one of his Algerian friends into the room. When this man entered, he saw the tattoo on my arm and immediately asked, “Are you a Muslim or a Christian?” I responded by asking what the point of his question was. He then shouted, “Brother I don’t see you pray in the mosque and you don’t talk to Arabs!” My roommate tried to change the subject, but the Algerian guy wouldn’t stop. He started reciting verses of the Qur’an saying to kill infidels and cut their necks. I ignored him until he eventually left the room. That is just one example of everyday life for ex-Muslims in Balseskin.
When I was transferred to the centre in Kildare, I quickly ran into trouble with the Muslims there for expressing my thoughts. We attended the same class every Tuesday, in which the teacher would ask about what brought us to Ireland. When it was my turn, I talked about myself, my beliefs, and how my rejection of Islamic law was the main reason for me seeking asylum in Ireland. The Muslims became furious at this, and so they began their campaign of harassment towards me.
The first of these incidents involved my roommate, a Pakistani Muslim. He purposefully created trouble to have me kicked out of the room. So he complained to the manager and they changed my room to another one. Of course, my new roommate was an Arab Muslim who was just as hateful. I didn’t even stay in that room for two weeks before he created trouble and I had to change room again!
In the final days of Ramadan, I suffered a serious attack from an Arab Muslim. When he saw me drinking water, he approached me aggressively and demanded to know why I wasn’t fasting. When I replied that it was none of his business, he put his hands around my neck and threatened to kill me. He did this simply because I drank water while he was fasting. What scares me is that he isn’t a resident in the center and I don’t know him! He was sitting with a Pakistani Muslim who knew my beliefs prior to the attack. I complained to the Gardaí and asked them to check the CCTV to see that he attacked me.
My experience in Direct Provision has been extremely difficult. I feel like I’m still in Saudi Arabia. I cannot feel safe or free so long as I am around these people. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the coming days, so I really hope that the asylum process moves fast. I need to escape this Islamic nightmare.
2. Testimony of Nadeem
Nadeem is an ex-Muslim from Punjab, Pakistan. He fled the country in 2011, having been threatened with his life. He initially stayed in the UK, before moving to Ireland in 2016; he was put into Direct Provision upon applying for asylum at Dublin Airport. As someone who openly dissociates from Islam, Nadeem has been subjected to constant intimidation from his fellow asylum seekers in Waterford – including being threatened with assault:
A week before Christmas in 2016, a Pashtun [member of an ethnic group native to Afghanistan and north-western Pakistan] offered me a leafleting job for a day, which I accepted. While I was getting ready for the job, he brought me to his room to help prepare the bags of leaflets. As he was doing so, he outlined his plan to start at 9am, and then break for Friday prayers at 1pm. I replied that he could go to pray, while I finished the work.
When I said this, he took a step back and asked, “Why are you not going with me? Are you not Muslim?” As I was not in the mood for debate, I stated that I was a Hindu. He replied that it was weird to meet a Hindu from Pakistan, as the vast majority of Pakistanis are Muslim. We then began the work, going to various different estates.
As I was nearing the end of my shift, suddenly, he began accusing me of discarding the leaflets. He said, “You are putting them in the bins, so stop this and go home. I have taken photos of the bins.” I asked him to show me the photos, but he failed to show me anything. Instead of arguing with this man any further, I quit the job and went back to the hostel.
Nine months later, on the evening of September 10th 2017, I went to my local newsagent to get some cigarette papers. When I arrived, I witnessed the man from the hostel conversing with the shop owner, who also happens to be a Pashtun. When he served me, sure enough, he asked if I was a Muslim. I took a long look at his face, and said, “Why are you asking that?” He replied that he had never seen me in the mosque. When I stated that I was a Hindu, he yelled, “You are from Pakistan and you are Hindu?!?” I said yes, but he kept staring at me, so I just walked out.
I find this behaviour to be very disturbing. It is exactly how lynch mobs start in Pakistan: by spreading gossip about someone, generating a climate of suspicion. This is what happened to Mashal Khan, who was murdered in April 2017 by his fellow students. I have no doubt that, if they could get away with it, these fanatics would not hesitate to punish me in a similar fashion.
I don’t know who they think they are, to ask about such a personal matter without even knowing me. I went there to buy some cigarette papers, not to be interrogated about my beliefs. But these sick people now have their own mosque in Waterford on Newton Street (next to Dooly’s Fish and Chips), harassing any Indian or Pakistani who doesn’t come to Friday prayers.
On May 25th 2017, I was walking along the banks of the River Suir. As I finished my walk, I bumped into a man I knew from the hostel. He was having tea with another Pakistani guy; I said hello to them both.
Just after this, a man with a Labrador Retriever passed us by. As he was passing, I commented that this breed of dog is considered very intelligent. When I said this, the man from the hostel responded that Allah created dogs from man’s bellybutton. He then quoted a hadith saying that black dogs should be killed. I replied that the dog is a faithful animal, that it’s the social form of the wolf and can still interbreed with them. He then said that everything has a creator, even if it’s just a cup of tea. I made the point that if everything needs a creator, then so does a creator, so this argument is useless.
At this point, his complexion changed. He started verbally abusing me, getting angrier and angrier. He threatened to hit me with the cup and continued cursing me, saying “I’ll fuck your sister, you dog.” I apologised, and said that I didn’t mean to hurt his feelings. But he didn’t stop, so I started walking back to the hostel.
I’ve considered recording his voice in case he does this again. My friends in the hostel say that I should contact the police. However, I fear that if I take it to the police, they’ll cast doubt on it and ask me to move to another hostel. I don’t want that, as I am doing a course here and a volunteer job as well. I can’t do anything to jeopardise that.
3. Testimony of Waqar
Update, June 2019: On Thursday June 13th, sixteen Pakistani nationals were deported from Ireland, having been refused asylum in the country. One of those arrested was Waqar, who was removed without being given any opportunity to contact his solicitor. Despite the overwhelming amount of publicly-available information on the persecution of atheists and other minorities in Pakistan, Waqar’s application for asylum was ultimately turned down.
Waqar is an ex-Muslim from Sindh, Pakistan. He fled the country in 2011, after a fatwa calling for his death was put out by Karamullah Qureshi of Al-Jamiya Al-Arabiya; he was put into Hanratty’s Accommodation Centre in 2014. Waqar’s experiences with the International Protection Office, who put the onus on him to prove that atheists are unsafe in Pakistan, expose their wilful ignorance when it comes to ex-Muslims. While extremist preachers are allowed to claim benefits, ex-Muslims fleeing state-sponsored lynch mobs are forced to survive on 19.50 euro a week.
In his testimony of Direct Provision in Limerick, Waqar recounts the behaviour of a Pakistani man claiming to be fleeing persecution by the Taliban, but who in reality, supports them wholeheartedly – even expressing jubilation at the Peshawar school massacre in December 2014, in which seven gunmen affiliated with the Tehrik-i-Taliban (TTP) gunned down 141 people, 132 of whom were children. This same man is now making a living as a Qur’an teacher, as Waqar reports:
If you are a member of the Pashtun, you can obtain Afghani nationality even if you were born and raised in Pakistan. A Pakistani man who lived in my hostel did exactly this, for the sake of boosting his asylum case: he claimed to be fleeing from the Taliban in Afghanistan, even though he has never set foot in the country. He got the documents needed to prove that he was an Afghani national, and made his asylum claim on this false basis.
This man, it turns out, is actually a major supporter of the Taliban. One evening, the two of us were watching the news in the hostel lobby. When the report came on about the Peshawar school massacre, he celebrated and did the Bhangara [special dance] we do in Pakistan. When I asked him about this, he said “I love these people, they are the real Muslims.” This man is now a Qur’an teacher, and is making his living in this way. It’s the perfect life for these people, because they don’t have to give something back to the country. They can spread their poison using donations from the local Muslim community.
The imam of the mosque in my area is also an asylum seeker, and is here by means of a sham marriage. He married a poor girl from a country in Eastern Europe. These are the ones who are given priority, while people like me have to prove that it is not safe for atheists in Pakistan.
4. Testimony of Waheed
Wahid is a secular Muslim from Punjab, Pakistan. He studied English Literature at Middlesex University from 2004 to 2006. After a fatwa was declared on his life, Wahid was forced to leave Pakistan for good. He arrived in Ireland in March 2015, and was put into Direct Provision that same month. He now resides in the Kildare centre.
In his time here, Wahid has contributed immensely to the arts. He has used his skills as a university lecturer to develop stage plays and documentaries on the lives of refugees, collaborating with various arts groups. Unfortunately, as with our other members in Direct Provision, Wahid has not been spared the bigotry of Islamist degenerates:
Without a doubt, there is no comparison between travelling as a visitor and travelling as a refugee. I became a refugee on February 2nd 2015. Just one day before, I was a celebrated university lecturer and public speaker enjoying a wonderful family life. But after a fatwa was declared on me by Islamic Mullahs for ‘blasphemy’, I took to the skies and ended up in Dublin.
I have experienced two lives in Ireland while living in Direct Prison – sorry, Direct Provision centres. On the one hand, I am treated well by the Irish community and the International Protection Office system. On the flipside, there is the grim reality of living inside those four walls.
I have found Irish people to be very tender hearted, loving and happy. From March 2015 until now, I have received much love from the Irish community: indeed, I was awarded financial support for a Documentary Film Making course from Film Base Dublin, and the Irish Arts Council supported my stage play. However, sometimes I feel that Irish and EU migration laws are crushing the lives of refugees.
Now before I discuss the problem at hand, I want to acknowledge the progress that has been made in Ireland’s asylum system. From 2001 till 2017, Direct Provision centres have been given 400 million Euros. In 2016, I directed a stage play focused on the ‘Right to Work’, but now the Irish government has given us that right. In addition, unnecessary delays in processing asylum are being addressed, so the system has definitely improved over time.
Having said all this, it is now time to unfold the reality of Islamic fundamentalism in Direct Provision centres. Living for over three and half years in this system has allowed me to understand the actual problems and causes of failed nation-states.
As a secular Muslim, I have experienced profound hatred and exclusion while living in Direct Provision. There are roughly ten Pakistani men living in the Kildare centre. Everyone else has good social relations with me and I with them. However, the Pakistani Muslims absolutely refuse to talk to me, because I have raised my voice against the Pakistani Army and the Pakistani social system, and have criticised the social aspects of Islam.
Although I always sugar-coat my words, this doesn’t help, as they have been brainwashed by stories of the Pakistani Army’s glorious victories and the fake history of Islamic expansion. And so, I am still being treated as an infidel, a kafir, an agent of the Jews and Christians, being paid by US and British agencies, etc, by the Pakistani men in Kildare.
While living in the centre, I was forced by the Pakistani Muslims to leave my favourite writing table. I was, in fact, ordered to never sit at that table again, because it was reserved for the “true Muslims”. Thus, it is easy to see how religion is so often the cause of refugee crises, wars and clashes at macro and micro levels. Religion is the easiest way to control the minds of people, and unfortunately Muslims globally are the most useful tools for extremism.
However, I do not let these experiences detract from the love and respect shown to me not only by the people of Kildare, but the Irish community as a whole.
To finish, I would like to extend my thanks to my teachers in Middlesex University, including Dr. Sarah Bradshaw, Dr. Lucy Sutherland, Dr. Aybec Tunc, Professor Lesley Jordon, and many others who taught me how to think critically and conduct professional academic research. The experience of living in London with Jews and Christians forced me to think critically about what I had been taught as a child in Pakistan. My landlord, Mr. Julio Rosenberg, was a Jew, and the month I spent with him was the most beautiful time of my stay in London.
Part 2: The Islamist Threat More Generally
1. The Clonskeagh Mosque and Their Associates
The Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland (ICCI), informally known as the Clonskeagh Mosque, is the largest mosque in the country. It is the focal point of organised Sunni Islam, and thus represents the great majority of Ireland’s 63,000-strong Muslim population. Alliance of Former Muslims regards the Clonskeagh Mosque as a symbol of everything that is wrong with Islam and the Muslim world; we thus seek its complete disestablishment and removal without delay.
The ICCI is a major logistics base for the Muslim Brotherhood, a fascist organisation whose members readily employ violence to achieve their political aims. The imam of the mosque is Hussein Halawa, the senior representative of the Brotherhood in Ireland. To quote Mary Fitzgerald of the Irish Times (October 2006):
Many Muslim Brotherhood members I met recently in Cairo asked me if I knew Sheikh Halawa after hearing I was from Ireland.
In August 2013, Ibrahim Halawa was caught stirring up a mob of Muslim Brotherhood supporters in Cairo. One does not address a 100,000-strong rally of fascists without sharing their beliefs, at least in part. To quote Leslie Shaw, president of the Forum on Islamic Radicalism and Management:
In a phone call from the Al-Fath mosque, Ibrahim Halawa said he had been at the protests since “since day one” (June 28th 2013), that “the Army and the cops” were “working together” to kill the Muslim Brotherhood, that Egypt was “my country” and Ireland was “the country I live in”, and that he was ready to be an Islamic martyr. Halawa conveniently forgot these bellicose statements in a letter he sent from prison on August 17th 2016:
“I was arrested while on holiday in Egypt in 2013. My three older sisters and I, all Irish citizens, were caught up in a protest in Cairo.”
The Halawas’ claim that they were on holiday and were accidentally caught up in the demonstration as innocent victims is a flat-out lie. They went to Egypt to foment rebellion and far from being innocent victims, they were willing and active participants in a Muslim Brotherhood attempt to overthrow the government.
Rallying to Ibrahim Halawa’s defence, certain Irish journalists have attempted to present the Muslim Brotherhood as a ‘moderate’ organisation. But as Cynthia Farahat of the Middle East Forum points out, the Muslim Brotherhood is violent by its very nature. To quote from an article in March 2017:
The Obama administration’s stubborn support for the Morsi regime and its tireless attempts to cast the MB as a moderate organization are preposterous – not only because the Brotherhood is the bedrock of some of the worst terror groups in today’s world but also because violence is endemic to the movement’s raison d’être: restoring the caliphate via violent jihad. Were the Brotherhood to give up this foundational goal, it would lose its legitimacy and sole reason for existence. This is why [Hassan al] Banna used military terminology in structuring the MB, calling the organization “Allah’s battalion”, a term used to this very day to denote the MB’s governing core; this is why the current Brotherhood leadership includes operatives who personally engaged in violent jihad and terror activities such as Abdel Moneim Abul Futuh.
Hussein Halawa has been accused of not doing enough to tackle radicalism in Ireland. He is listed as a Facebook friend of Abu Yusuf al-Irlandi, an Irish Muslim convert who spouts extremist anti-Western views. Al-Irlandi urges jihad against supporters of democracy, which he labels “shirk” – the sin of worshipping anything other than Allah:
Beware of the callers to the Hellfire who try to involve you in democracy oh Muslims! Democracy is Shirk, stay far from it and its people and have enmity to them as Allah commanded. In the West including Ireland the majority of the ‘representatives of Islam’ mislead millions. May Allah make us from those who stand against this as it is a form of Jihad. So every brother and sister who has the ability must stand up and speak against these false callers lest we are questioned about it on the day of judgement.
Halawa’s defenders claim that he has explicitly denied any desire for Ireland to become an Islamic state. In actual fact, on that occasion, Halawa’s words were “I have never made such a statement.” It is absurd to say that this disproves Halawa’s theocratic aspirations: rather, all it means is that Halawa has yet to affirm them in public. A proper denial would be something like “I have no desire to see shari’a law in Ireland.”
Halawa cannot speak publicly without the approval of radical cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi, head of the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) and chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars. The ECFR’s former Deputy Chairman, the late Faysal Mawlawi, supported the suicide bombing of civilians. Qaradawi has praised Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust as blessings from God, and regards the killing of apostates as crucial to the survival of Islam. To quote from a lecture on Egyptian television:
If they had gotten rid of the apostasy punishment, Islam wouldn’t exist today. Islam would have ended since the death of the Prophet, peace be upon him. Opposing apostasy is what has kept Islam to this day.
Qaradawi is also a top advocate of suicide bombings, and has referred to martyrdom operations as “a higher form of jihad for the sake of Allah”. He has thus been banned from entering the United States and Britain, but has visited Ireland at least three times since September 2000, hosted each time by the Clonskeagh Mosque. To quote Mark Dooley of the Sunday Independent (July 2005):
Yusuf al-Qaradawi is banned from entering the United States and will soon be barred from Britain. If Minister McDowell is serious about combating Islamic fanaticism here, he must follow suit by ensuring that the “theologian of terror” is permanently prevented from entering this State.
Ali Selim is the spokesperson for the ICCI and secretary-general of the Irish Council of Imams. Selim takes exception to the standard girls uniform in Irish schools, and disputes that the 7/7 bombings were carried out by Muslims. In an interview with Hot Press in 2006, Selim stated:
Events that happened in England – I personally haven’t seen compelling proof that that was done by Muslims.
Selim also expresses doubts about the events of September 11th. He claims to be against violence, but declines to judge Osama bin Laden as a terrorist, saying he would have to have met him. He refuses to condemn the man:
Well, I don’t know him. Consequently, I can’t say I respect or do not respect him.
Selim further denies that Ahmadiyyas are Muslims, and has stated that shari’a law should rule in Ireland if there is ever a Muslim majority. He also lobbies for female genital mutilation to be decriminalised, and wants strict blasphemy laws introduced to make criticism of the Prophet Muhammad illegal. To quote from an interview on RTÉ Prime Time (January 2010):
If you say something offensive about my Prophet, it’s something that is definitely not going to be tolerated… I would be delighted to see the blasphemy law going further and further. But it has taken the first step.
In October 2007, Saudi cleric Salman al-Awda, one of bin Laden’s spiritual mentors, addressed a weekend conference at the Clonskeagh Mosque. Al-Awda was one of twenty-six Saudi clerics to declare that it was a religious duty to fight American troops in Iraq, saying:
There is no doubt that the Jihad against the occupation is a duty of those who are capable of it.
Al-Awda has also written articles for various Saudi newspapers describing Shi’a Muslims as “non-Muslims”. Ali al-Saleh, imam of the Shi’a mosque in Milltown, expressed concern about the visit, saying:
It is very worrying to see him visit Ireland. Muslims in Ireland, both Sunni and Shi’a, live in harmony. They should not invite people who incite hatred against the Shi’a to come here.
Indeed, the ICCI has frequently been host to jihadist preachers. In March 2006, Ali Selim shared a platform with Anjem Choudary, head of the extremist Al-Muhajiroun. Choudary argued, with Selim’s tacit complicity, that victims of 9/11 and 7/7 are justifiable losses in an ongoing struggle to regain a global Islamic state. They have also hosted Wajdi Ghunaim, who believes in suicide attacks against Jews as a duty binding upon all Muslims. Addressing an Islamic conference in Florida in 2004, Ghunaim stated:
Those young people who explode themselves to kill the Jews are not committing suicide, but jihad.
The ICCI have employed suspected terrorists as religious teachers. Abdul-Rahman Katrani, for example, was employed at the Muslim National School despite being wanted by the Government of Morocco for his involvement in the 2003 Casablanca bombings, which killed 45 innocent people.
Yahya al-Hussein is the imam of the Dublin Mosque, located on South Circular Road. In early March 2016, the Mosque planned to have Othman al-Khamees speak at their two-day Muslim Conference, organised by the Kuwaiti student group Thabat. The conference was cancelled when Ali al-Saleh alerted the Gardaí that Al-Khamees and fellow Kuwaiti scholar Khaled al-Otaibi were jihadist preachers, having previously been banned from travelling to Holland.
Ali al-Saleh is detested by both the Islamic Cultural Centre and the Islamic Foundation of Ireland for calling out the Islamist threat. As far back as 2014, the Shi’a imam suggested that ISIS terrorists are already here:
Members of ISIS live here, they are active at the level of small circles, giving lectures, talking to the youth. This is a problem. We’ve said that from the beginning, now we have it. We didn’t tackle it from the beginning. It is our duty as Imams to talk openly against those things.
Ballinteer resident and Clonskeagh patron Ibrahim Buisir has long been associated with terror groups, including Al-Qaeda. His small network of extremists is subject to constant surveillance by Counter Terrorism International. In November 2013, Buisir was fined €600 after pleading guilty to assaulting Detective Garda Gillian Morris and Detective Garda Leanna Cruise, who are attached to the Special Detective Unit.
Claiming to be a businessman, though chronically unemployed and subsisting on welfare, Buisir uses financial aid from Libyan contacts to send his children to Rockbrook College, a private school. He heads an NGO, the Islamic-African Relief Agency, which has been designated by the US government as a terrorist organisation.
In November 2015, it was reported that members of Buisir’s network are believed to be providing logistical support to radicalised young Irish Muslims intent on travelling to Syria to fight for ISIS. Buisir is suspected of procuring false documents and passports, as well as providing small sums of cash to pay for travel and subsistence.
The radicalisation of young Irish Muslims, endorsed and actively supported by Buisir, involves prospective recruits for selection as Islamist fighters being sent on “training camps” in remote areas in the Leinster region. Those taking part – young men aged between their late teens and early twenties – are “assessed” for their “mental and physical strength” to be jihadis. To quote Paul Williams of the Irish Independent (January 2015), who cites a foreign security source:
The young men were made endure the hardships of living rough in mountainous terrain, including swimming in frozen lakes and camping under the elements. No weapons or military tactics were used and no laws were broken. Those selected are taken aside for more rigorous indoctrination and sent abroad to join IS in Syria.
Alliance of Former Muslims can confirm the severity of these camps, initially hosted by the nebulous ‘Muslim Youth Ireland’ with assistance from the Clonskeagh Mosque, and now organised by the Muslim student group FIGO. To quote our co-founder Kareem, who spoke of his experience in an interview with Canadian Atheist (September 2017):
Successive governments in Ireland…have turned a blind eye to homegrown extremism for the past ten years. In February 2007, when I was seventeen, I attended a youth camp in the Wicklow Mountains. The point of this camp was to identify potential jihadist recruits: they had us dig graves for ourselves, which we would climb into to “get a feel for death”. We were ordered to march barefoot across sub-zero ponds, reaching up to our waists. We were made to climb a mountain in the pitch black of night and to find our own way back.
Above: Promotional image for the 2012 FIGO Winter Camp. Below: Photograph taken during the 2009 camp. Mustafidh Ghani can be seen sharing a meal with the Muslim youth.
A 2013 report published by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation found that as many as 26 people from Ireland were known to have taken part in the Syrian conflict. This report was published five years ago, making it quite likely that the number has since exceeded 50. The lead researcher in the project, Professor Peter Neumann of King’s College London, said:
What we found is that per capita, Ireland is probably the biggest (contributor of fighters) of all the countries we looked at because Ireland has a small population… It seems like a lot of the people, possibly all of the people who have gone to Syria, are part of a Libyan group which is called Liwa al-Ummah. They are of Libyan descent, they participated in the overthrown of Gaddafi and they returned to Ireland.
According to Assistant Garda Commissioner Michael O’Sullivan, most of these jihadis are likely to have since been killed in Syria. However, as of January 2018, the Gardaí were still monitoring at least 20 jihadis who could return to Ireland and commit acts of terror. In an article for the Irish Sun, Stephen Breen quoted a security source as saying:
The incident that took place in Dundalk [the murder of Yosuke Sasaki by Mohamed Morei] has raised this issue once more and highlighted how ill-equipped we are. However, while there was no terror link this time, it should serve as a wake-up call. We must learn the lessons.
There are 20 Irish nationals, some born here and some passport holders, who have fought in Syria and Iraq over the last few years. Some of them would be well known to Khalid Kelly and the Jordanian we booted out. A number of them are now missing. They have vanished and we don’t know where they are. They could be dead, travelling home or hiding out in Iraq. The simple fact is we fear what might happen if they return. While not all of these individuals fought alongside IS, a number would be extremely radicalised…
There have been a number of foreign-born individuals who have Irish children and who left from Ireland. In many cases they lived here for a number of years beforehand. If they return with their child then they cannot be stopped.
Umar al-Qadri is the imam of the Al-Mustafa Islamic Centre in Blanchardstown. Although a prominent critic of the Clonskeagh Mosque, Al-Qadri is not without his bigoted views – particularly with regards to Ahmadiyya Muslims. In a Facebook post on September 7th 2017, Al-Qadri not only described Ahmadiyyas as non-Muslims, but denied their systemic persecution in Pakistan, which has been well-documented by Amnesty International:
August 2006: In response to public criticism from the moderate sheikh Shaheed Satardien, the ICCI appears to issue a threat of ostracism to Muslims who call out the Islamist threat in Ireland. Describing Satardien as “one of your supposed own”, the ICCI provides us with a glimpse into its tribalistic nature:
We have 1,000 people coming to the mosque here at each of the weekend prayer meetings, and many are horrified that extreme and complete untrue statements are being made, and allowed to go almost unchallenged… We have had to deal with enough anti-Islam criticism through the years, but when it comes from one of your supposed own, it is even more difficult to deal with.
2. Other Radical Elements
In June 2017, Aaliya (26), the former bride of a jihadist, spoke to the media at the Al-Mustafa Islamic Centre in Blanchardstown. Aaliya explained that she was radicalised in the UK, and that she met the two London jihadis, Khuram Butt and Rachid Redouane, on at least twenty occasions in both the UK and Ireland.
In Aaliya’s understanding, there are at least 150 of these extremists living in the Republic, who can easily travel between the two countries via the North because they are not required to show any papers. Such radicals “laugh” at Ireland, she says, because they see us as “backward and behind the times” in assessing the threat of radical Islam. Aaliya wore a heavy disguise while speaking, and fears that her life may be in danger for doing so.
Indeed, in September 2017, it was revealed that Butt and Redouane had planned to stage a similar atrocity at a well-known Dublin landmark. It is understood that the two jihadists were convinced to change their plans because ‘Raza’, a 33-year-old Pakistani-born UK citizen wanted by Gardaí in connection with a €2.8m internet fraud from an Irish company in 2016, believed that Ireland would suit ISIS’ cause better as a fundraising base. To quote Paul Williams of the Sunday Independent:
Khuram Butt and Rachid Redouane…carried out reconnaissance two years ago on a number of high-profile locations in Dublin they had identified as potential targets. Butt (27) and 31-year-old Redouane, who was married to an Irish woman and lived in Dublin for a number of years, actively discussed carrying out at an attack in the capital according to reliable sources.
In August 2017, it was reported that the number of jihadi sympathisers being closely monitored by Irish authorities had swelled to more than 70. The numbers were previously estimated at 30 or 40, but the network of suspects has grown, as surveillance is stepped up on those believed to be providing logistical support for Islamist activists based in Europe. To quote Tom Brady of the Irish Independent:
The ‘top tier’ here involves between 20 and 30 sympathisers, all known to have contact with suspected terror activists in Europe. It is believed they are providing logistical support like false documentation and identity papers as well as fundraising. The second tier has more than 50 persons of interest, who are said to be involved in supplying similar back-up, but are not directly in contact with potential attackers. Some of the sympathisers based here are also believed to have helped in the travel arrangements, such as supplying forged passports and other false documents for potential fighters heading out to what ISIL describes as the ‘Caliphate’ (Syria and Iraq)…
As a result of the defeats they have suffered in the region in the past year, ISIL is now advising its potential recruits to stay where they are and carry out attacks in the countries where they live. The sympathisers in Ireland are from several countries and are either living legally or are asylum seekers, hoping to secure status to remain here. The 70-plus strong group includes many from North African countries, such as Algeria and Morocco, some from the Middle East, while others are from Pakistan and Egypt. If there is a threatened attack, it is likely to come from what is termed a “lone wolf” imitating the actions of jihadis elsewhere by renting or stealing a vehicle and driving into a crowded area…
However, an attacker is equally likely to select crowds pouring out of a sports stadium or entertainment venue in Dublin or provincial cities. Since the start of the year, Gardaí have been drawing up plans for temporary barriers to be erected around crowded areas to prevent attacks using trucks or other vehicles. Those measures have been trialled for St. Patrick’s Day and Easter celebrations in Dublin as well as the Pride rally in June. The use of barriers and bollards, capable of withstanding direct impact and preventing a vehicle from hitting its intended target, as well as a series of complex chicanes to slow down a driver, is planned to be extended in the coming months.
In 2006, Ismail Kotwal, then imam of the Blackpitts Mosque, was the subject of an RTÉ Prime Time documentary. In the programme, it was reported that during a religion class at De La Salle College Churchtown, he praised Osama bin Laden as “a great leader”, causing two Shi’a students to walk out in anger. Kotwal accused RTÉ of having “evil intentions” and twisting his words. During the programme, he said Bin Laden was “like the Prophet Muhammad – you can see he is a good god-fearing man”.
Kotwal’s mosque has one of the biggest congregations in the country, with roughly 600 Muslims gathering there each week for Friday prayers. In May 2011, as the world absorbed the dramatic news of Osama bin Laden’s death, the imam said he was not convinced that bin Laden had anything to do with 9/11:
You will not hear me celebrating his death, because I don’t know if he was guilty. I’m not willing to judge him.
Kotwal’s response elicited outrage from the Shi’a and Ahmadiyya communities in Ireland, with both the Clonskeagh Mosque and the Dublin Mosque remaining conspicuously silent. Dr. Ali al-Saleh was one of the few to condemn the remark, stating that the death of Osama bin Laden should cause jubilation among Muslims. Al-Saleh believes particular attention must now be paid to Irish colleges and universities, where the Muslim population is growing:
I’m very concerned that some Muslim organisations in colleges are dominated by radical thinkers who are brainwashing the minds of students. Where you see them holding lectures on Palestine, Gaza, Libya, you have to ask what their motivation is. Where we see the niqab and the burqa, that is another symbol of extremism and the repression of women. We want our students to concentrate on their studies and learn from the West about how to bring democracy to their countries, not to come here and become radicalised.
In the same month, when contacted by the Weekend Review, members of the RCSI Islamic Society were reluctant to speak about the death of bin Laden. Abdul-Malik Dredar, a Californian who has chaired the Irish branch of FOSIS, said the matter was not one of concern for their group. But another committee member, Faiz Moideen, was more forthcoming:
I think his death is not true. I think it is a conspiracy by the United States. It’s very hard to believe. I don’t think Osama bin Laden exists at all. He was created by the US. I think the US government blew up the Twin Towers. After it was bombed they attacked Afghanistan and then moved on to Iraq. Behind that they tried to get the oil and have influence in the Middle East.
In May 2018, An Bord Pleanála gave its approval to the Shuhada Foundation of Ireland for the construction of a four-storey mosque, community centre and primary school on the site of Warrenstown House in Blanchardstown. As far as we can tell, there has no proper inquiry by the State into the finances or the ideology behind this project. Neither has there been a concerted effort to ensure that the call to prayer is kept indoors, i.e. that it is not forced on the wider community.
Dr. Muhammad Taufiq al-Sattar, head of the Shuhada Foundation, claims to have secured enough funding via family funds, his life savings, and donations from the Muslim community in Leicester. However, we know that at least some of the money is coming from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. We suspect that the State is letting all these details slide because of the tragedy that befell Al-Sattar’s family in September 2013, who were mistakenly targeted in a revenge attack.
In November 2016, Dublin-based convert Khalid Kelly was killed in an attempted suicide attack on behalf of Islamic State in Mosul, Iraq. Kelly was well-known for his extremist views, even naming his son after Osama bin Laden, and would invite Muslims of a similar slant to his house for talks (halaqahs).
Before being killed in Iraq, Kelly would air his grievances on Facebook for the world to see. We have taken screenshots of these posts, and provide them here as a window into the mindset of Irish radicals generally. We would also recommend the anti-Israel ramblings of ‘Prince’ Omar Bhutta in this regard.
Many young Irish Muslims have also died fighting for ISIS in Syria. Their deaths have been facilitated by the jihadist group Liwa al-Umma, which was founded by Mahdi al-Harati. Some examples include the Egyptian-born Hudhaifa el-Sayed (died December 2012), the Libyan-born Shamseddin Gaidan (died February 2013), the Jordanian-born Alaa Ciymeh (died April 2013), and the Libyan-born Hisham Habbash (died June 2013).
Omar Bakri Mohammed, the founder of Al-Muhajiroun, was extradited from the UK to Lebanon in April 2005. In October 2014, he was sentenced to six years for founding a Lebanese offshoot of Jabhat al-Nusra. In November 2006, it was revealed that Mohammed had been using the internet to advocate an attack on Shannon Airport. A group called Vigil Network, established in 2005 to monitor and transcribe the online jihadist movement, discovered Mohammed talking to supporters in a chatroom and recorded them.
In sessions recorded in May, June and July 2006, one of his followers, who appeared to confuse Dublin Airport with Shannon Airport, is alleged to have described it as “where kuffar American forces fly to reach Iraq to kill our brothers”. He then went on to ask, “Should this be part of the battlefield?” Mohammed is alleged to have replied in the affirmative:
Hit the target, hit it very hard and that issue must be understood, the situation there is quite difficult.
In July 2005, Gardaí uncovered a plot by a lone jihadist to attack the Israeli Embassy in Ballsbridge, Dublin. It is understood that the individual, who is suspected of having links with Al-Qaeda members in the UK, visited the embassy in 2004 on the pretext of getting a student visa for a year’s work on a kibbutz. He then drew up plans of the ground floor area in preparation for an attack.
In May 2006, a group of 30 Afghani asylum seekers staged a protest against Direct Provision inside St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin. Several of the men were reported to have connections with the Taliban. An article in the Irish Daily Mail pointed out the irony of these men seeking refuge in a church rather than a mosque:
Here was a group of Muslim zealots, some of whom were allied in Afghanistan to political groups who treat Christianity with murderous contempt.
October 2012: The Facebook group ‘Islam, fastest growing religion in ireland’ shares a lecture by the late Al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki, saying “May Allah Accept his martyrdom” and “Ameen ya rab” (Amen, oh Lord). The group no longer appears to be active.
Pakistani doctor Qasim Afridi is an anti-American and anti-British Muslim activist. In or around 2009, he set up a group called Glór Moslamach, which he says is “opposed to integration”. Afridi urges Muslims not to burn flags at protests, “unless someone wants to burn the Zionist flag, since we do not recognize the Zionist state.”
Liam Egan is a fanatical Irish convert to Islam. He used to be a member of the cult-like International Churches of Christ. In 2009, Egan helped establish MPAC Ireland, an anti-integration lobby made up of Muslim radicals seeking to instate shari’a law. The domain http://www.mpac.ie was registered by Liam Egan, but now appears to be dead. The ‘About’ page betrays their whining mentality:
We have been made to feel as if Ireland has done us a great favour by allowing us to live and work here.
Although MPAC probably never comprised more than 10 people, it is nonetheless important to expose them, for such groups merely affirm in public what the Clonskeagh Mosque espouses in private. It is also important to do so because they are given credibility by gullible journalists in the Irish media – including Metro Éireann, self-styled as “Ireland’s only multicultural weekly”:
Another figure associated with MPAC is fellow convert Eoin Whelan. Yusuf Mirza, an Irish convert from the Ahmadiyya sect, has been fiercely critical of MPAC. He has described mpac.ie as a “hate site”, and worries that such groups may lead young Muslims to commit acts of terror. To quote from a blog post made in February 2010:
MPAC is consciously helping fan an ideology and create an atmosphere which is leading to young people seeking out those channels and contacts which could lead them to commit mass murder upon Irish people.
- August 2nd 2009: MPAC defends the arrest of Sudanese journalist Lubna al-Hussein for the crime of wearing trousers. A commenter, ‘Ali Al Sudanee’, defends flogging the women in public:
Hardly a beating, more a scolding for being silly little girls. A ‘blow’ that leaves no mark, does not break the skin nor draw blood would in any other setting be called playful.
- November 15th 2009: MPAC defends the Taliban along with Khalid Kelly’s involvement with them. To quote:
What Khalid Kelly does in Afghanistan is his concern and may Allah reward his intention… We do believe it is a right of the Afghan people to repel the invaders and if individuals wish to aid them believing this is pleasing to Allah, then that is their prerogative.
- November 19th 2009: MPAC defends the stoning of a 20-year-old divorcee to death in Somalia:
As is witnessed in Saudi Arabia, the prompt dealing with breaches of the law have resulted in a society free of the moral corruption now plaguing Ireland and Europe… Today we heard of another stoning in Somalia, and as repugnant as it may seem, this severe form of punishment simply highlights the importance Islam places on a moral society.
- November 29th 2009: MPAC calls for restrictions on the religious freedom of Christians in the Muslim world. To quote:
To begin the Muslim world might consider an immediate leveling of all church spires, the imposition of strict Muslim dress on all non-Muslims… In the old city of Damascus in Syria some spectacular examples of ancient Christian architecture rise into the night time sky, the question we might be asking now is should they?
- December 3rd 2009: MPAC defends the Salafist cleric Taj el-Din Hilaly, who argues that women are often to blame for rape.
- December 4th 2009: MPAC promotes the blood libel against the Jews.
- December 10th 2009: MPAC defends the death penalty for homosexuality.
- January 8th 2010: MPAC supports jailing foreigners who have sex outside of marriage in Muslim countries.
- January 20th 2010: Liam Egan describes the establishment of Israel as “the single most catastrophic event to befall mankind in the 20th century.” When asked about the Holocaust, Egan states:
What holocaust? I’ve heard of the attempted genocide of Jews and other minorities by Nazis, but a holocaust, no! And while they were terrible events, they were confined. The setting up of the Zionist State has brought immeasurable suffering to the Palestinians, insecurity to the world and the very real possibility of a new world war – it is the single most catastrophic event of the 20th century.
- January 22nd 2010: MPAC says non-Muslims will be “allowed to exist” under Islamic rule, but only if “they remain subordinated to Islam; pay Jizyah to the Muslims and keep the peace.”
- February 11th 2010: MPAC says that Valentine’s Day should be banned outright.
- March 5th 2010: MPAC supports the Taliban’s destruction of ancient Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan. To quote:
We praise the actions of the Taliban in destroying the idolatrous monstrosities that blighted the Afghanistan landscape.
- March 20th 2010: MPAC threatens Ahmadiyyas and apostates from Islam with violence. To quote:
We remind Muslims that there is no love for those who are renegades and apostates, only the sword within the Islamic state and within non-Muslim lands harsh condemnation and disavowal.
- March 25th 2010: MPAC calls for the oppression of Ireland under shari’a law. In May 2010, Liam Egan says that he wants to see
the black flag of Islam flying over the Dáil… a desire all of us have and one we all know will come to fruition.
- April 1st 2010: MPAC applauds the planned execution of a Lebanese visitor to Saudi Arabia, Ali Sabat, for the crime of “telling fortunes” on Lebanese TV.
- April 7th 2010: MPAC calls for a total ban on music.
- April 17th 2010: MPAC defends the Iraqi “resistance” who have killed, mutilated, raped and tortured innumerable Iraqis, and who have employed children with Down’s syndrome as suicide bombers in order to keep Saddam Hussein in power.
- April 21st 2010: MPAC proscribes death for those who insult the Prophet Muhammad. They then provide a list of all those who were executed by the Prophet for doing so.
- May 10th 2010: A member of Glór Moslamach, going by the name of ‘Rooh’, comments on the MPAC site. An individual named D. Moloney argues that drone strikes probably kill more terrorists than civilians. Rooh responds by suggesting that
people like Mr Baloney would consider it appropriate to attack and stab any Muslim in Ireland thinking that they are terrorists.
Rooh also peddles conspiracy theories. Unable to accept that Muslims are killing each other in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, he suggests that suicide bombings are caused by infidels:
…unless of course they send in a private company like black water and bomb Ireland and blame it on Muslims, like they have done in Iraq and Pakistan.
- May 26th 2010: MPAC defends the Saudi religious police (mutaween) for “dealing with free mixing” of men and women and for enforcing the nationwide ban on Harry Potter books.
The likes of MPAC fail to understand that, if Irish people are sceptical of Muslim immigration, it is largely due to their behaviour and others like them. This ignorance is best encapsulated in their response to an article by Mark Dooley in the Irish Independent. Writing in January 2006, Dooley celebrates the influx of Eastern Europeans into Ireland; he then contrasts them with Islamist migrants, who explicitly threaten our freedoms:
I believe the majority of Irish people do not feel threatened by those coming from Eastern Europe. And that is because it is generally understood that Polish workers benefit our economy and have perfectly integrated into this society. Having survived Hitler’s camps and Stalin’s gulags, they emerged from slavery to become model Europeans. That means they are fully committed to the rule of law and present no threat to this State… Mary Harney recognises that we have nothing to fear from Polish workers. Like Michael McDowell, she knows that of all immigrants in Ireland, the Poles have adapted most successfully.
As ex-Muslims, we agree wholeheartedly with Dooley’s analysis. We are broadly pro-immigration, if it involves those who support Western values. This precludes the likes of MPAC, whose totalitarian grievance-mongering only proves Dooley’s point about Islamists being different from Eastern Europeans. Indeed, in their response, MPAC suggest that what Dooley writes should be made illegal. Pouring scorn upon the idea of Muslims embracing peace and democracy, Liam Egan comments:
Of course, in abandoning Jihad we condone their subjugation of Muslim lands, and in giving up the idea that Islam is supreme we must take on board the idea that democracy is superior – in effect we must renounce our religion. Over my dead and lifeless body!
Islamic extremists in Ireland are allied with far-Left groups, such as the Irish Anti-War Movement. They have hosted pro-jihad conferences and demonstrations in Ireland – including this one held at the RDS in April 2009, promoting Hamas and other violent Islamists:
Pro-Hamas paraphernalia, including DVDs featuring armed Hamas fighters and Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, were on sale at the event. One of the speakers was Sheikh Yousef al-Baz, a Muslim cleric from the West Bank, who declared:
Resistance is the only way, and not negotiation… We supported the jihad and we will do so until Allah grants us victory.
Richard Boyd Barrett, chair of the Irish Anti-War Movement and People Before Profit TD, also addressed the conference. He told attendees that it was “entirely legitimate” to argue that “Israel has no right to exist.” He thus differs little from the extremist keynote speaker, Azzam Tamimi. To quote Mary Fitzgerald of the Irish Times, who covered the conference in its entirety:
Mr Tamimi drew applause when he praised insurgents in Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan. He said he disagreed with the Taliban’s views on certain matters, but added: “With regard to their attitudes to liberation I say ‘Long live the Taliban.”
Richard Boyd Barrett and the Socialist Workers Party in general have a track record of supporting Islamofascists against the United States and Israel. In March 2005, Barrett attended the conference of the International Campaign against American and Zionist Occupation, held in Cairo. This conference, whose organisers are now involved with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, was openly dedicated to supporting “the resistance in Palestine and Iraq”, as this image shows:
Barrett is so embittered towards capitalism that he lends his support to virtually anyone who despises the US – including Ba’athist loyalists and Islamic extremists. Writing in issue 262 of the Socialist Worker (August 8th 2006), titled ‘SOLIDARITY WITH THE RESISTANCE’, Barrett expresses his support for Islamist insurgents in Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon. He depicts such groups as being anti-imperialist, despite their explicit religious imperialism and anti-Semitism:
Given the US plan to manipulate the UN into sanctioning a war, a key part of our task is to resist calls for a western force or Irish troops to be sent into Lebanon to disarm Hizbollah. Rather, we must argue that the people of Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon have the right to resist colonial aggression and occupation.
In an editorial for this same issue, one of Barrett’s comrades positively gushes in his support for Hizbollah:
We are happy to join the Arab masses in expressing our solidarity with the fighters of Hizbollah and our hope is that they succeed in defeating the Israeli assault on Lebanon.
Of course, Barrett attended the notorious anti-Israel march held on January 10th 2009 in Dublin. At this march, the flags of both Hizbollah and Hamas could clearly be seen. This did not stop the Irish Anti-War Movement, the Socialist Workers Party, the Socialist Party, Sinn Féin or SIPTU from continuing to participate in the event.
Given all this, it is hardly surprising to see Barrett being quoted by Al-Qaeda in their magazine, Inspire (October 2010). A screenshot of the relevant page is provided below. The other people quoted by Al-Qaeda here are Sabah al-Mukhtar, Faisal Shahzad and Abd al-Bari Atwan:
October 2007: The Irish Anti-War Movement invites Ibrahim Mussawi, media relations officer of Hizbollah (Al-Manar TV), to address a conference in Ireland. On their website, they state that the conference
will challenge the myths and propaganda peddled by the main stream media and discuss practically how we can build the movement of resistance to war and occupation over the coming months. Unity of the anti war movement across organisational and territorial boundaries and solidarity with those who fight the illegal occupation of their country is what we seek.
Supporting this disgraceful event were the ‘anti-war’ groups PANA and the NGO Alliance. Those scheduled to share a platform with Mussawi included the current President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, as well as Patricia McKenna and Dan Boyle of the Green Party. Speaking in the Dáil on October 4th 2007, Fine Gael TD Alan Shatter condemned both the conference and its endorsement by Irish MPs:
I think it is a disgrace that some Members of the Houses of the Oireachtas, including a member of a party that is in Government [Green Party], will, according to the leaflet published by the Irish Anti-War Movement, share a platform with a member of Hizbollah at this meeting.
Thankfully, this conference never did take place. Mussawi was ultimately refused a visa on security grounds, though this hasn’t deterred the Irish Anti-War Movement from inviting other fanatics to their events – including the demented Steve Salaita, who wishes that “all the fucking West Bank settlers would go missing”:
Commenting on Facebook on January 9th 2011, Niamh McDonald of the Socialist Workers Party declares her support for Hamas. Incredibly, she claims that “Hamas are the only group that are fighting for freedom”. She doesn’t seem to understand that Hamas are Islamic imperialists, who thus have no intention of creating “a secular free state where all religions, ethnicities and cultures can live together peacefully”.
Omar Dakhane, an Algerian secular Muslim, is baffled by the far-Left’s support for Islamofascism. In a blog post written in March 2012, Dakhane expresses our sentiments as ex-Muslims perfectly:
This position of the far-left to defend Islamic extremists demonstrates a cognitive dissonance of an unbridled magnitude. As a secular Muslim Arab who has lived my entire life in the Middle East and North Africa, I find the level of convergence of the far-left in the West and the Islamists (who represent a far-right ideology) both perplexing and alarming…
Do the extreme left have any idea what the goals of the Islamists are? As someone who stands for liberal views and stands against Islamists and their extremist ideology, I was very surprised to learn that the Islamists’ biggest defenders weren’t the Arab and Muslim world, but are, in fact, the far-left Westerners and Israelis who claim to be liberal. In the course of publishing my personal blog, I have been viciously attacked on numerous occasions by far-leftists in the United States, Europe and even Israel…
My position as an Arab who lives in the Arab world and deals with the issues I write about on a daily basis was not enough to convince these attackers that I was in a better position in truly knowing what is happening in the Arab world, despite the fact that most of them live thousands of miles away from the Arab world and do not speak Arabic. Most of them seem to be under the impression that Islamist acts of terror against the West and Israel only occur because of Western imperialism or support for Israel, when in fact the Islamists have been committing terrorist acts against the Arab world for centuries… It has nothing to do with Western imperialism, but, in fact, has to do with Islamist imperialism.
On the morning of March 9th 2010, 60 Gardaí descended on three houses in Cork and Waterford. Seven people – four men and three women – were arrested on suspicion of being involved in a plot to assassinate Lars Vilks, the Swedish cartoonist. Gardaí were acting on information provided by the FBI in America, where Colleen LaRose, believed to be the mastermind of the alleged plot, had been under arrest since returning from Ireland in October 2009.
LaRose, from Pennsylvania, was charged with “recruiting men online to wage violent jihad” in Asia and Europe. She was convicted on January 6th 2014, and sentenced to 10 years. Irish authorities have confirmed that LaRose travelled to Cork in autumn 2009 where she met the accused. Ali Charaf Damache, an Algerian with Irish citizenship, has since admitted to his involvement. Gardaí stated that he planned to set up private prayer meetings for those who supported extremist Muslim views.
On April 20th 2018, a 15-year-old boy was arrested by Gardaí after threatening to blow up his school and “slit throats” of other students in the name of ISIS. The boy, who attends a school in south Dublin, made two manic phone calls to emergency services at lunchtime. He was then promptly escorted to Sundrive Road Garda Station for questioning. A senior source told the Herald:
The reality is that if this situation happened in the UK or the United States, there would have been a very different reaction. The school would have been put in lock-down and there would have been a huge armed response.
3. FOSIS and the Muslim Student Association
The Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS) is a British-based organisation which exists to coordinate the activities of Muslim student groups throughout Europe. It is essentially a Salafist youth front, as evidenced not only by the fanaticism of its chosen speakers, but the strict gender segregation endemic to its operation. We will limit our focus here to the Muslim Student Association (MSA) of Trinity College Dublin, drawing upon a broader study of Islamic Societies in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
The stated mission of the MSA is to help “bring awareness and educate members on aspects of Islam.” However, based on the evidence of its activities over a period of ten years, it is clear that the MSA is promoting Islamist values and norms – in the main, by a repeated pattern of inviting Islamists to speak at its events. These speakers are notable for their homophobic and misogynistic views, as well as their advocacy of the death penalty for apostates.
Adnan Rashid is the head of the Hittin Institute as well as a “senior researcher and lecturer”. He has also served in this capacity at the Islamic Education and Research Academy (IERA), run by the extremist preacher Abdul-Raheem Green. Green has been caught on camera preaching at Hyde Park Corner, calling for a Jewish man to be removed from his sight. “Why don’t you take the Yahudi [Jew] over there, far away so his stench doesn’t disturb us?”, he can be heard to say.
IERA’s board of advisers has included Bilal Phillips, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing. The IERA was under investigation by the Charity Commission in 2014 and is highlighted in a report by the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, titled Evangelising Hate. The charity has also been linked to funding terror groups in Syria.
Rashid was hosted by the MSA, in collaboration with Discover Islam, in Trinity College on October 24th 2012. At this event, he delivered a speech titled ‘Freedom of Speech or Provocation’, in which he states that it should be forbidden to insult the Prophet Muhammad or Islam under Irish law. Some of his statements include, from a post on Facebook:
Any Muslim who rejects Shari’a Law apostatises from Islam. A Muslim has no choice but to accept Shari’a and submit to it.
It is worth noting that under shari’a law, the penalty for apostasy is death. As ex-Muslims, we take particular exception to these demagogues being hosted by respectable institutions. On the issue of marital rape, Rashid has offered the following slice of wisdom:
Women in the Muslim world are generally not raped by their husbands because they don’t usually refuse to have intimacy with them.
Rashid has also shown support for extremist preacher Zakir Naik, who was banned from entering Britain in 2010 for his abhorrent views – most notably, that “All Muslims should be terrorists.” Rashid has expressed his support for Naik, saying “If Zakir Naik is an extremist, then who is normal?”
Haitham al-Haddad is an advisor to IERA and former judge on the Islamic Shari’a Council. He considers it a duty of Muslims to engage in jihad to “fight everyone until they establish the law of Allah”. Haddad supports the death penalty for ex-Muslims, and even says that “their blood is halal (fair game)”. Haddad was hosted by the MSA, again in collaboration with Discover Islam, on March 8th 2013.
Haddad is widely considered to be an extremist. In early 2015, over 2,500 people signed a petition urging a London university to prevent him from “preaching hate” on the campus. In November 2015, Copenhagen City Council gave the Islamic Society in Denmark a 30-day deadline to condemn controversial statements made by Haddad and other members of the group. According to city officials, Haddad “accepts violence against women and believes that Jews are the descendants of pigs and apes”.
Haddad has referred to homosexuality as “evil”, “a scourge” and “a criminal act”. On female genital mutilation, he is unapologetic:
The sunnah (recommended) way of doing it, the proper way of doing it, it is the consensus of all the scholars that female circumcision is a sunnah. I haven’t come across any scholar who said it clearly that it is not sunnah. All of them they said that it is sunnah, in fact some scholars say it is wajib (obligatory).
And on adultery, Haddad explicitly advocates stoning as punishment, it being the harshest penalty of all:
The penalty of death for it, whenever applicable, is done in the harshest manner possible. Which is what? Stoning.
Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari is a speaker associated with Darul Iftaa (Institute of Islamic Jurisprudence). In a joint event with the RCSI Islamic Society and the DIT Islamic Society, the MSA invited Al-Kawthari to deliver a talk titled ‘Mr. or Mrs. Right?’ on February 14th 2015. Al-Kawthari also supports the killing of adulterers, saying:
If the crime of fornication is carried out by an individual who is sane, mature, Muslim and is married to a spouse who is also sane, mature, Muslim, and their marriage is consummated, then the legal punishment is that he/she will be stoned to death.
On how women ought to behave, Al-Kawthari advises them to stay at home:
Women should not come out of their homes unnecessarily, such as loitering outside in the middle of the night, or wandering in the bazaars and city centres exposing their bodies and displaying their beauty, where they can become prey for corrupt men.
Yusuf Estes is a speaker, preacher and an advisor to IERA. Estes was hosted by the MSA on January 28th 2006. The title of the talk was ‘A Priest Who Became a Muslim Sheikh’. Estes believes that homosexuality and adultery should be dealt with the death penalty. On his website, as Peter Tatchell has pointed out, Estes links us to a fatwa ruling which reads as follows:
In order to maintain the purity of the Muslim society, most Muslim scholars have ruled that the punishment for this act should be the same as for zina, i.e. a hundred lashes for the man who has never married, and death by stoning for the married man. Some have even ruled that it should be death for both partners, because the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, said: “Kill the doer and the one to whom it was done.”
Such is the calibre of speakers hosted by the MSA, facilitated by Trinity College in the name of “tolerance” and “diversity”. They will happily give extremists like Kamal el-Mekki a platform to call for the killing of apostates; but when Maryam Namazie, a prominent ex-Muslim and human rights campaigner, was scheduled to speak in Trinity a few weeks later (March 2015), she was not allowed to do so without severe restrictions being placed on the event, so as to “not antagonise Muslim students”.
Some of our members have received text messages from the UCD Islamic Society and related groups. We have replicated a selection of these texts here, all of which have the same atrocious syntax and vaguely sinister undertone:
- . . . . . HELL . . . . . .WHERE WILL YOU GO? . . . . .ARE YOU PREPARED? TOMORROW, DIT, AUNGIER STREET, 9:30AM. THE EVENT WE HAVE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR. ‘THE DAY OF JUDGEMENT CONFERENCE’. WILL YOU BE THERE? Spread the word. (8/10/2010)
- The illuminaty, Free Masons, Mass control of people, the hidden agenda. . . UCD ISOC PRESENTS-”A. . NEW. . .WORLD. . .ORDER” by Abdul Karim, writer of ‘From the Shadows’. THURSDAY 21st OCTOBER, 6:30pm, THEATRE P, ‘WESTERN TERRORISM’, FRIDAY 22nd OCTOBER, south circular road mosque. Part of charity week. Spread the word. Let everyone know. (21/10/2010)
- IT STARTS . . . “THE NEW beginning, THE ETERNAL JOURNEY” . . . Featuring. . . all the way from australia iA . . .SHEIKH BELAL ASSAD. FOSIS IRELAND INVITES ALL UNIVERSITY STUDENTS TO THE CAMP OF THE DECADE. 24-27th DECEMBER. ACTIVITIES INCLUDE: SPORTS, QIYAM UL LAYL, WORKSHOPS, TALKS AND ORIENTEERING. CAMP WILL FOCUS ON THE FIQH OF SALAH. Limited spaces available. Contact email@example.com (24/10/2010)
- Moazzam Begg is an ordinary man who has endured an extraordinary fate, he was imprisoned in Khadahar, Bagram airbase (Afghanistan) & the worlds most infamous prison Guantanamo Bay where he was abused and tortured mercilessly for a crime he never committed and released without charges by the USA without any apology. Listen to his story next week as he travels for the 1st time across the isle on a FOSIS Ireland tour in Galway NUIG (Monday 6pm), Cork UCC (Tuesday 6pm), Dublin (UCD 7pm Wednesday) & Trinity College (Thursday 7pm). Join the struggle for justice! (6/11/2010)
- “The rules of the game have changed”. Don’t miss out on the final speech of the ‘Enemy Combatant Tour: My Life in guantanamo bay’ Tour with Br Moazzam Begg (Ex-guantanamo bay detainee) today at 7pm in johnathan swift lecture theatre, arts block, trinity college dublin. Tell all Ur friends and acquaintances via SMS, phone & word of mouth! (11/11/2010)
- Brian Lenihan said in a speech last february that Shariah complient banking is a booming sector until he made a decision that was hit out by John Bruton due to the IMF loan decision, the state of kelantan in msia introduced the Islamic gold standard model earlier and Eric Cantona is calling for a banking revolution! Is it not time that the world sees the real deal they can get from Islamic finance. No point saying it if we don’t know what it actually is, so come/chalo/jom this Friday to a presentation by shaykh/dr Haitham al haddad (UK & Saudi Arabia) in Robert emmett theatre, arts block, trinity college at 7pm. Fwd this SMS to all Ur contacts plz! Jzk 🙂 (24/11/2010)
- “In this world is a paradise…whoever doesn’t enter it will not enter the paradise of the hereafter” Shaykh-ul islam Ibn Taymiyah, wanna know what it is?…..come to the next Fosis Ireland & RCSI Isoc course on “LORD OF THE WORLDS – The Foundations of Faith” Tawheed 101 series. Shaykh Dr. Haitham al-Haddad (Saudi Arabia & UK) speaking in Saturday November 27th, event STARTS @ 10am in Houston Theatre, RCSI, st stephens green. 2nd course in IFI Dublin mosque after dhur on Sunday 28th Nov and will focus on other elements of aqeedah such as the angels, jinn & qadr (predestination). Hope to see you there insha’allah!! [Spread the word – Forward this message pls] (25/11/2010)
- Tawheed 101 series. Why? Because the key to paradise is tawheed and each key needs to have the right combo teeth to open the lock. Speaker is Shaykh Dr. Haitham al-Haddad (Saudi Arabia & UK) today Saturday November 27th, event STARTS @ 10am in Houston Theatre, RCSI, st stephens green. Hope to see you there insha’allah!! [Spread the word – Forward this message pls] (27/11/2010)
- Asslamulaykum wrh wbt, don’t miss out on the figo students camp on the 24th-27th iA. give me an SMS reply or email if u wanna register for it during the Xmas holidays. Jzk 🙂 (7/12/2010)
- “Dedicated to the Youth” lecture by Shaykh Belal Assad (Melbourne, Australia) after Maghrib today 4pm. A motivational speaker who can make people cry subhanAllah! Missing this rare opportunity is insane! Tell everyone you know inshAllah! Lecture will be in IFI Dublin mosque (28/12/2010)
- ”Blind Eyes, Not Heart: Why a Blind Man Embraced Islam” FOSIS Ireland islam awarness month Speakers Tour! Abu Hafsah Jerome Clare (USA) shares his journey of how he embraced islam whilst being a professional wrestler and then learning Qur’an in Braille. Do not miss the tour in NUIG Galway (tomorrow), next tuesday in IT Tallaght, UCD (Wednesday) and Trinity College Dublin on Thursday. Please spread the word around! (6/2/2011)
- Islam awarness month 2011 ‘The Great Debates Tour 2011 presents ”Does God Exist?” Lecture @ ROOM 050, IT TALLAGHT, 5PM February 16th (TODAY)! Speaker: HAMZA ANDREAS TZORTIS – an international public speaker on Islam, a writer, lecturer & intellectual activist. Currently the Senior Researcher & Lecturer for iERA. See you there! (16/2/2011)
- Disaster alert!!!! ‘’Tsunami….Kashmir quake…Haiti quake…Pakistan floods….Japan destroyed….next?….’’ Earthquake of the Hour – Making sense of what’s happening around us!! Please join us in a gripping talk by Uthman Lateef, piecing the puzzle together and relating current disasters happening around the world to revelations that took place some thousands of years ago!! Today!! 14th April 2011 Time: 6pm Venue: Lecture Theatre, Arts Block, Trinity College Dublin! Be there!! Not to be missed…[pls forward to ur contacts] (14/4/2011)
Phone numbers: +353 877744255, +353 861761360, +353 877530405, +353 877760914
4. Da’wah Efforts and the Pakistani Connection
Here in Ireland, Islamic proselytising efforts (da’wah) are very organised and widespread. Having interacted with the Pakistani mission extensively, Nadeem provides us with an overview of how they operate. He gives us a personal example of how such groups use their political influence to curtail free speech, with major host sites like WordPress having no choice but to comply. We then take a look through an assortment of leaflets distributed by Discover Islam, covering a wide range of issues.
4a. Testimony of Nadeem
I am a Waterford-based asylum seeker from Pakistan. Here, I would like to share a story about a Pakistani man who was granted asylum status in May. I do not consider him a close friend, but I do help him interpret letters he receives from state authorities. On June 2nd 2018, I found that he was not present in the hostel. When I called him, he told me that he was in Cork to preach Islam for the month of Ramadan. This concerns me, as to my knowledge, this man doesn’t understand a word of the Qur’an. Just as I have seen in Pakistan, these da’wah organisations thrive on recruiting the illiterate to spread their ideology of terror.
Indeed, da’wah groups in Pakistan are the biggest hurdle to a progressive society. Their preachers radicalise people by reiterating Qur’anic promises of heavenly virgins for martyrs and romanticising about the Caliphate. One such preacher would be Tariq Jameel, who refuses to condemn the Taliban and who often visits the UK to promote Deobandi Islam (Wahhabism). He has been invited on television to condemn Islamic terror countless times, but has never done so. Here in Ireland, his followers are very active; indeed, I have encountered some of them at the da’wah table on O’Connell Street, evangelising under the banner of ‘Discover Islam’.
Then there is the Barelvi movement, a fundamentalist branch of the Hanafi sect. The ‘Sunni Barelvi’ are led by the radical cleric Mumtaz Qadri, who ordered the killing of Salman Taseer in 2011 for his opposition to Pakistani blasphemy laws. They are the same people who killed Asad Shah in Glasgow in March 2016, just because he was of the Ahmadiyya sect. Qadri, who was convicted of Shah’s murder, is considered a hero by Barelvi groups hoping to gain political office and funded by British Pakistanis. The famous preacher Hanif Qureshi, who incites young Muslims to kill blasphemers, has also visited the UK on multiple occasions to participate in speaking.
The political influence wielded by fundamentalist da’wah groups should not be underestimated. Indeed, they have successfully lobbied the Pakistani government to have “blasphemous” WordPress sites taken down – including my own, as of June 22nd. Here is the message I received from WordPress, featuring the ridiculous complaint lodged by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority:
In Pakistan, every terror group has some connection to these da’wah organisations. Their respective political parties hold rallies every second day, and attempt to blackmail elected representatives who seek to reform the Pakistani constitution. I have attempted to expose these groups on social media for more than 9 years now. In return for this, I have received death threats from various religious individuals – many of whom are living in the UK and Ireland, but who want shari’a law in Pakistan. Here are two examples of these threats, which I will finish with:
4b. Da’wah Leaflets
If one were to approach the da’wah table on O’Connell Street, one would quickly find oneself inundated with glossy leaflets promoting Islam. Understanding that modern, educated Irish people won’t accept “It’s in the Qur’an” for an answer, the authors of these leaflets aim to make the more unscientific and unethical aspects of the faith more palatable, from creationism to the oppression of women – even co-opting progressive terminology for this purpose. Here are some examples:
If there is one tendency which defines Muslim apologists, it is confirmation bias. Da’wah activists will point to any Qur’anic verses concerning nature to argue that it predicts all modern scientific knowledge, and is thus the word of God. In this booklet, leading Muslim creationist and conspiracy theorist Harun Yahya provides us with a summary of ‘Qur’anic miracles’, which he presumably compiled in a rare moment away from snorting cocaine and running a prostitution ring.
In Islam, women are objectively inferior to men. The testimony of a Muslim woman in court is equal to half that of a man’s. Women are not permitted to work outside of the home, nor are the rights of divorce or inheritance entirely equal. A Muslim woman cannot marry a non-Muslim man, though the converse is perfectly acceptable. And yet, above we have a booklet arguing that Islam is the key to women’s liberation. Written by convert Na’ima B. Robert, the burqa-clad masochist outlines how submission to the will of Allah is the greatest liberation of all.
In this leaflet, Islam is presented as an eco-friendly alternative to the capitalist way of life, from moderation in eating to protecting the rainforests. It is proposed that under “a truly Islamic State, as has existed in the past, there would be punishments for publicly witnessed crimes”, thus eliminating the scourge of littering. In reality, after the Hajj season has ended each year, the birthplace of Islam resembles a rubbish dump:
5. Survey of Irish Muslims
The first ever poll of Irish Muslims was taken in December 2006. The results of this poll, despite the innocent-sounding headline – ‘Vast Majority of Muslims Very Happy Here’ – belie the notion that fundamentalism is purely a fringe phenomenon. These are the most worrying statistics:
- 59 percent of Irish Muslims disagree that “people in Ireland should be free to say whatever they want, even if it offends other people’s religious beliefs”.
- 70 percent of Irish Muslims are opposed to children being raised in marriages with mixed religious influences.
- 82 percent of Irish Muslims are opposed to any restrictions on women wearing the veil to work.
- 36 percent of Irish Muslims would prefer Ireland to be ruled under shari’a law.
- 37 percent of Irish Muslims would like Ireland to be governed as an Islamic State.
- 57 percent of young Irish Muslims (under 26) believe Ireland should become an Islamic State.
When three Irish citizens were killed in a terror attack on a Tunisian beach in June 2014, Umar al-Qadri invited Irish Muslims to march against the barbarity of ISIS. He organised the march under the banner ‘Not in My Name’, which took place on O’Connell Street on July 26th.
Of the 63,000 Muslims resident in Ireland, only 50 showed up for this event. Both the Clonskeagh Mosque and the Dublin Mosque declined to participate. Writing in the Irish Independent, Maeve Sheehan gives us an idea of why the turnout was so low:
At the march in July, Dr. al-Qadri said that one of his peace council members was physically assaulted by another Muslim while distributing flyers at a mosque for the march. Some three individuals said: “We are ISIS, are you going to protest against us?”, he said.
6. Halaqah Notes
From the 2006 to 2008, one of our co-founders, Kareem, attended weekly halaqahs hosted by Muslim Youth Ireland. These meetings, presided over by Mustafidh Ghani, former youth coordinator for the Clonskeagh Mosque, were initially held at Ozanam House in Mountjoy Square; the location was ultimately changed to the Blackpitts Mosque. Here, we provide a series of notes taken by Kareem at the time.
- Omar Bhutta, chair of FOSIS Ireland: “Kareem, have you ever been to Iraq?” Me: “No, but I would like to go someday, maybe soon.” Omar: “To kill the Americans?” Me: “Not really.”
- After a futile discussion with Moosa Patel, chair of UCD Islamic Society, Patel addresses me as follows: “I’ll be your friend, Kareem, I’ll hang out with you and all, but ultimately, one of us is going to hell.”
- Nabil, deputy youth coordinator: “I was at one of the shrines of Imam Hussain, when I saw a Shi’a brother praying towards the shrine instead of Mecca. I told him he was praying in the wrong direction, but he didn’t listen, so I turned him around myself. He turned back towards where he was facing, so I turned him again. Finally I was so angry that I stopped him from praying altogether.”
- Mustafidh’s brother-in-law, Suhaib, presides over one of our halaqahs at Tallaght Mosque while the former is in Birmingham. He stresses the importance of “not taking the Jews or the Christians as your friends,” for they are, “obviously”, not going to be allowed into paradise.
- After a halaqah at Ozanam House, Moosa Patel exclaims: “I have no respect for any homosexual.” This was after Mustafidh expressed his disgust at the recent Gay Pride parade in Dublin.
- During iftar at Tallaght Mosque, Mustafidh expresses his solidarity with Ba’athist insurgents – “Saddam wasn’t that bad, really” – along with his disgust at “the sympathy shown to the Americans by the Shi’a.”
- Upon seeing Muhammad Sabbagh listening to his iPod, Omar Bhutta declares all music to be haram, forbidden. He then demands that Muhammad put the iPod away. When Muhammad refuses to do so, Bhutta yanks the headphones out of his ears.
- Adam Sabbagh, one of the more unscrupulous youths in attendance: “There’s nothing wrong about downloading films. It’s not as if you’re stealing from a Muslim.”
- Omar Bhutta: “Among the people conquered by Saladin were the Fatimids. He destroyed them.” Nabil: “Fatimids were Shi’as, weren’t they?” Omar: “Yes, but most Shi’a today wouldn’t even consider them Muslims. Also, they paid money to the Christians to protect them, which is a disgrace.”
- Mustafidh recommends The Maidens of Jannat to everyone in attendance. The book provides a detailed account of the voluptuous women who await martyrs and other righteous believers in paradise:
- Mustafidh reads aloud passages from Milestones by Sayyid Qutb, a leading figure of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1950s and 1960s. Regarding a moderate version of Islam for Western society, Qutb says:
Islam cannot accept or agree to a situation which is half-Islam and half-Jahiliyyahh [ignorance]. In this respect Islam’s stand is very clear. It says that the truth is one and cannot be divided; if it is not the truth, then it must be falsehood. The mixing and co-existence of the truth and falsehood is impossible. (Page 146)
We will not change our own values and concepts either more or less to make a bargain with this Jahili society. Never! (Page 35)
There are people – exponents of Islam – who are defeated before this filth in which Jahiliyyahh is steeped, even to the extent that they search for resemblances to Islam among this rubbish heap of the West, and also among the evil and dirty materialism of the East. (Page 155)
Promoting the domination of Western civilisation by Islam, Qutb speaks of the formation of a vanguard (tali’a) modelling itself after the companions of Muhammad, who will fight “worldwide jahiliyyah” using a two-fold approach. Preaching will persuade people to become “true” Muslims, while the movement will use “physical power and Jihad for abolishing the organisations and authorities of the Jahili system”. (Page 65)
Foremost amongst these authorities is the “political power which rests on a complex yet inter-related ideological, racial, class, social and economic support” (Page 69), but ultimately includes the whole human environment. Force is necessary, Qutb explains, because it is naive to expect “those who have usurped the authority of Allah” to “give up their power merely through preaching.” (Page 68)
Remaining aloof from Jahiliyyahh, its values and its culture, preaching and abolishing authority within it, the vanguard will travel the road, gradually growing from a cell of three individuals which increases “to ten, the ten to a hundred, the hundred to a thousand, and the thousand increases to twelve thousand – and the Islamic society grows and becomes established.” (Page 116)
Jihad must not merely be defensive but offensive, and its objective must be to carry Islam “throughout the earth to the whole of mankind, as the object of this religion is all humanity and its sphere of action is the whole earth.” (Page 83)
Regarding how Muslims ought to behave towards those non-Muslims, Qutb says that true Muslims should strive to maintain a “sense of supremacy and superiority” on the road of renewal, but it is important that they also prepare themselves for a “life until death in poverty, difficulty, frustration, torment and sacrifice” (Page 175) and even to brace themselves for the possibility of death by torture at the hands of Jahiliyyahh’s “arrogant, mischievous, criminal and degraded people.” (Page 167)
Regarding “world Jewry”, Qutb asserts that Jews everywhere are actively engaged in conspiracies whose purpose is
to eliminate all limitations, especially the limitations imposed by faith and religion, so that Jews may penetrate into [the] body politic of the whole world and then may be free to perpetuate their evil designs. At the top of the list of these activities is usury, the aim of which is that all the wealth of mankind ends up in the hands of Jewish financial institutions which run on interest. (Page 123)
Regarding “Western conspiracies” against Islam, Qutb asserts that such conspiracies are centuries-long, and have led Western powers to devise a “well thought out scheme, the object of which is first to shake the foundations of Islamic beliefs and then gradually to demolish the structure of Muslim society.” (Page 128)
Mustafidh concludes his series of Qutb rants with the following gem, in which the Muslim Brotherhood founder directs his anger not just at Christian theology and the capitalist system, but at individual freedom and the emancipation of women, concluding that Islam offers a better way for humanity:
Look at these concepts of the Trinity, Original Sin, Sacrifice and Redemption, which are agreeable neither to reason nor to conscience. Look at this capitalism with its monopolies, its usury and whatever else is unjust in it; at this individual freedom, devoid of human sympathy and responsibility for relatives except under the force of law; at this materialistic attitude which deadens the spirit; at this behaviour, like animals, which you call ‘Free mixing of the sexes’ at this vulgarity which you call ‘emancipation of women’, at these unfair and cumbersome laws of marriage and divorce, which are contrary to the demands of practical life; and at Islam, with its logic, beauty, humanity and happiness, which reaches the horizons to which man strives but does not reach. (Page 155)
7. The Muslim National School
In the late 1980s, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al-Maktoum, the Deputy Ruler of Dubai, used his gambling riches to finance the purchase of land to house the Muslim National School in Clonskeagh, Dublin, which was established in 1990. Al-Maktoum then agreed to sponsor the construction of a mosque on this same site, which would become the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland. In this concluding section, co-founder Kareem describes his experience as a pupil of the Muslim National School for eight years.
Testimony of Kareem
I am an Irish citizen of Iraqi descent. I attended the Muslim National School (MNS) for my primary education, from 1994 to 2002. In that time, as is to be expected of faith schools generally, I was taught all manner of abhorrent beliefs and practices.
The MNS is recognised by the Department of Education. It receives support from the Department in the form of the salaries of the full-time teachers (excluding the religion teachers), language support teachers and special needs assistants, a capitation grant, secretary and caretaker’s grants, payment for 90 percent of the school furniture, and provision of transportation for children to and from the school. The amount of pupils in the school at present numbers around 250.
The teachers employed at the MNS include twelve or thirteen from the Department, as well as four or five part-time Sunni Muslim teachers for Qur’anic, Arabic and religious education. The administrative hierarchy of the school consists of the Imam of the Islamic Foundation of Ireland (Hussein Halawa) as Patron of the school, followed by the Board of Management, which consists of two members appointed by the Patron, two members elected by the parents, the principal of the school and a teacher’s representative. The six members then co-opt two more from the wider community.
The MNS teaches the Irish curriculum for primary schools for the natural sciences and humanities, i.e. mathematics, science, English, geography, etc. This is a condition which must be met in order for the school to be recognised and funded by the Department of Education. As for the teaching of religion, this is left entirely to the administration of the school without any interference from the Department, and this is where the problem lies.
I attended the MNS from junior infants to sixth class. Looking back, I can only describe the institution as a bastion of childhood indoctrination. I recall having to memorise entire chapters of the Qur’an by heart, without understanding a word of it in English. This did not worry us at the time, for as children, we were dazzled by the promise that anyone who memorises the Qur’an is guaranteed paradise. To quote a well-known hadith in this regard:
Verily the one who recites the Qur’an beautifully, smoothly, and precisely, he will be in the company of the noble and obedient angels. And as for the one who recites with difficulty, stammering or stumbling through its verses, then he will have twice that reward.
Another issue was the sectarian nature of religious education. We never learned a thing about other world religions, monotheistic or polytheistic. If we ever were taught about Christianity, it was that Christians “worship three gods” and are thus destined to burn in hell, polytheism (shirk) being the biggest sin in Islam. As for Judaism, all we were told was that Jews are the “descendants of apes and pigs” and that Judgement Day will never come until they are driven out by the Muslims. The relevant hadith from Sahih Muslim reads as follows:
Judgment Day will come only when the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them, until the Jew hides behind the tree and the stone, and the tree and the stone say: “Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him” – except for the Gharqad tree.
Now, let us talk about prayer (salat). In the MNS, prayer is not an option: rather, all pupils must participate in midday and afternoon prayers (Dhuhr and ‘Asr) without exception. I have witnessed classmates being physically struck by Ali Selim for trying to skip prayers. We were told with the utmost sincerity that, during Friday prayers (Jumu’a), those birds which remained on top of the mosque were “Muslim birds”, whilst those that flew away were “Jew birds”.
Fridays were particularly difficult to endure. Before the actual prayers took place, we were forced to sit through an hour long speech (khutba) from Hussein Halawa, which was always of the most furious character. Of course, not being fluent in Arabic, I could never understand what he was saying. Halawa would pause halfway through to allow Ali Selim to provide a brief summary in English.
In March 2007, I returned to the Clonskeagh Mosque to attend a funeral service. Prayers were being held for two female pupils, who were the tragic victims of a car crash in Galway. It was an extremely difficult time for the local community, Muslim and non-Muslim alike. What did Ali Selim have to say about this in front of hundreds of attendees, including representatives of the media?
Rather than mourning for these children, we should be congratulating their parents, for they have been guaranteed paradise!
Selim would go on to say that the crash was unavoidable, employing the doctrine of predestination (qadar) to justify his stance. Indeed, in Sunni Islam, there is no such thing as free will. Nothing is allowed to come to pass unless it is the will of Allah – hence the phrase insha’Allah, Arabic for “if God wills”. A related phrase, masha’Allah, indicates acceptance of what God has ordained for a believer’s life.
Yes, the MNS had no shortage of strange ideas to indoctrinate children with. There was a peculiar obsession with the devil, to whom responsibility was attributed for the most innocuous matters. We were taught that oversleeping is caused by Satan urinating in our ears, that whistling is the call of the devil, and that to yawn at length is to invite Satan’s laughter. All of this, once again, was in accordance with the hadith literature – specifically, Sahih al-Bukhari:
A man was mentioned to the Prophet (peace be upon him) who had kept on sleeping until morning and had not got up for the prayer. The Prophet said, “Satan urinated in his ears.”
The Prophet said, “Yawning is from Satan, and if anyone of you yawns, he should curb his yawning as much as possible, for if anyone of you during the act of yawning should say “Ha”, Satan will laugh at him.”
Perhaps just as disturbing as what the MNS directly taught, however, is how the school would encourage children in the belligerent beliefs imparted to them by their parents. Spurred on by the Muslim teachers, I would hear my classmates denounce anything to do with popular culture as haram. I was warned not to “get involved” with Pokémon, because ‘Pikachu’ means “Be a Jew”. I was urged not to watch The Simpsons, because it is “written by Freemasons”.
The most harrowing incidence of this relates to the 9/11 attacks. I recall arriving into class the day after the attacks took place. To my horror, everyone in the room was celebrating. When I expressed sorrow over the deaths of three thousand innocent people – it was just me and one Iranian boy who did so – I found myself accused of being “brainwashed by the Western media” by children who were barely eleven years old, with no objections from the Muslim teachers. In this regard, I am compelled to quote from The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins:
If children were taught to question and think through their beliefs, instead of being taught the superior virtue of faith without question, it is a good bet that there would be no suicide bombers. Suicide bombers do what they do because they really believe what they were taught in their religious schools: that duty to God exceeds all other priorities, and that martyrdom in his service will be rewarded in the gardens of Paradise. And they were taught that lesson not necessarily by extremist fanatics but by decent, gentle, mainstream religious instructors, who lined them up in their madrasas, sitting in rows, rhythmically nodding their innocent little heads up and down while they learned every word of the holy book like demented parrots.
I graduated from the MNS in spring 2002. My younger sister, however, attended the school for a further six years. From what Zeena tells me, things only got worse in that time. When she reached sixth class in 2008, the school began to enforce the hijab (veil) on all female pupils. This was overseen by female teachers Rabi’a Patel (mother of Moosa Patel) and Nawal al-Hossein, the wife of Yahya al-Hossein. Given that the hijab is supposed to cover one’s modesty, it is quite disturbing that prepubescent children should be forced to wear it.
Music, it would seem, has also been targeted in recent years. When Zeena brought her iPod into the school for the first time, she was told in no uncertain terms that “Allah will put bullets down your ears”. Colm McGlade, former principal of the MNS (retired December 2010), has lamented the school’s assault on music:
Music is a grey area and musical instruments are not permitted here, which I think is a pity, as it would be great to keep the choir in time. There are some parents who have made a noise about some things in the school recently but it’s not something I would like to discuss.
I will finish by noting the dubious financial practices of the ICCI. The mosque has, in fact, been repeatedly criticised by its auditors for its treatment of charitable cash donations and money received under Islamic rules. To quote Colm Keena of the Irish Times (March 2018):
The auditors of the Al Maktoum Foundation, the company that runs the centre, have expressed concern over a period of years that the cash is not being properly recorded and is being held at the centre rather than banked.
Above: 4th class graduation, 2000. Kareem is sitting in the second row, two from the right. Below: 6th class girls’ handball team, 2008. Zeena is sitting in the first row, three from the right.
Left: Hussein Halawa. Centre: Ibrahim Halawa. Right: Yusuf al-Qaradawi.
Left: Faysal Mawlawi. Centre: Ali Selim. Right: Salman al-Awda.
Left: Anjem Choudary. Centre: Wajdi Ghunaim. Right: Yahya al-Hossein.
Left: Othman al-Khamees. Centre: Khaled al-Otaibi. Right: Ibrahim Buisir.
Left: Umar al-Qadri. Centre: Khuram Butt. Right: Rachid Redouane.
Left: Ismail Kotwal. Centre: Abdul-Malik Dredar. Right: Muhammad Taufiq al-Sattar.
Left: Khalid Kelly. Centre: Mehdi al-Harati. Right: Mustafidh Ghani.
Left: Hudhaifa el-Sayed. Centre: Shamseddin Gaidan. Right: Alaa Ciymeh.
Left: Hisham Habbash. Centre: Omar Bakri Mohammed. Right: Liam Egan.
Left: Qasim Afridi. Centre: Eoin Whelan. Right: Taj el-Din Hilaly.
Left: Ahmed Yassin. Centre: Richard Boyd Barrett. Right: Azzam Tamimi.
Left: Sabah al-Mukhtar. Centre: Faisal Shahzad. Right: Abd al-Bari Atwan.
Left: Ibrahim Mussawi. Centre: Steve Salaita. Right: Niamh McDonald.
Left: Adnan Rashid. Centre: Abdul-Raheem Green. Right: Bilal Phillips.
Left: Zakir Naik. Centre: Haitham al-Haddad. Right: Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari.
Left: Abdul-Karim. Centre: Yusuf Estes. Right: Kamal el-Mekki.
Left: Bilal Assad. Centre: Moazzam Begg. Right: Abu Hafsah Jerome Clare.
Left: Hamza Andreas Tzortis. Centre: Uthman Lateef. Right: Tariq Jameel.
Left: Mumtaz Qadri. Centre: Tanveer Qadri. Right: Hanif Qureshi.
Left: Ali Charaf Damache. Centre: Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al-Maktoum. Right: Patricia McKenna.
Left: Omar Bhutta. Centre: Moosa Patel. Right: Adam Sabbagh.
Left: Harun Yahya (Adnan Oktar). Centre: Na’ima B. Robert. Right: Sayyid Qutb.