A Galway based imam has called on imams across Ireland to unite in condemning the terrorist attacks in Brussels where bomb blasts at an airport and subway station have left more than 30 dead.
Imam Ibrahim Noonan of the Galway Ahmadiyya Muslim community condemned Tuesday’s attacks as “evil actions”, an “act of terror on the people of Brussels”, and an “attack upon Europe”. He has called on “all the imams in Ireland and be counted, to condemn this attack, and to tell theses radicles, ‘We do not support you!’”. To those who hold radical views, or who support Islamist terrorism, he said: “Stay away from our Mosques and keep away from our country.”
Attacks carried out by radicals have led to a view among some in the west to tar the majority of Muslims as either terrorists, or terrorist sympathisers. As a result, Imam Noonan said it is vital the Muslim community as a whole - Ahmadiyya, Sunni, and Shi’a - make clear their opposition to the use of violence and to terrorist groupings claiming to be acting in the name of Islam.
“I want to condemn with the strongest possible words these attacks carried out by so-called Muslims,” he said. “Even though there are no words I can say to the people of Ireland to reassure them this has nothing to with Islam, with the news coming out that those who have done this are using Islamic slogans. After the attack in Paris, I said it would not be the last attack, and again I say this won’t be the last one. I also say that until all the imams in Ireland and Europe stand up together and unite against theses terrorists, such attacks won’t stop.”
Imam Noonan is also inviting any Galwegians with questions to visit the Maryam Mosque in Ballybrit to discuss issues of concern.
The national president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Ireland, Dr M A Malik, also condemned the attack.
“This unprecedented attack on different locations, targeting innocent people, is against everything we stand for,” he said. “We stand shoulder to shoulder with the civilised world. We believe these terrorists are enemies of freedom and humanity, but their campaign of terror should not break our spirit or dampen our resilience as proponents of world peace. No effort should be spared by the international community in deepening counter-terrorism collaboration and strengthening our resolve as peoples of the free world to protect our common values and reject extremism.”