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Sunday 11 November 2007

Muslim issue will turn and bite us if we fail to act

It's time to show the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland tough love, writes Ruth Dudley Edwards

YOU can't get away from the Muslim issue in Britain unless you keep your eyes and ears closed. Week after week, criminal courts are dealing with a procession of young Muslims charged with terrorist offences, and civil courts and employment tribunals are clogged with Muslim allegations of religious discrimination, often inspired by the Islamist radicals who want to make it impossible for the decent majorities -- Muslim and non-Muslim -- to live together in amity.

Thursday provided two examples of the kind that make the media salivate. First, there was Samina Malik -- who had security clearance to work in the airside Heathrow departure lounge, in her spare time studied bomb-making manuals, dubbed herself 'the Lyrical Terrorist' and posted on the internet poems about training seven-year-olds to murder non-Muslims (sample: 'Kafirs your time will come soon,/and no one will save you from your doom') -- who was found guilty of 'possessing articles likely to be useful to terrorism'.

Second, there was an interview with Sarah Desrosiers, an enraged owner of a hair salon which specialises in "urban, funky punky" cuts, who is being sued for £15,000 for injured feelings by 19-year-old Bushra Noah -- whom she refused to employ because she wore a hijab that covered all her hair. "To me," said Miss Desrosiers, who has already spent £1,000 fighting the case and fears ruin, "it's absolutely basic that people should be able to see the stylist's hair. If an employee were wearing a baseball cap or cowboy hat, I would ask them to remove it at work."

Miss Noah, however, who is "devastated and depressed" at having been turned down by 25 hair salons, has decided to make an example of Miss Desrosiers.

I hope that such ludicrous carry-on may yet galvanise Londoners into stopping Tablighi Jamaat (an organisation described by the French intelligence service as an "antechamber of fundamentalism") from building a £300m gigantic mosque complex just beside the site of the 2012 Olympic games.

I can hear the voices of Irish readers saying, "That couldn't happen here. Aren't we just doing great with integrating Muslims?"

Well, up to a point, yes. Ireland is certainly working hard to avoid the catastrophe that the ideological multiculturists have brought upon Britain. But -- as Conor Lenihan must know well in his capacity as Minister for Integration -- there are seriously knotty problems to be addressed if Ireland is not to have a rude awakening.

Let's look at the Clonskeagh mosque. And don't listen to me. Listen to Muslims.

A couple of weeks ago, Dr Ali Al Saleh, imam of the Shia mosque in Milltown, expressed his worry that the Sunni Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland (ICCI) -- which incorporates the Clonskeagh mosque -- had invited Sheikh Salman Al Awda to address a conference called Our Children, Hopes and Realities. The Saudi Arabian Al Awda, a fundamentalist, had recently described Shias as "non-Muslims". Not surprisingly, Dr Al Saleh felt such sentiments endangered "the harmonious relationships in Ireland of Sunni and Shia Muslims".

The ICCI was unrepentant, but what do you expect from an organisation that was also proud to announce that the conference would feature the Egyptian Sheikh Wajdi Ghunaim, who has been banned from Canada as a Hamas-fundraiser and member of the Muslim Brotherhood, and who has a musical party piece with the refrain "No to the Jews, Descendants of Apes" .

But then, as Dr Shaheed Satardien, another excellent imam, frequently points out, the ICCI is sympathetic to the Sunni Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, which teaches its acolytes to speak softly while infiltrating the institutions of the countries in which they live.

The ICCI produces rhetoric about peace and love, but houses the European Council for Fatwa and Research, a fundamentalist body that opposes any modernisation of Sharia law. It is presided over and visited by Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a nasty piece of work who defends the murder of homosexuals and the suicide bombing of Israelis, and who has been seen on television defending his role in stirring up the controversy over the Danish cartoons that led to many deaths.

I hope that Ministers Brian and Conor Lenihan are paying attention to Dr Satardien's call for the Irish Government to stymie the radicals by establishing strict controls over Islamic education. The Government might also encourage urgent research of the kind that has shown that many public libraries and mosque bookshops in Britain carry hate-filled Islamist propaganda largely financed by Saudi Arabia.

It is necessary to be tough. Some time ago, the University College Dublin Islamic Society website was a hotbed of anti-Semitic propaganda, but after some public criticism, it got its act together. It's time we showed tough love to the ICCI, which surely is letting down former president Mary Robinson and Hamdan Al Maktoum of Dubai, politician and racehorse owner, who opened it in 1996.

Let's start by asking where it gets its money from. And why it honours a man who wants to conquer Europe for Islam.

Or will we continue -- until the first bomb goes off -- to pretend all is well in our Muslim garden?

Ruth Dudley Edwards

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