#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 3°C Monday 1 March 2021

Muslim cleric claims Irish Muslim children are being taught 'hatred of other communities'

Dr Muhammad Umar Al-Qadri says regulation of religious classes is needed.

Image: Facebook/Shaykh Dr-Muhammad Umar Al-Qadri

A PROMINIENT IRISH Muslim cleric has claimed that Muslim children are being taught “hatred of other communities” at unregulated weekend classes in Ireland.

Shaykh Dr Muhammad Umar Al-Qadri, founder of the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council (IMPIC), has said that the Irish government needs to help the Muslim community set a standard syllabus for these Islamic classes.

Speaking this afternoon on RTÉ’s News at One, Shaykh Umar said that if Muslim children are not taught their religion correctly, they could become radicalised:

My concern is that children may be taught incorrect teachings of Islam and children may develop a distorted version of Islam. These teachers are often unqualified in Islamic studies, they have no training and there is no body to regulate them or transparency in the syllabus.

“If these children are taught incorrect teaching of Islam, it may leave the children very vulnerable to radicalisation,” he added.

Shaykh Umar said that he believes this problem is “widespread” and claims that he has been approached by parents of children who are concerned that their children are being taught beliefs that are “incompatible with real Islamic teaching”.

“Islam believes, for example, in pluralism and mutual respect and tolerance and I have been told that certain children are being taught hatred of other communities,” he claimed.

Shaykh Umar has previously been vocal about the need to denounce extremism in Ireland. He has claimed before that up to 100 of the 50,000 Muslims in Ireland are silent supporters of  Islamic State with radical ideologies.

As part of his latest claims, he says that the majority of mosques do not conduct proper checks when hiring teachers.

“Anybody could start teaching to children as long as he is able to recite the Qu’ran and give his time, because many of these  people are volunteers,” he said, before adding that some safeguards need to be put in place.

It is the job of the Muslim community first and foremost, however, the Muslim community on its own may not be able to do this without being pushed to do it.

“The Department of Education could facilitate a role where Muslim communities and various different mosques could come together and develop a standard syllabus.”

“Just to leave it to the Muslim community, it may never happen.”

Read: Jihad.info: The site set up by a Muslim cleric to counter the “facade” of ISIS >

Read: Irish Muslim assaulted at Dublin mosque by extremist sympathiser >

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

Read next: