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Top o’ the mornin’ to ya, Allah - Ireland’s new Holy Orders.

Top o’ the mornin’ to ya, Allah - Ireland’s new Holy Orders.

Author(s):

By Gearóid Murphy:

-Imagine if the Irish Church existed in a milieu where criticism and scrutiny of it, and it’s believers, were considered out of bounds for non-enthusiasts. If we decided that Catholic “community leaders” were uniquely responsible for analysis or comment. It rings a bell doesn’t it. Remember?

Or imagine if Nell McCafferty and her contraception crusaders were considered “Christianity-phobic”, not only by the faithful, but also the secular chattering classes. I am not going to cast too many aspersions on Irish Muslims or the ascribed leaders. But we have to ask questions and we must feel free to do so, whether men of the cloth call us ‘Islamopobic’ or not.

The censorship around Islam in Ireland is very clear, and it is clearly by design. Eammon Scanlon, Fianna Fail TD for Sligo–North Leitrim recently fell foul of it. Poor chap. He asked Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality about “the number of Muslims who have applied for Irish citizenship in the past three years; the number of these who are legally living here for the past three years; and if she will make a statement on the matter”. Now, lets not analyse the question itself too much. If you can’t see the basic rationale behind it, then go buy your morning croissants in Paris and count the heavily armed soldiers you meet.

But that’s not even the point. "It was a query from a constituent'' as deputy Scanlon said. ''He asked me did I know the information and I said I didn’t''. Simple. He was fulfilling a duty to his constituents by asking the question of Government. So why in the aftermath was he compelled to prostrate himself at the alter of political correctness in a slew of apologies? The warning shot rang out to polititians- don’t you dare. It's simply not worth it.

The grand marshall of this outrage was Shaykh Dr. Umar Al-Qadri, Chair of the Irish Muslim Peace & Integration Council. This is where political leaders go to for photo-ops and dialogue on “countering extremism”. One of their stated aims is “to work for a more enlightened appreciation of Islam and Muslims in wider society”. Sorry, but I don’t fancy relying so heavily on my local Bishop for a more “enlightened” appreciation of goings-on within the church, or certain questionable aspects of the belief system itself, and the same goes for Islam. Call me crazy. It seems that in this regard, the media and political establishment in general are more than happy to kiss arse.

The other thing to watch out for is the eagerness of some to push the ultra-nationalist bigot far right hate narrative. Shaykh Dr. Umar (at it again) called on Cork City Council to hold public meeting on 'rising tide of Islamophobia' & hate crimes”. Basically, an Imam was assaulted in the city, “He was knocked to the ground, his arm was injured and his hat was stolen”. While unacceptable, it’s not indicative of something, nor is it a reason to shut up about Islam. I could be roughed up for my funny hat too by a few scuts. It’s a single, solitary, tenuous incident. -My question: Most ‘believers’ in Islamophobia, i.e, people who think Political Islam is a force for global theocracy, has huge power, undermines universal freedoms, and provides an environment for terrorism and sedition- are peaceful people who only disseminate ideas and utterly condemn assault on any group or individual. Why then are we allowed to smear Islamophobes and perpetuate hate, based on an extreme and possibly unrelated incident? I suggest, nay demand, that Shaykh Dr. Umar Al-Qadri apologise immediately for his Islamophobic-phobic comments. And I’m “calling on” Cork City Council to host a public meeting on the rising tide of Islamophobia-phobia and political censorship.

I’m being facetious, but see how ridiculous this is when you hold a mirror up to it? Don’t be taken in by the seductive aroma of obscurantism from slippery Shaykhs or their cultural relativist luvvies. Think for yourself, and challenge those who tell you “you can’t say that”, from either direction. We are on the periphery of problems with Political Islam in continental Europe and the UK. Ireland can do very well here in the future, including it’s Muslims. But it’s a matter of political and intellectual freedom or bust. Ireland is not a theocracy, and must never again behave like one.