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Intolerance will destroy Irish society

Intolerance will destroy Irish society

Author:
Publication: Irish Independent
Date: February 25, 2007
URL: http://www.unison.ie/irish_independent/stories.php3?ca=53&si=1782998&issue_id=15301&eid=280341

[Note from the Hindu Vivek Kendra: With respect to the Muslims in India, a Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University in New York, a Muslim born in India, said that they were not well integrated because they are frustrated that they are not able to learn Urdu. Since most of the Muslims in Ireland would probably be from Pakistan, we are sure that if they are able to undertake their studies in Urdu, they will be very well integrated in the Irish society.]

Sir - Philip Watt's letter (SI, 18/02/07) on Muslims in Ireland, whilst maybe well meaning, skirted around the issue at hand which is: how can Ireland avoid the problem, common in other EU countries, of rising radicalism amongst young Muslims?

Mr Watt is entirely correct that historically Muslim immigrants to Ireland integrated very well. However, as the recent Irish Independent/Prime Time poll indicated, it is their children, and the newer immigrants, who are not integrating well.

Fifty-seven per cent of those under the age of 25 want Ireland to be an Islamic state. That is clear evidence that young Muslims are not content with the existing Irish society and want to change it to a state that the vast majority of Irish people would not be happy in. Whilst this fact alone raises many disturbing questions like why are they becoming radicalised? Where and by whom are they becoming radicalised? It also demonstrates that rising fundamentalism is a reality in Ireland.

It is not that it is criminal or illegal to desire Ireland's transformation into a Muslim theocracy; it is that it indicates a failure to share the democratic liberal values of Irish society, a society that would repudiate such a transformation as much as it shows an intention of subverting the existent law. That failure is above all not only a failure to integrate into the host community but indicates a total rejection of that community's culture.

By direct experience, not just via the theorising of social engineers, we now know that segregationist communities, operating as a social apartheid, are a disaster waiting to happen. Events in Belfast, Paris, Bradford, Glasgow, Copenhagen and other EU cities illustrate the folly of communities failing to interact with each other.

This is a problem and the first step in dealing with any problem is to remove one's head from the shifting sands of political correctness and admit that it exists. It is sad to notice that Watt is singing the very same song as his friends in certain circles of the Arab community.

As a Muslim I would welcome Mr Watt's efforts to combat racism, intolerance and bigotry for such evils will destroy our society. However, societal cohesion does not only depend on the absence of such evils, it also depends on the various elements of that society engaging with each other. Repudiation of Irish society evident in the attitudes of young Muslims is definitely not an engagement. It indeed is a disengagement that could lead to communal fracture. I would like to bring it to his attention that this disengagement from society must be tackled rather sooner than later.

In the words of Pope John Paul II: Let us join together to strengthen peace through the resources of peace itself.
Sheikh Shaheed Satardien,
Imam: West Dublin Islamic Society,
Supreme Muslim Council of Ireland


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