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Dublin boy ‘taught hate’ at Muslim Sunday school

Police cannot draw clear line between Islamic doctrine and hate crime.


GARDAI are investigating a Muslim Sunday school where a five-year-old boy was allegedly taught about Islamic extremism, hatred of Christians and murder.

The investigation began after the boy drew an image of a gunman shooting people while shouting the phrase “Allahu Akbar” (God is great) in school. The slogan is synonymous with jihadist suicide bombers and gunmen who shout it before commencing an attack. The child also told his teacher he could not trust her because she was a Christian.

The incident was reported to gardai last month by both the boy’s school in north Dublin and Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri, an imam from Dublin who chairs the Irish Muslim Peace & Integration Council (IMPIC).

Al-Qadri, a vocal critic of Islamic scholars who refuse to denounce extremism, said he was shocked and angered.

“This is just one case where someone has tried to radicalise a very young child,” he said. “Imagine teaching a child this type of material. This is not just a problem for Irish society; it’s a huge issue for the Muslim community here in Ireland. We cannot exclude the possibility that this is happening around the country.

“We cannot turn a blind eye to these cases as some of my colleagues are doing because the problem will only develop and get bigger and bigger until it’s too late. If one person brought up in this country does something terrible, it will reflect on us all.”

Al-Qadri said Ireland’s imams and Islamic scholars are deeply concerned about what is being taught to Muslim children in private religious classes at weekends. “The problem is not in the mosques; radicalisation is happening elsewhere, out of sight, he said.

“There is no control on what is being taught to Muslim children or who is teaching them in weekend religious schools. In many cases, these people are not qualified to teach the Koran. People don’t realise how dangerous this can be.

“The Nazis didn’t teach the German people to kill Jewish people; the Nazis taught them to first hate the Jews.”

Al-Qadri urged the government to establish a governing body to regulate and control what is taught to young Muslims as a matter of urgency.

IMPIC last week launched a programme aimed at tackling Islamic preachers who support extremism at a conference on radicalisation held at Trinity College Dublin. The council is asking that all visiting Muslim speakers abide by the norms of peaceful and respectful discussion and denounce extremism and religious intolerance.

Garda declined to comment on the case as it involves a child but security sources say they are liaising with Muslim representatives. Sources at Garda HQ said there were legal difficulties in proving that what is being taught to children goes beyond religious teaching and falls within the realm of hate crime.

The force has appointed officers to liaise with all Ireland’s 23 mosques.

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