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Muslim militant Osama Bin Laden

Irish Muslims react to bin Laden death

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Muslim militant Osama Bin Laden

The head of one of Dublin’s most prominent mosques has said people should be celebrating the death of Osama Bin Laden.

Dr Ali al-Saleh, who is at the helm of a congregation of about 300 Iraqi Shi'a Muslims in Dublin's Milltown believes Bin Laden’s death should cause jubilation among Muslims.

"From the very day he was eliminated, we should be celebrating. That man did more harm to our religion than anyone else,” he told the Irish Independent.

"He hijacked the name of Islam for more than two decades and used it as a banner for all of his atrocities and crimes.

Dr al-Saleh, who is considered one of the most moderate voices among the Irish Islam community, says that Bin Laden caused shame and embarrassment to the Muslim community.

"Every time I have to take my shoes off at the airport, I curse Bin Laden. He brought nothing but shame and embarrassment to every Muslim."

On the north-side of Dublin city Sheikh Allama Umar Qadri who runs the Al Mustafa Islamic Cultural Centre in Blanchardstown, agrees that the news of the terrorists death is a positive thing.

"The majority of Muslims in Ireland are relieved and happy that this man's life has ended because he is responsible for so many problems in the world in the last decade,” he said.

"But there is a minority who are mourning his death, calling him a martyr and praying for him, the same people who have collected money outside Irish mosques for his cause.

"It's very sad because most Muslims trust their imam and whatever he says, they will believe.

"These people are narrow-minded and afraid that if they integrate in Irish society they will assimilate.

"After 9/11 and 7/7, there were two reactions in the Muslim world. One is that the attacks were totally wrong, that the killing of innocent people is never justified and Islam is against that.

"Then there are people who say it is nothing compared to the number of people who have been killed in Afghanistan or Iraq.

"Even though what they are saying is right, that ideology opens doors to extremism and radicalism, which we are desperately trying to stamp out."

One Muslim follower isn’t that bothered by the death of Bin Laden.
Sheikh Ismail Kotwal runs a Blackpitts mosque in Dublin's Liberties which is home to one of the biggest congregations in Ireland with more than 700 Muslims gathering there every week for prayers.

The British-born imam  says he is not convinced of Bin Laden’s involvement on 9/11.

"I have never expressed any sympathy for him or his cause," he told the Irish Independent.

"If he was a bad guy, then he deserved to die.

"But I don't know if he or al-Qa'ida were responsible for the 9/11 bombings.

"You will not hear me celebrating his death because I don't know if he was guilty. I'm not willing to judge him."
 

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