A Dublin-based Muslim cleric has said that he is concerned that Muslim children may be taught incorrect teachings of Islam and may develop a distorted version of Islam at weekend Islamic education classes held throughout Ireland.
Shaykh Umar al-Qadri, who is head Imam at Blanchardstown mosque, told RTÉ’s News At One that teachers attending the weekend classes are often unqualified in Islamic studies, they have no training and there is no regulation or transparency of the syllabus.
He said if children are being taught incorrect versions of Islam, it may leave them vulnerable to radicalisation.
“Some youngsters or teenagers that have travelled from Ireland to join ISIS, or to join other militant organisations, they were being brought up in Ireland,” he said.
“They used to attend Koran schools and weekend Islamic schools in Ireland. So how was it possible that these children were able to be radicalised?”
Muslim communities should come together to work out agreed standards, he added, and the Department of Education or another government agency could play a role in facilitating the process.