One of Ireland’s most senior Islamic clerics has backed the deportation of refugees who become involved in illegal activity here.
Shaykh Dr Muhammad Umar al-Qadri issued the call as he warned that “sinister elements” were trying to stoke dangerous divisions between the Muslim and Christian communities in Ireland.
Dr al-Qadri, a lifelong campaigner against fundamentalism, said migrants who got involved in crime deserved to be punished.
“Refugees involved in illegal activity should be deported. They do not appreciate the host society and ruin it for others,” he said.
Ireland is preparing to welcome the first groups of Syrian refugees accepted as part of the EU response to the Mediterranean migration crisis.
Dr al-Qadri’s comments also came as senior Islamic leaders criticised as fake a website apparently designed to fuel tensions.
The site, hijra2ireland.com, called for a “new golden age of Islam” by encouraging Muslims to migrate to Ireland. It was slated by both Dr al-Qadri and Dr Ali Selim of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland.