UK extremists may try to radicalise Irish Muslims

Archive image of Dr Umar Al-Qadri at a protest in O’Connell Street against Islamic State – Not in our Name – on behalf of Irish Muslims in Ireland. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

A leading Muslim cleric has expressed concern at the growing interest being shown by extremist Islamic groups in the UK in trying to radicalise young Irish Muslims and recruit them.

Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri said extremism was not yet a significant problem among Ireland’s estimated 60,000 Muslims, but the Irish Islamic community needs to be vigilant.

“A few years ago, radical Muslim groups would have had no interest in Ireland, but now I see they have an interest.

“ I am seeing organisations that have their own offices in England and I am seeing them opening branches here and trying to get a hold in the Irish Muslim community,” said Dr Al-Qadri.

He said he was aware of one radical Muslim who had moved to Ireland from the UK in December but he was not aware that he was attempting to radicalise or recruit Muslim men.

However, radicalisation does not require extremists to live in Ireland, as much grooming and recruitment is done via websites, as happened with the 30 or so Irish Muslims who have gone to Syria, he said.

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