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Muslim leaders ‘need to assess security after assault’

Chairperson of the Irish Muslim Council Shaykh Dr Umar Al Qadri has said Muslim clerics and faith leaders will need to assess their personal security and safety precautions at mosques after an assault on him last week.

Dr Al-Qadri said he was attacked after he met two people at a prearranged meeting in Tallaght, Co Dublin, last Thursday night.

Speaking on RTÉ’s News At One, Dr Al Qadri said “things will change absolutely” in the wake of the attack and that security measures need to be in place to “prevent anything negative happening”.

“I’ve had messages from different imams, they’ve tried to visit me, and they’re all saying now [that] we need to have security measures in place,” he said.

“Imams are not going to travel alone, they’re not going to go to a place they do not know.

“If anybody would like to have a religious blessing, they would be asked to come and travel to the mosque rather than the imam travelling.”

However, Dr Al Qadri said he has been inundated with messages of support from Irish people following the assault and thanked them.

“My emails, the Islamic centre’s emails, my WhatsApp and Twitter is completely filled with positive messages from people, solidarity from people, and I’m so thankful to them,” he said.

“When I look at what happened last Thursday night, I think something so positive has come out because it has shown me that I was right; the vast majority of Irish people are not racist.

“They are not anti-Muslim or anti-migrant. They are people that are amazing, friendly, warm and compassionate. They define what it is to be Irish.

“I have always said in the past that Ireland is amazing, it’s unique, but that does not mean that in Ireland we are immune to hate.”

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