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Immigrant Council of Ireland: Islamophobia on Rise Across the State

Immigrant Council of Ireland: Islamophobia on Rise Across the State

The latest statistics from the Immigrant Council of Ireland reveal that reports of Islamophobia rose by 35 per cent in 2015 after the council began reaching out to Ireland’s Muslim community for more information on racist abuse.

Despite the introduction of a Garda pulse system last December to record instances of racism and hate crime, Ms Buczkowska says many people are uncomfortable contacting the gardaí and lack confidence in the Irish justice system.

Shane O’Curry, director of European Network Against Racism Ireland (Enar) – the national network of anti-racism civil society organizations – says the drop in reports of hate crime is not an accurate reflection of the prevalence of racism in Irish society, adding that more than three-quarters of racist incidences go unreported.

‘Drop in the ocean’

Mr O’Curry also claimed Islamophobic language, and references to Muslims as terrorists, bomb makers and members of (ISIL), is becoming increasingly apparent in Irish society, adding much of the rhetoric used oversees towards Islam is being “recycled in Ireland. It’s as if the language of islamophobia is international but being spoken with an Irish accent.”

Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri, Imam of the Al-Mustafa Islamic Centre in Blanchardstown, says any fear or phobia towards members of Ireland’s Muslim community is due to “ignorance”.

Dr Umar Al-Qadri agrees that many Muslim women suffer high levels of racism due to their dress. “On public transport, if a woman is wearing a hijab, someone will shout at her, ‘are you being oppressed?’ I spoke to one lady studying in Dublin who says because of her hijab she feels people judge her on her looks rather than her educational experience.”

“We get used to these names but it should not happen because it’s the first step towards extremism and marginalizing a community. These people – those responsible for racist attacks – do not represent the overwhelming majority in Ireland. But, if we don’t address it, this problem will become worse.”

source : Shafaqna
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