Church of Ireland
Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross
Thursday, 30th June, 2016
Bishop Paul Colton Condemns Attack on Cork Imam
The Church of Ireland Bishop of Cork, the Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton, has issued the following statement upon hearing the news of the attack in Cork on Sheikh Ihab Ahmed, Imam of the Blarney Street Mosque in the City:
I am horrified to receive reports of the assault last evening in Cork on our friend Sheikh Ihab Ahmed of the Blarney Street Mosque in our City. It appears this nasty incident, in the course of which Sheikh Ihab was knocked to the ground and stolen from, is not the first occasion on which he has been targeted.
I condemn, unreservedly, this attack, as I denounce also any similar aggression – physical, verbal or of any kind – which targets people because they appear to some to be different: in this instance, arising from race and religion. Racism and Islamophobia have no place in our society.
Christians in particular are called to be bridge-builders and to promote understanding and peace. Regardless of religious outlook, it is incumbent on us all to work together in society to educate, to foster understanding, to nurture good relationships and to build communities strengthened by diversity and inclusion. Ironically, this is the very approach Sheikh Ihab himself adopts; he and the Muslim community in Cork had invited the religious leaders and others in Cork to the Iftar tomorrow evening breaking the fast in the holy month of Ramadan. This attack on him is profoundly upsetting.
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