The bishop of Elphin has criticised those who identify as “Faith-filled” while spreading fear and mistrust of migrants and refugees, particularly those who are Muslims.
Bishop Kevin Doran told this paper he has witnessed prejudice in Irish society and that there’s an “implication” that because people are Muslim they are more likely to be terrorists. His comments come after the “savage” attack on two mosques in New Zealand which left 50 people dead last Friday.
Speaking to The Irish Catholic he said: “I suppose just in keeping my ear to the ground, at meetings I’ve been at and looking at social media, I’ve found that people who would classify themselves in some cases as traditional Catholics and Faith-filled people seem to, in relation to migration and care of asylum seekers and stuff, they’ll say ‘oh well these Muslims are putting our civilisation at risk and they pose a threat to us’.”
“To define a whole category of people, or a whole nation, or a whole religious group as being in some way more prone to terrorism than any other group is irresponsible.”
In his experience Muslim people living in Irish society do so “peacefully and participate fully”.
“We have large numbers of Muslim children in our Catholic schools and they contribute to the ethos in many ways.
“One of the interesting things about Muslims is while they are of a different faith they tend to have a level of commitment to faith that in many ways we might well sit up and pay attention to.”
Although in some Middle Eastern countries their human rights may have a long way to go, he said that “in Ireland we have to have the highest possible standard of respect for others, especially those who are pro-life Christians”.
“Individuals or groups of people who are persecuted or targeted because of their religious beliefs deserve our support and our solidarity, irrespective if they’re Christians, Muslims or Jews.”
Before this paper went to print there was still 34 people in hospital and 12 in intensive care in Christchurch Hospital in New Zealand, following the March 15 terrorist attack.