One of Ireland’s leading Islamic scholars has rejected claims by an Imam that Muslims can vote to remove constitutional protection for unborn children.
“Abortion is an act of murder and who can sanction murder?” Dr Ali Selim from the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland told The Irish Catholic. “If you give people permission to do that basically you are giving them permission to commit murder”.
Dr Selim was clarifying the teaching of Islam on abortion following widely-reported comments by Dr Umar al-Qadri, chairman of the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council (IMPIC), who said he would support repeal of the Eighth Amendment. “It is the responsibility of the State to facilitate both legislation and funding for ease of access to abortion in extraordinary circumstances, such as risk to (the) mother’s life, rape, incest etc.,” he said on social media at the weekend.
However, Dr Selim insisted he was against removing the Eighth Amendment from the Constitution. “Life is sacred and it has to remain sacred. Life is a grant given by God and no human being should deprive any other human being of a grant that is granted by God. Let it be sacred. We do not legislate for murder.”
Under the teachings of Islam, abortion can only be considered when the life of the mother is endangered, “and when I say the mother’s life is in danger, it means the mother will die if we allow this pregnancy to continue,” the spokesperson for Imam Hussein Halawa, chairman of the Irish Council of Imams said.
Asked about cases of rape and incest, Dr Selim, who has a doctorate in Islam and a masters in philosophy of religion, said that to allow abortion in the case of rape is to punish the most innocent. “What kind of logic is that for God’s sake? The foetus has not committed anything but he or she is the one that we are taking life from.”
“Instead of killing the baby I would say it is far better to advise, to raise awareness and educate and give courses that would prevent incidents of this nature. If rape is the crisis we are facing, well instead of thinking of murdering the most innocent, we have to think of providing courses and look at the circumstances that drive people to perpetrate such a thing and if they do it, then they have to be punished for that because they are the one who perpetrated the crime.”