‘It’s a very worrying time for us’ – Kilkenny Islamic leader says local Muslims abused on our streets
THE leader of Kilkenny’s Islamic community has spoken out after a number of disturbing instances in which locally based Muslims were targeted on the streets and online.
Imam Ebrahim Ndure (pictured) said he fears his adopted home may no longer be safe for his family after a number of “alarming” events in recent weeks.
In one incident, the Imam said one of his co-religionists was with his young daughter in the shopping centre in the city when they were subjected to verbal abuse. Imam Ndure said two “white” men approached the man and his daughter and verbally abused them and insulted the prophet.
On another occasion he said a woman was walking in the street when “somebody pulled her headscarf off”.
The Imam said he is also “very worried” about some highly abusive and racist comments that have been made on the local Islamic community’s Facebook page since An Bord Pleanála recently confirmed it rejected plans for a mosque at the Hebron Industrial Estate.
He told KilkennyNow.ie tonight: “It’s alarming. Some of the language [used online] is unbelievable, very vulgar language. It’s a very worrying time for us.”
The Imam said he has not formally reported the incidents to gardai, but he said he has informed members of the local Garda Community Policing Unit that the “rhetoric and hate language is getting worse”.
He added: “I will leave it with them.”
Mr Ndure stressed that the majority of people in Kilkenny have been welcoming and supportive of the Islamic community. But he said some “vocal elements” are stoking up Islamophobia.
He added: “I think these people are hiding behind keyboards spewing this hate. I want to believe that the people of Kilkenny are supportive of us. All we are looking for is somewhere for us to worship.”