Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade, Darragh O’Brien TD has said that a long-term strategy designed to promote the integration and inclusion of the Islamic community in Ireland, will aid the on-going effort to stop the spread of radical Islam and terrorism.

Deputy O’Brien made his comments following an informative meeting which he with Shaykh Dr. Umar Al-Qadri, founding Chair of the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council, earlier this week.

O’Brien commented, “Ireland has become a much more diverse, pluralistic and outward looking society, thanks in part to those who have come to make Ireland their home, including the sizable Muslim population living here.

“There is an onus on the Government to assist new minorities to integrate fully into Irish society and to promote an Ireland that is inclusive and tolerant of people of all faiths and none.

“We have all too often witnessed the appalling destruction and loss of life at the hands of religious extremism and we cannot assume that Ireland is immune from facing such atrocities.

He added, “Mr Shaykh Dr. Umar Al-Qadri reiterated the pressing need for greater dialogue and peaceful engagement with the Islamic community in order to circumvent isolation and the rise of radicalisation and extremism in Ireland.

“The incidence of radicalism within the Muslim community in Ireland has been increasing for some time. In order to dispel the spread of radical extremists falsely claiming to act for the good of Islam, we need to forge an inclusive society in which people identify themselves with.

“We must be pro-active now or risk paying an intolerable price in the future,” concluded Deputy O’Brien.