Before commenting specifically on the educational proposals outlined by Ali Selim in his new book as reported by Patsy McGarry in the Irish Times it is important to locate Ali Selim in the overall context of the development of a Muslim Brotherhood strategy here in Ireland.
To fully understand this context we suggest you would look at the these links to our archive material on our site:
Here you will find the history of the emergence of Islam in Ireland since the ’50’s as a result of Muslims from South Africa coming to Ireland to study. We then note the role of the Saudis and the takeover by the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliate in Gaza Hamas. In the 90’s the the Maktoums funded the mostly Egyptian project. The rise of Morsi and the MB in Egypt strengthened the MB in Dublin. The collapse of support represented by the take over by Sisi also saw the end of the MB influence in the Gulf except for Qatar.
After September 11 I began to visit all the mosques in Dublin including Clonskeagh, South Circular Rd, and the Shia mosque in Milltown. At first there was a welcome and I even spoke at the Shia Mosque after Friday prayers. During the following year we were planning a Conference on Understanding Islam by our organisation, Dialogue Ireland. It was planned for October 12, 2002 which happens to be the date of the Bali Bombings. The content was over 60 % Muslim and at that time the Shias and Sunnis were trying to say there was no difference between them. We proposed that one person who had converted to Christianity from Islam whould share their story and vice versa. This became a stumbling block and the leadership at Clonskeagh including Ali Selim unilaterally and without discussion cancelled the event. When we did go ahead the speaker Jay Smith visited the mosque and shortly afterwards I was banned from there. They were unable to deal with his critique of the Islamic Faith.
A Saudi correspondent of DI wrote a very comprehensive review on Ali Selim in 2010 which also addressed some of the educational issues. He is an Arab so does not fall for the usual Islamophobia narrative which western criticism produces.
Before this an after Ali had completed his MA at the Irish School of Ecumenics he was outraged by a lecture given at TCD by Dr Zahia Salhi, Dept of Islamic Studies, University of Leeds.
When Vincent Browne used to do his radio programme on RTE Radio Ali called for the introduction of Sharia Law in Ireland.
When the Saudis opened their Embassy they announced their intention to open a school.
This was Ali Selim’s response:
blockquote>Ali Selim, a theologian based at the Islamic Cultural Centre in Clonskeagh, Dublin, welcomed the plans. Asked about speculation within the Muslim community that the school may incorporate secondary education, he said that if this proved correct it would “achieve a long cherished Muslim ambition” in Ireland.
Also when RTE Prime Time produced a documentary on Radical Islam in December 2006 he was asked his opinion about Osama Bin Laden and claimed he did not know him. This documentary is no longer available on the RTE web site, but a similar interview on a BBC Spotlight programme received a more thorough denial by Selim. We have a briefing document which gives an insight into the issues at the time.
It can be found at the bottom of this page: