Cork Muslims tell of community’s support in the wake of New Zealand mosque attack

Cork Muslims tell of community’s support in the wake of New Zealand mosque attack
Dr. Fergal Radwan, Imam of the Cork Islamic Information Centre, with various representatives of the community at a unity and solidarity meeting for Muslims and non-Muslims in the Shandon Street Mosque in the wake of the New Zealand shooting.Picture: John Hennessy

CORK’S Muslim community feels safe and supported in the wake of the mass shooting that killed 50 people in New Zealand, according to the director of the Shandon St mosque.

Dr Fergal Radwan of the Cork Islamic Information Centre said gardaí had been maintaining a presence in and around the area of the Shandon mosque since the shootings in Christchurch last Friday.

He felt a meeting between people across different faiths at the mosque tonight has reassured attendees that the Muslim community is very much welcome and part of the city.

Dr Fergal Radwan, Imam of the Cork Islamic Information Centre, leading a group in prayer before a unity and solidarity meeting for Muslims and non-Muslims in the Shandon Street Mosque in the wake of the New Zealand shooting.Picture: John Hennessy
Dr Fergal Radwan, Imam of the Cork Islamic Information Centre, leading a group in prayer before a unity and solidarity meeting for Muslims and non-Muslims in the Shandon Street Mosque in the wake of the New Zealand shooting.Picture: John Hennessy

“We had people from the Three Faiths Forum of Cork and from different religions and a man from New Zealand performed a haka,” said Dr Radwan.

“The gardaí are very co-operative and they are up to the task. Last Friday, they were around the area and some people had requested their presence but I didn’t think there was a need for it, they just happened to be around.

“We feel safe here in Cork. Events like this bring us together.”

The Three Faiths Forum of Cork brings together members of the three Abrahamic faiths: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The group has condemned the violence against Muslims in New Zealand.

The group said in a statement: “We are all brothers and sisters. We are all children of God. Hate and prejudice have no place in our world. May these horrific acts of hatred and violence be repudiated and condemned by people of all faiths and none and may we all redouble our efforts to be instruments of peace and tolerance in our communities and in our world.

“In prayerful remembrance of all who have been killed in Christchurch.”

Thirty-one people remain in Christchurch Hospital after the mosque shootings, nine of them in intensive care.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said her cabinet has made decisions “in principle” about reforming gun laws.

Police commissioner Mike Bush has said the force believes “absolutely” that there was only one attacker responsible for the mosque shootings.

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