Wednesday, 20 September 2017

How Ireland Embraces Islamism Whilst Claiming to Oppose Misogyny and Homophobia

In early September in Ireland, a controversial radio presenter called George Hook,  commented on a rape trial in the UK. He condemned the rapist unequivocally, but he did use ludicrous language, whether intentional or not, that apportioned some of the blame to the victim. I often disagree strongly with George Hook and this was one of those instances. What he said regarding the victim having to shoulder some of the blame was completely wrong. Perhaps he was trying to facilitate a debate about hook-up culture and how to avoid taking risks with strangers, but it is possible to have that debate without using language that apportions blame to rape victims. The only blame for rape lies with the rapist. His comments quickly became one of the main news stories in Ireland and as Hook is despised and reviled by much of the media in Ireland, because he doesn't subscribe to most of their left leaning and feminist biases, a concerted campaign to take him off the airwaves was initiated by other journalists, many of them at his own radio station. Even when he apologised for his remarks and stated that he now saw what he said was wrong his opponents continued to call for his scalp, as that is what self-righteous mobs tend to do.

At the time of writing, he is suspended from the radio station and his position is under review. It is uncertain if he will ever work again in broadcasting in Ireland. He is viewed by many as a misogynist, a sexist, and a right winger and this makes him persona non grata among much of the media in Ireland. I have mixed feelings about George Hook, I find him to be a bit of a hypocrite at times and he has said things that are a little bit sleazy, but although I often strongly disagree with him there are times when he makes some sense. The extent to which I like or dislike him, or whether anyone agrees or disagrees with what he said though is not the issue. If he is sacked then a precedent has been set in Ireland that people who express unpopular opinions will be hounded from their jobs. How is this any different from the Catholic church ensuring godless communists were deprived of employment in Ireland in the middle of the twentieth century?

Now, contrast the manner in which Hook was treated by the media and how most of them are responding with glee to the return to Ireland of  Ibrahim Halawa, an Irish-Egyptian Islamist who is a supporter of the extremist organisation the Muslim Brotherhood and who was in detention without trial for several years for his part in Muslim Brotherhood protests in Egypt in 2013. The Irish media and much of the political class are guilty of uncritically idolising this man as a symbol of the defence of human rights, when he is in fact, a supporter of an organisation that calls for the deprivation of rights to others. There is almost no critical analysis in the Irish media about who Ibrahim Halawa is and what he represents, with the exception of a few voices that include Mark Humphrys, who has done exceptional work in highlighting the truth about the Halawas.

Ibrahim Halawa is a member of the largest mosque in Ireland at Clonskeagh in Dublin. His father, Hussein Halawa is the head of the Mosque and it is the headquarters for the European Council for Fatwa and Research. His father sits on the board of the ECFR as did his colleague the radical cleric, Yusuf Al Qaradawi, now banned from entering Ireland or Britain, who has called for gays and apostates to be killed and advocated wife beating if it is done lightly. The Muslim Brotherhood revere Al Qaradawi as one of the most distinguished clerics in the Islamic faith. Ibrahim Halawa by supporting the Muslim Brotherhood is championing homophobia, misogyny and a totalitarian denial of freedom of conscience to Muslims who wish to leave the faith.

Many in the Irish media, some of them atheists/agnostics like myself, are never reticent about letting you know how much they abhor the Catholic church for the many wrongs they have done in the past and how much they despise the social conservatism of both the Catholic hierarchy and that of Northern Irish Presbyterians. However, the social conservatism of devout Christians seems like a form of hedonistic libertarianism when compared to the extremism and illiberal poison being preached at the Clonskeagh mosque which has received little critical analysis and scrutiny by the Irish media.

The Irish media's largely uncritical support for Ibrahim Halawa, has been equaled by that of almost the entire political class from the centre right to the far left. The Irish Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Leo Varadkar, visited the Clonskeagh mosque as one of his first official visits after becoming Taoiseach earlier this year. I hope that it was out of ignorance he went there because there is something very troubling about a gay politician visiting a mosque that hosts preachers who call for the death of homosexuals. Only weeks ago, another gay member of the Irish cabinet, Katherine Zappone, was championing Halawa's cause and wishing his speedy return home. What is it with some gay people sucking up to Islamists? It seems there are some gays that if you dropped them in to ISIS controlled territory they'd fling themselves off buildings so as not to appear Islamophobic. As if our leaders cavorting with Islamists at the Clonskeagh mosque who promote the killing of gay people isn't enough, there are reports that the Irish government is sending a private jet to shuttle young Halawa back to Ireland.

Until Ibrahim Halawa denounces the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamism I don't want him in these islands or in Europe. I have no problem with genuine moderate Muslims, but I don't want the Islamists here. The importation of vast numbers of Islamists in to Europe has been a monumental act of self harm that our politicians are continuing to facilitate. How many more mutilated corpses will it take for them to cease with this policy? This isn't about race. I despise racism and ethnic nationalism. It is about values and the values of the Islamists are not compatible with liberal democracy. Ibrahim Halawa will be back in Ireland in the coming days. One more Islamist in Europe to add to the ever increasing numbers here who despise everything about us and now we are laying on a private jet for one of them. You couldn't make it up.

In modern Ireland, a repentant man is granted no redemption from the media for a few idiotic sexist comments he made in a discussion and he may now lose his job. Meanwhile, a young Muslim man who has supported a far right Islamist organisation that opposes freedom of conscience and the equal rights of women and gay people is treated by the same media as if he is a hero. Shame on the Irish media for this double standard and for their cavorting with Islamists. The stench of their hypocrisy is nauseating.


  1. Excellent piece. Bang on the money and very well written. No chance of seeing anything of that quality in an Irish broadsheet.

  2. Wholly agree, not just with your correct condemnation of Halawa, but for your attitude to the self-righteous who seek to unbalance the media and politics.

  3. Great article AR. I'd love to know your thoughts on what can be done to change this. How can we challenge the media and get an audience? And how long will we be allowed to do it before being shut down?

    1. Thank you. Very hard to bring this message to a wide audience in Ireland because the mainstream media avoid it with a few exceptions. Even that RTE documentary on Halawa & Clonskeagh mosque could have been more robust in their criticism. In Britain there is more mainstream kick back against Islamism compared to here although both our islands are riddled with apologists and Islamophobiaphobes who have an irrational reaction towards any criticism of Islam.