SHAFAQNA – Muslim representatives in Ireland have strongly criticised a new website purportedly been set up to encourage Muslims to emigrate here.
The site, hijra2ireland.com, has been denounced by two major Islamic organisations in Ireland that are cited as contacts for would-be migrants. The groups believe it may be designed to spread Islamophobia.
The site’s front page shows an aerial picture of Dublin with the slogan “New Golden Age of Islam”, and advocates that Muslims relocate here to “thrive and create sprawling communities that fulfil the will of our prophet”.
It describes Hijra to Ireland (hijra is the Arabic term for migration) as a “non-political body that has set a goal to bring as many Muslims to the state as possible”.
It goes on to make a number of inaccurate statements about entitlements for immigrants, among them that the “state of Ireland grants immigrants who arrive to it access to . . . [health] services that normally don’t come free to the Irish citizen”.
The site cites weaknesses in Irish immigration law: “For this reason, you can enter the country as a tourist, student or any other way and stay without much fear of being deported.
“Undocumented immigrants in Ireland are plentiful, and the economic system is able to sustain them. Ireland is truly one of the world’s most accommodating nations when it comes to immigrants.”
The site points out that the Irish economy is undergoing a revival, so Muslim immigrants would have a good chance of getting jobs because “Irish youth have grown up expecting a certain lifestyle that doesn’t involve hard work and manual labour.
“Because of this, Irish natives will be reluctant to work in jobs that require such work and pay a modest amount of money. These jobs provide an excellent entry point for immigrants.”
The website has been reported to the Garda by Dr Mudaffar Al-Tawash, the administrator of the Islamic Foundation of Ireland, whose name and telephone number are cited as contacts.
“It is fake… and it is not right,” he said. “We don’t know anything about it. The gardaí are trying to find out what happened.”
Dr Ali Selim of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland said the first he heard of the site was when the centre was contacted by Muslims seeking to move to Ireland.
“We were surprised because we don’t usually receive calls of this nature,” he said. “We were most surprised to see our contact details listed on this website.”
Dr Selim said the website had been created by somebody who was not a native Arabic speaker, and that there were many errors in the text.
He suggested the site may have the opposite intention to what it purported to achieve.
“Does it mean to spread Islamaphobia?” he asked. “Does it mean to warn people against the coming of Muslims to Ireland? Is it meant to impact negatively on the Syrian refugees?”
Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri, the imam of the Al-Mustafa Islamic Centre in west Dublin, described the contents of the website as “deeply shocking” and designed to stir up hatred against Muslims.
Dr Al-Qadri, who is the chair of the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council, said the impression given by the website was that Muslims can move to Ireland and not have to integrate in Irish society.
“It is undermining the work that we do to show that Islam and Muslims are compatible with Western society,” he said.
The website domain is registered to “Benjamin Teun” who gives Amsterdam as his address. However, the name has no internet trace, raising further suspicions about the legitimacy of the site. It could have been created in any country, including Ireland.