RTE Prime Time Investigates
Muslims in Ireland
• In general, most Muslims living in Ireland appear very moderate in their views, with the majority not minding intermarriage with Catholics and many believing children of mixed marriages should be raised in both religions or neither. The majority also believe that Muslim children should not go to only Muslims schools. In addition, more claim to respect Tony Blair than figures like Osama Bin Laden.
• None-the-less there is a minority, who tend to be under 26 years of age, who hold views that might be considered harder. Just over 1 in 5 believe that violence for political ends is sometimes justified, while over 1 in 3 believe Ireland would be better under Sharia law. These are potentially the disenfranchised of the future.
• Currently, while the Imam is a focus for the community, for many there is no clear leader of Muslims in Ireland. Central leadership may be important for both Irish Muslims and non- Muslims going forward, especially younger citizens.
• The media also have a responsible role to play, as nearly 6 in 10 young Irish Muslims believe the Irish media do not accurately reflect events in the Muslim world. Although encouragingly, most are exposed to Irish media, so the opportunity exists.
• In general, Irish Muslims appear moderate and well integrated into Irish society. The focus is on both Muslims and non-Muslims, and the media, to ensure this continues. Clear leadership within the Muslim community, responsible media and an understanding of cultural differences amongst all citizens are crucial.