Thursday 12 December 2019

Islam and Life of Muslims in Non Muslim Countries: Ireland

Islam in the Republic of Ireland is a rather new religion for the first presence of Muslims occurred in the 1950s when students from different countries came to Ireland for higher studies, especially to study medicine at the famous Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin. And it was they who founded the Dublin Islamic Society (later called the Islamic Foundation of Ireland) in 1959. Since then from a few to over 64,000 practicing Muslims, today Islam is the third largest religion after the Catholics and Followers of the Church.

The Census 2011, showed 49,200 people who declared themselves Muslim. But just five years later in 2016, this number jumped to 63,400 - a rise of 29% in the number of people registering themselves as a Muslim from that in 2011.

Sunnis are in the majority in Ireland and the largest membership is from Pakistan, Algeria and Libya. The Sunni community have a number of mosques and centres around Ireland (details at end of section).There are over 2,000 Shi'a followers and the majority come from Pakistan, Lebanon, Iran and Iraq. The majority of the Shi'a community live in Dublin where there is a centre, while others live in major urban centres such as Cork and Galway.

There are over 50 mosques that are spread over the country. The largest mosque is in Dublin, the Clonskeagh mosque or the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland, which about 5,000 people attend. Aside from the five qualified imams here, there are a number of “congregational leaders” who know parts of the Qur’an by heart who can lead prayer.

Life of Muslims is as normal or otherwise as any other European country. The Hijab remains an issue for the Muslim women as the mainly Christian population around is not very comfortable about it. Muslim teenagers complain of isolated incidents of Hijab being pulled off in public. Likewise there are racist occurring with slurs being passed on to Muslims, specially women, but Muslims are becoming used to it. However, in an interview with Muslim girls, one of the girls remarked: "We definitely feel a lot more comfortable than in Britain or France." When asked about recent events in the UK, France and elsewhere that might give a negative impression of Islam, one of the Muslim student said that there are people who try to “skew” the religion into something that fits their own agendas.
The Islamic Cultural Centre, Dublin, Ireland [Photo Credit:  Wikimedia Commons / Source / Author ]

As to halal food, one find food outlets offering halal meat and meat products in most larger towns and by the dozen in Dublin. Look for signs in Arabic, especially mentioning "halal" or describing the food as "ethnic". A huge number of Pakistani shops stock a good selection of food from mainly the UK and Turkey that will have a halal seal. A smaller number will also have a butcher's counter selling fresh halal meat.

The acceptance of the Muslim as an individual has much to do with the fact that half of the Irish health system would collapse if it were not for Muslim doctors. Enter any Irish hospital and chances are good that you will be treated by a Muslim doctor, often from Pakistan. However, ethnicity and religion are somehow intermingled here. Expect to hear things like "Oh, he is a Muslim ... but a good doctor nonetheless!" on occasion. 

Muslims enjoy celebrating their festivals in colours and happiness. Watch herein under a video of Muslims celebrating the festival of Eid and how they feel about being in the country:
Disclaimer: The data for this post has been collected from the references as given below. If any one differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.

To know more about life of Muslims in other non Muslim countries, please visit our page: Islam and Life of Muslims in Non Muslim Countries

You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran.
Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |
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