London- Ahmed Badreddine Hassoun arrived in Dublin on Tuesday as part of a religious delegation from the Syrian regime, drawing the ire of many of Ireland’s Muslims.
“He’s not welcome,” said Dr. Ali Salim, senior member of the Islamic Cultural Center of Ireland.
“This man is part of the regime in Syria and we see him as one of the war criminals that should be brought to justice,” he said.
“His hand has been stained with the blood of innocents in Syria and he is one of the people who shares responsibility for the killing and displacement of the Syrian people.”
Irish Times Newspaper said that Christian and Muslim leaders from Syria arrived in Ireland on Tuesday to lobby against European Union sanctions on the country.
“They will address the Oireachtas, the lower house of the Irish parliament, Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs on Thursday morning. Afterwards, they will lay a wreath at the corner of Trinity College Dublin and Kildare Street to commemorate all victims of violence, in Dublin and Syria in particular,” the newspaper stated.
On Wednesday, the group will take part in a religious service in the chapel at Trinity, followed by a discussion with senior academics, politicians, medical personnel and members of the diplomatic corps on further initiatives to advance the Syrian peace process.
For its part, the Irish Syria Solidarity Movement (ISSM) has also condemned the Mufti’s visit and has asked the Irish police to arrest Hassoun for hate crimes.
“This terrorist should clearly not be let into the country, let alone inside the houses of the Oireachtas and shame on anyone who was involved in arranging the invitation to him,” the ISSM said in an open letter to the Oireachtas.