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Irish Shia cleric blames Saudi government for spreading ISIS’s ideology

The leader of the Shia Muslim community in Ireland said it is shocked, saddened and horrified by last night’s terrorist attacks in Paris.

Dr Ali Al Saleh extended his sympathy to the people of France and blamed the government of Saudi Arabia for funding ISIS and spreading the ideology underpinning it.

Imam Al Saleh, who is the founder of the Hussaini Mosque at Milltown in Dublin, also extended condolences to the relatives of 43 people killed by ISIS in a Shia area of Beirut on Thursday.

He said the double suicide-bomb attack in the busy residential and commercial district of Borj al-Barajneh exposed the second face of the terrorist movement, namely sectarianism.

He said such sectarian attacks were a daily occurrence in the Baghdad and that 20 people had died yesterday alone in two separate explosions in a Shia district of the Iraqi capital.

Dr Al Saleh said the sectarian attacks inside predominantly Muslim societies and the international terrorist attacks on the west would continue unless pressure is put on the Saudi government to end its support for Daesh, as ISIS is known in Arabic.

“Saudi Arabia has been sponsoring this Wahhabi ideology since 1979 when resistance to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan began,” the Imam said.

Wahhabi refers to the variation of Islam practiced by the Saudi royal family and their followers.

“Some people who fought against the Soviets in Afghanistan are now fighting in Syria as well as waging war on the internet. You can read their praise for the Paris attacks and for the killing of Shia Muslims on social media,” he said.

Dr Al Saleh says that the Shias are a 4,500-stong minority in the Republic of Ireland’s Muslim community.

The 2011 census registered 49,204 Muslims, constituting 1.1% of the total population. In 1991, just 0.1 % of the state’s population was belonged to the Muslim faith.

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