Islam in the Republic of Ireland
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|Islam by country|
The documented history of Islam in Ireland dates to the 1950s. The number of Muslims in Ireland has increased since the 1990s, mostly through immigration. According to the 2016 Irish census the number of Muslims resident in the Republic was 63,443.
On 20 June 1631 a North African pirate ship captained by Jan Janszoon (Murad Reis) sailed into Roaring Water Bay in West Cork and raided coastal village of Baltimore. A crew of slave traders roused the villagers from their beds, slaughtered anyone who resisted, and herded 107 people into the hold of their waiting ship. Men, women and children were taken, even down to babies in the cradle. The villagers were sold into a life of slavery in the Ottoman Empire.
In 1845 Ottoman Sultan Abdülmecid declared his intention to send £1,000 along with three ships full of food to the Irish people. According to Abdullah Aymaz in an article in The Fountain magazine, the British administration tried to block the ships, but the food arrived secretly at Drogheda harbor and was left there by Ottoman sailors. Shipping records relating to the port appear not to have survived. Newspaper reports suggest that ships from Thessaloniki in the Ottoman Empire sailed up the River Boyne in May 1847, although it has also been claimed that the river was dry at the time. A letter in the Ottoman archives of Turkey, written by prominent Irishmen, explicitly thanks the Sultan for his help.
The organisational history of Islam in Ireland is complex, not least because of the immense variety of ethnic backgrounds of Irish Muslims. The first Islamic Society in Ireland was established in 1959. It was formed by students studying in Ireland and was called the Dublin Islamic Society (later called the Islamic Foundation of Ireland). At that time there was no mosque in Dublin. The students used their homes and later rented halls for Jum'ah (Friday) and Eid (Muslim holiday) prayers. In 1976 the first mosque and Islamic Centre in Ireland was opened in a four-storey building at 7 Harrington Street, Dublin 8. Among those who contributed to the cost of the Mosque and Islamic Centre was the late King Faisal of Saudi Arabia. In 1981 the Ministry of Endowment and Islamic Affairs of Kuwait sponsored a full-time Imam for the Mosque.
In 1983, the present building of the Dublin Mosque and Islamic Centre was bought, renovated and the headquarters of the Society moved from Harrington Street to 163 South Circular Road, Dublin 8.
Demography and ethnic background
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According to the 2016 Irish census, there were 63,443 Muslims living in the Republic of Ireland, representing a 29% increase over the figures for the 2011 census. However the Islamic community is very much a minority, especially when compared to the numbers of Christians and those of no religion. Cities and towns with the highest Muslim population according to the 2016 census: 27,586 Dublin City and suburbs; 3,633 Cork City and suburbs; 3,432 Limerick City and suburbs; 2,047 Galway City and suburbs; 1,392 Waterford City and suburbs; 947 Balbriggan; 937 Dundalk; 937 Tralee; 861 Drogheda; 810 Portlaoise; 711 Ennis; 628 Sligo; 615 Athlone; 592 Navan; 564 Carlow; 562 Kilkenny; 550 Swords; 543 Ballyhaunis; 522 Cavan; 497 Mullingar; 489 Letterkenny; 467 Killarney; 422 Naas; 401 Longford https://www.cso.ie/px/pxeirestat/Statire/SelectVarVal/Define.asp?maintable=E8056&PLanguage=0
The Muslim community in Ireland is diverse and growing rapidly, and its numbers are not determined by the country's history to the same extent as the UK and France, where the majority of Muslims are immigrants or descendants of immigrants from former colonies, or Germany and Austria, where the majority of Muslims are Turkish migrant workers and their descendants. Just over 55 per cent of Muslims were either Asian or African nationals with 30.7 per cent having Irish nationality. The census also revealed that of the 31,779 Muslims resident in Ireland at the time of the census, 9,761 were Irish nationals, less than the number of Asians (10,649) although more than the 6,909 African nationals. The census of 2011 found there were 49,204 Muslims in Ireland, "a sharp rise on five years previously". The Muslim immigration at the end of the 90s was caused by the Irish economic boom and asylum seekers from diverse Muslim countries, and in the 20-year period between 1991 and 2011 the Muslim population increased 1000%, from 0.1% to 1.1% of the population of the republic.
Mosques and denominations
In 2003, the Islamic Cultural Centre with help from Foras na Gaeilge announced plans to translate the Koran from Arabic into Irish for the first time. However, the plan foundered because of difficulties in finding speakers of both languages and as of 2018 no translation yet exists.
In September 2006 an umbrella organisation, the Irish Council of Imams, was established. It represents 14 imams in Ireland, of both the Sunni and Shia traditions. It is chaired by Imam Hussein Halawa (Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland) and its deputy chairman is Imam Yahya Al-Hussein (Islamic Foundation of Ireland). Imam Dr. Umar Al-Qadri (Al-Mustafa Islamic Cultural Centre Dublin 15), Imam Salem (Cork Mosque), Imam Khaled (Galway Mosque) and Imam Ismael Khotwal (Blackpits Mosque) are among its founding members.
- Belfast Islamic Centre [Established in 1977]
- Northern Ireland Muslim Family Association.
- Bangladesh Islamic Community Centre (Corporation South, Belfast)
- the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland  in Clonskeagh, Dublin. Imam: Hussein Halawa;
- the Dublin Mosque (run by the Islamic Foundation of Ireland ) on the South Circular Road. Imam: Yayha Al Hussein;
- Al-Mustafa Islamic Cultural Centre, or Blanchardstown mosque, Dublin 15 :Imam: Dr. Umar Al-Qadri
- Muslim Association Forum, Ireland, situated at the Islamic Foundation of Ireland ) in Dublin and established since 1999, and acquired Charity status in 2001, as a melting pot for Muslims from African background to teach and share Islamic knowledge.
- Muslim Association of Ireland  Executive Director: Dr. Khaled Suliman
- Turkish Irish Educational and Cultural Society Fethullah Gulen in Dublin, established in 2004
- Dundalk Muslim Community Centre, Glenmore Park, Muirhevnamor, Dundalk, Co. Louth. Imam: Nooh Buye
- Dundalk Islamic Culture Centre, 12 Eimear Court, Market Square, Dundalk, Co. Louth. Imam: Abdulrahman Alhaddad
- Ballyhaunis Mosque, Co. Mayo was built in 1987, making it the first purpose-built Mosque in Ireland. It is a small mosque, which accommodates about one hundred and fifty worshippers. It was built by a Muslim businessman called Sher Rafique who used to own a Halal meat factory there.
- Ahlul Bayt Islamic Centre (Shi'a Muslim), in Milltown, Dublin
- Babul-Ilm Society Ireland ( Azakhana e Zahra), in Unit 28, Stadium Business Park, Ballycoolin, Dublin 15
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was formally registered in the country in 1992, during the era of the Fourth Caliph. However, there have been Ahmadi Muslims in the country since the 1960s. There are two Ahmadiyya mosques in the Republic of Ireland, one in Galway in the western coast, named the Galway Mosque, and one in Lucan near the eastern coast in County Dublin. The Galway Mosque is purpose built. Most Ahmadiyya Moslems in Ireland are refugees from countries where they are persecuted.
- Rex Ingram (director), film director.
Muslim students in universities
There are several student Islamic societies (ISOC) in universities all across Ireland especially in the major universities such as UCD, TCD, UCC, NUIG, ISSNI Queen's Belfast, RCSI, DCU, Dublin Institute of Technology, IT Tralee, IT Tallaght, IT Blanchardstown, DBS.
Yearly events include regular (weekly halaqas & linguistic classes), social (Food festivals), cultural (Eid), Charity drives (Charity week), physical (sports), Academic (speakers tours, lectures, courses, conferences & seminars), Intellectual (debates) and campaigns (Islam awareness & justice)
The Federation of Students Islamic societies (FOSIS) Ireland , is an umbrella organisation established in the early millennium (2003) whose mission is to unite, serve and represent Muslim students. It also seeks to bring these students together, to share experiences and to offer help and advice where appropriate, uniting Muslim Students to positively contribute to Irish communities.
- UCD ISOC   was established in 1991
- TCD MSA  was established in 1998
- RCSI ISOC  was established in 1999
- Dublin Institute of Technology ISOC was established in 2004
- IT Tralee was established in 2008
- IT Blanchardstown was established in 2009
- Islam Ireland's 3rd largest faith, BBC 29 November 2007
- "Change in religion" (PDF). Central Statistics Office. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
- Dunn, 2009, p. 452.
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- Akay 2012.
- Aymaz 2007.
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- "Abdülmecid'in İrlanda halkına yaptığı yardım 'efsane' değilmiş". Zaman. Archived from the original on 13 August 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
- Scharbrodt, Oliver, "Islam in Ireland". 318 – 336 in Olivia Cosgrove et al. (eds), Ireland's new religious movements. Cambridge Scholars, 2011; ISBN 978-1-4438-2588-7
- "The Islamic Foundation of Ireland". DCU Islamic Society. Archived from the original on 15 July 2006. Retrieved 13 August 2008.
- About the Cork Mosque Archived 14 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
- "The Muslim-Irish prove to be a surprisingly moderate bunch". Irish Independent. 19 December 2006. Retrieved 13 August 2008.
- "2002 Census Sample Form" (PDF). Central Statistics Office. p. 4, q.12. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
- "2011 Census Sample Form" (PDF). Central Statistics Office. p. 4, q.12. Retrieved 15 October 2017.; "Census 2016 Sample Form" (PDF). Central Statistics Office. p. 4, q.12. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
- "Server Error 404 - CSO - Central Statistics Office". www.cso.ie.
- "Press Release Census 2011 Profile 7 Religion, Ethnicity and Irish Travellers - CSO - Central Statistics Office". www.cso.ie.
- "Quran to be translated into Irish". BBC News. 11 March 2003. Retrieved 13 August 2008.
- Rogan, Aaron (24 April 2018). "Plan to translate the Koran into Irish revived" – via www.thetimes.co.uk.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 12 December 2013. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 December 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-08.
- 24 Greenwell Street, Newtownards, County Down
- Faruq, Tahire Mehmood. "Bangladesh Islamic Community Centre (Corporation South, Belfast) - Comprehensive Complete Directory Search Listings of Muslim Mosques in the United Kingdom". www.mosquedirectory.co.uk. line feed character in
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- Lacey, Jonathan, "Turkish Islam in Ireland". 337 – 356 in Olivia Cosgrove et al. (eds), Ireland's new religious movements. Cambridge Scholars, 2011; ISBN 978-1-4438-2588-7
- "Ballyhaunis Mosque in Ballyhaunis, County Mayo - Salatomatic - your guide to mosques & Islamic schools". www.salatomatic.com.
- Lorna Siggins (20 September 2014). "Persecuted Muslims build first Irish mosque in Galway". Irish Times. Retrieved 20 September 2014.
- "Galway Ahmadiyyas hope new mosque will be a 'symbol of peace' and understanding".
- "FOSIS - home for Muslim students and ISOCs across UK and Ireland". ireland.fosis.org.uk.
- Islamic Foundation Of Ireland
- Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland
- Irish Islamic Chamber of Commerce
- Dublin City University Islamic Society
- The Muslim Survival Guide for Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland
- Mary Fitzgerald (13 December 2006). "Ireland's Muslims forging an identity". The Irish Times. Retrieved 8 March 2009.
- Cork Mosque
- Cork Muslim Women's Group
- Federation of Student's Islamic Societies Ireland
- University College Dublin Islamic Society
- University College Dublin Islamic Society Blog
- Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland Islamic Society
- President McAleese FOSIS Islam Awareness Week '10 Grand Dinner Speech
- Trinity College Dublin Islamic Society
- University College Cork Islamic Society
- National University of Ireland Galway Muslim Youth Society