|Higgins at an anti-Israel rally in Galway in 2007|
With Higgins's track record, its no wonder the extremely virulent Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign is cock-a-hoop at its old friend's rise to a position if not of wide formal powers, then certainly of not inconsiderable influence.
I've taken my eye off the Emerald Isle since posting about Michael D. Higgins a little while ago. So I'm grateful to Mark Humphrys (whose blog has many revealing photos of Higgins like this one) for paying a visit to this site just now, and giving me the tidbit that at President Higgins's inauguration an Islamic cleric recited a prayer.
Nothing wrong with a little bit of ecumenism, you might say. After all, what better way to make all sections of society feel they are part and parcel of the nation in which they live than by their religious representatives participating at such a state occasion?
The cleric in question, Iraqi-born Dr Noob al-Kaddo, has been director, since 1997, of the Clonskeagh mosque in Dublin, a mosque that appears to have ties to the hardline Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, and if that is the case, then any cosying up of President Higgins to its leader is bound to make many people, Mark Humphrys included, uneasy.
Back in the late nineteenth century, when Britain's Liberal Prime Minister William E. Gladstone proposed Home Rule for Ireland, opponents of the measure, believing that it would lead to the eclipse the influence of the Anglican Church in Ireland and to the political ascendancy of the Roman Catholic Church to which the majority of Irish people belonged, were quick to coin the phrase "Home Rule means Rome Rule".
How incomprehensible that all seems now ...
It might be unnecessarily alarmist, in view of his restricted powers, to say that with Higgins at the helm the Irish ship of state might be heading for uncharted waters. But with him blasting his favoured course on the megaphone, it might be plain sailing for the anti-American, anti-Israel crowd ...
Mary Robinson,the previous president, went on the flotilla to Gaza. The Irish are notoriously anti-semitic. But they are not a pillar of the Western world and if they sink into the islamic sewer, no loss to mankind!!ReplyDelete
Ah, but there are some fine Irish champions of Israel, Juniper, including Prof. Denis McEoin.ReplyDelete
In Australia one of the staunchest philosemites was a lovely Catholic priest, the late Father William Smith.
I meant to add that Father Smith, if I recall correctly, was from the Emerald Isle.ReplyDelete
I'm reminded that Ireland casually permitted German U-Boats to dock when it was convenient for them to do so.ReplyDelete
Since Daphne kindly links to me again, let me correct that commenter about u-boats.ReplyDelete
Ireland was a disgraceful neutral during WW2, even after 1943 when Germany was clearly losing and could no longer threaten Ireland, and even until 1945 when de Valera followed strict protocol and sent condolences to the German embassy on the death of Hitler. (Surely one of the most shameful events in Irish history.)
However Ireland did not permit German U-Boats to dock. That never happened. Maybe you are thinking of the illegal IRA, who did collaborate with Nazi Germany. The Chief-of-Staff of the IRA, Sean Russell, died on a Nazi u-boat. Shamefully, a statue of this traitor to the West stands in Dublin.
While I'm here, re: another commenter above, I don't think Mary Robinson, much as I dislike her, went on any flotilla to Gaza. But any commenter who thinks the loss of a western democracy would be no big deal is hardly someone we should take seriously. All western democracies should stand together. That's why I stand with Israel.
Thanks for your comment, Mark. I apologise for tardiness in posting it - my home computer is dead.ReplyDelete