By Vatican News
The Bishop of Galway, Brendan Kelly, has strongly condemned an act of vandalism perpetrated against a mosque on the outskirts of the city of Galway.
It was the second attack on the Masjid Maryam mosque in two years: in June 2017, a stone was thrown through a window while the faithful were gathered in prayer for Ramadan.
Irish Bishops’ statement on religious intolerance
In a statement issued during their June 2019 General Meeting in Maynooth, the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference expressed concern over an increase in the number of incidents of racism, xenophobia and religious intolerance in Ireland.
These acts, reads the text of the statement, are “carried out sometimes by those who consider themselves faithful Christians”. They occur “anonymously or otherwise on social media, in quiet conversations, by open verbal onslaughts or through physical violence”, continues the statement.
“Human dignity does not depend on the colour of a person’s skin, their nationality, accent, or their religious affiliation”, say the Bishops.
“In our rapidly changing Ireland, we appeal for a new-found respect for every human person, without exception, and a complete avoidance of offensive language”.
Bishop of Galway’s statement of solidarity
In his own statement, issued on Monday, the Bishop of Galway says he is “dismayed and shocked at the willful and malicious assault” made on the mosque, and that he “wholeheartedly condemns the actions of the perpetrators”.
Bishop Kelly says he intends visiting the Imam in order to convey to him “the very deep sense of outrage felt across our community”.
“An attack on a place of worship is an assault on God and an assault on all people of faith”, writes the Bishop. “We stand in solidarity with our Muslim neighbours”, he concludes. “With them, we reject violence, division, and hate”.