Belfast Telegraph

Racism and Islam row debate at Northern Ireland Assembly

Debate in the Assembly about rise in racism in Northern Ireland

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The Northern Ireland Assembly is currently debating the rise in racist attacks in Belfast and the ongoing political furore surrounding anti-Islamic comments.

A motion from Sinn Fein is calling on political parties to offer leadership in opposing racist discrimination and attacks.

It comes after a number of ethnic minorities were subjected to race attacks in recent weeks, and an ongoing controversy surrounding anti-Islamic comments, as well as Alliance MLA Anna Lo saying she will quit politics because of racism.

The controversy began last month when Pastor James McConnell held a church service during which he said he did not trust Muslims.

Mr Robinson has attended the pastor's evangelical church in north Belfast in the past.

Last week the DUP leader came under fire for defending the preacher's remarks, telling the Irish News he would not trust Muslims involved in violence or those devoted to sharia law, which covers everything from public executions to what adherents should do if colleagues invite them to the pub after work or college.

The DUP leader said he would "trust them to go to the shops" for him.

Mr Robinson later clarified his own remarks and met Muslim leaders in Belfast to apologise privately.

Today, Peter Robinson gave a Muslim religious leader a tour of the Assembly.

 

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