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Extremist Imans must turn from hate and fear

The Berlin attack, the assassination of the Russian ambassador, and, indeed, the attack on a mosque in Zurich exposes the forms of extremism which are engulfing the world.

But here there is another form of extremism which is taking place - having germinated in countries like Pakistan - it needs to be regulated, if not halted.

The extremist mind is very operational in many mosques. This way of thinking is quite alive in the minds of many Imams and their way of thinking is a stumbling-block for the elimination of extremism.

It is not enough just to give the impression that one stands against extremism by announcing that you stand against extremism while at the same time discriminating against a particular faith or community, as some Imams are doing.

I, as a Muslim, am facing on a daily basis religious discrimination at every level. As an Imam I am fighting huge walls of bigotry and my community - the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community - is being persecuted, and all our basic human rights trampled on in Pakistan and other Islamic countries.

Extremism in Islamic countries takes shape in many forms, the peak being murder, but in the Western world it also takes the shape of discrimination that leads young men and women to join fanatical groups like Isis.

If we are to stop such hate-filled extremism then those Imams must remove the hate, anger and suspicion from their hearts.

Only then can we prevent such attacks which are taking place in Europe and around the world.

IMAM IBRAHIM AHMAD NOONAN

Imam, Galway Mosque

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