Irish Muslim Council Chair Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri running in European Elections

“The rise of populism and divisive rhetoric threatens the very fabric of our society" - Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri
Michael Staines
Michael Staines

12.26 12 Apr 2024

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Irish Muslim Council Chair Sha...

Irish Muslim Council Chair Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri running in European Elections

Michael Staines
Michael Staines

12.26 12 Apr 2024

Share this article

The Irish Muslim Council Chairperson Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri has announced that he is putting himself forward for the European Elections in June.

In a post online, Shaykh Al-Qadri said he is running to “stand up against hatred, division, and injustice and to champion the issues that matter most to Dubliners”.

He said he has been “deeply inspired by the warmth and resilience” of Dubliners in his 21 years living in Ireland but warned that, “recent events have shown me that our beloved city is at a crossroads”.


“The rise of populism and divisive rhetoric threatens the very fabric of our society,” he said.

Shaykh Al-Qadri said he has also been “deeply frustrated” to see Dublin become unaffordable for many hardworking families, warning that the soaring cost of living has “pushed many to the brink".


He also warned that the rise in crime has, “made parts of Dublin unsafe for residents and visitors alike".

“It's time for change, and I'm here to fight for it,” he said.

“I believe in the power of inclusivity, tolerance, and unity to build a brighter future for Dublin and Ireland.

“My campaign slogan, "Empower Dublin's Diversity in Europe," isn't just a slogan - it's a commitment.

“A commitment to celebrate the rich tapestry of cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives that make Dublin the vibrant city it is.

“It's a commitment to ensure that every voice is heard, valued, and represented.”

Voice for peace

Shaykh Al-Qadri also pledged to be a voice for peace in the EU Parliament, advocating for the recognition of the Palestinian State.

“It's disheartening to see the EU's lack of effective action in ensuring peace and upholding human rights for Palestinians,” he said.

“I believe that by prioritising dialogue, cooperation, and justice, we can pave the way for a more peaceful and inclusive future for all.

“Together, let's stand for peace, human rights, and justice in Europe and beyond.”

Earlier this year, Gardaí opened an investigation after Shaykh Al-Qadri was assaulted in a “deliberate hate crime attack” in Dublin.

The Irish Muslim Council chair was hospitalised after what he said was a “planned attack” that happened after he met “two Irish individuals who had arranged a meeting” in Tallaght.

Following the incident, he said Muslim leaders would have to follow new safety procedures when travelling in Ireland after the attack.


The European Elections are due to be held on June 7th – with a total of 14 seats up for grabs.

So far, Fianna Fáil has confirmed that both its incumbent MEPs Barry Andrews and Billy Kelleher will stand for re-election.

Laoise-Offaly TD Barry Cowen will also stand for the party.

Three of Fine Gael’s MEPs, Seán Kelly, Colm Markey and Maria Walsh, plan to run again, while two others, Frances Fitsgerald and Deirdre Clune, have decided not to put themselves forward this time around.

Incumbent Green Party MEPs Ciarán Cuffe and Grace O’Sullivan are both putting themselves forward once and will run alongside Senator Pauline O’Reilly.

Sinn Féin MEP is also due to stand for re-election and earlier this week, the party selected TD Kathleen Funchion to stand alongside Limerick-based Senator Paul Gavan.

The party had already selected Senator Lynn Boylan, Councillor Daithí Doolan and Northern Irish MP Michelle Gildernew to stand.

Aontú leader Peadar Toibín has also announced his candidacy – and has said he will also seek re-eleciotn to the Dáil.

People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith is also in the running alongside her party colleagues Dr Brian O’Boyle and Cian Prendiville.

Labour Party education spokesman Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has also been nominated and the party has also put forward Limerick native Niamh Hourigan.

Independent MEPs Mick Wallace and Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan have both put themselves forward and former minister Finian McGrath is also putting himself forward.

Clare Daly will stand again for the Dublin constituency.

Former RTÉ correspondent Ciaran Mullooly has also confirmed his intention to run for a seat in the Midlands North-West constituency.

Right wing party the Irish Freedom Party is putting forward its leader Hermann Kelly alongside party members Michael Leahy and Diarmaid Ó Conaráin.

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