There are hard-core Unionists in the North of Ireland, then there are Unionists who take loyalty to Queen and Country to the next level. Few would argue that the First Deputy of Northern Ireland, Peter Robinson, is the latter. The Belfast Telegraph just reported, as well as in a follow-up report, that the Orangeman left little doubt where he stood regarding Muslims residing in Ulster.
The row began last week when Pastor James McConnell of Belfast’s Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle Church described Islamic belief as “satanic” and a “doctrine spawned in hell.” Shortly thereafter, it was reported that the small but rapidly growing Muslim community in the North of Ireland were victims of McConnell’s words, feeling “hurt and outrage.”
In spite of n the fundamental differences in theological dogma and doctrine between Christianity and Islam, Islamic Global Jihad also has roots in Belfast. The Telegraph (of London, UK) reported in 2010 that terrorist “Kafeel Ahmed, who died of horrific burns after driving a Jeep packed with gas canisters into Glasgow airport in 2007, had been president of the Islamic society at Queen’s University, Belfast.”
Koo koo ka-choo, Mr. Robinson…
In the Protestant-Catholic power-sharing government of the London-controlled counties of the province, Robinson holds the title of First Minister, while a Catholic Deputy First Minister is essentially the junior, but still powerful member of the partnership. There are nowhere near as many Muslims as Protestants or Catholics, but the population of followers of Muhammad is steadily growing, having doubled to 4,000 since 2001.
Robinson drew fire when he recently supported McConnell’s right to preach his brand of Christianity. As Robinson stated:
It is a duty of any Christian preacher to denounce or demonise false doctrine. He’s perfectly entitled to do that – it’s an appropriate thing for a minister to do. It’s been happening for generations and nobody should look at that issue.
Robinson further angered critics when he mingled personal opinion with what his detractors could take as his official position as First Deputy:
I’ll be quite honest, I wouldn’t trust them [Muslims] in terms of those who have been involved in terrorist activities. I wouldn’t trust them if they are devoted to Sharia Law. I wouldn’t trust them for spiritual guidance. Would I trust them to go down to the shops for me, yes I would, would I trust them to do day-to-day activities… there is no reason why you wouldn’t.