However, this may not always be the case and I fear, particularly with the recession that some issues will eventually come to a head. One such issue appeared in last weekends The Sunday Times. A Lebanese man is taking a landmark High Court case demanding that the Irish state recognise his polygamous marriage. Now I am willing to give this guy the benefit of the doubt that he is only attempting to rectify a potentially explosive domestic situation. When the man emigrated to Ireland the state only recognised one wife meaning the other was left behind. When the decision to deny the second wife entry into Ireland was successfully challenged it required the high court to rule on the validity of the second marriage. That decision is pending. Like I said, the poor guy might just be trying to avoid and exceptionally difficult family situation, particularly since he has children with both women. It is not so much this case (which will likely find some compromise without recognising both marriages) that has irritated me but the reaction of one particular lobby group, the Muslim Public Affairs Congress, led by Muslin convert Liam Egan. Egan has accused the Irish Government of discriminating against Muslims in polygamous families. This is an absurd claim but to use a highly loaded term like discrimination is highly irresponsible. In 2004 the Justice Department introduced a requirement that Muslims seeking citizenship must sign a form confirming that they had only one wife and would not marry a second. Egan claims that:
Ireland discriminates against against Muslims seeking citizenship by asking them to sign an affidavit. The state should not be interfering in families like this. It is silent on adulterous affairs but the moment you try to to do something honourable by bringing a woman into a marriage, even a polygamous marriage, there is an issue.
I have noticed Liam Egan popping in and out of this debate for some time now. I believe that he is essentially an agitator. He is looking to create tension where none exists. I have even heard him say that the Irish government is discriminating against Muslims because of its failure to build Mosques in the nation's towns and cities, a statement which is truly bizarre. Frankly, this guy is looking to cause trouble, he is not representing the Muslim community in Ireland in a positive way and I highly recommend that they disown him at the nearest opportunity. For now, I am sticking to my belief that Ireland's relationship with its Muslims is sound. I do not see this changing in the near future. However I do fear that the far left in this country are intent on instilling a victim mentality on non nationals, particularly Muslims and that this, in combination with agitation from the likes of Liam Egan could result in an increase in tensions. Gubu World will as ever keep an eye on this development.