Muslim-prayer-row firm to make charity donation

The security firm whose employee told two Muslim women to stop praying in a Dublin park has agreed to make financial donations to children’s charities in the Middle East.

The women were told by the official to end their prayers “in case they break their backs” and sue Dublin City Council. The man, who has been suspended from his job, honked his horn and told the women they needed a permit while they were praying in Griffith Park, Drumcondra two weeks ago.

One of the women, a mum-of-three named Sajida, told the Herald that she fears other Muslims in Ireland have suffered similar “hurtful abuse”.

The women have hired immigration lawyer Derek Stewart and are due to meet with the company in question, Manguard Plus, next week. According to Mr Stewart, the two women are seeking an “appropriate apology” and a financial donation to children’s charities in Egypt and Syria. “If the company agrees to these requests then I believe the women will be satisfied and we can move forward,” he said.

Manguard Plus told the Herald that it would be “more than happy” to make the donations. “That is something we would absolutely like to do in terms of resolving the situation,” said Managing Director Bill Brown. “We actually already support two charities – one in Afghanistan and another in Bethleham – so certainly we would be more than happy to support the women’s causes.”

Sajida is a devout muslim and lives in North Dublin with her husband and three children. She and her friend were in Griffith Park on August 10 when they began to pray.

“We were praying peacefully. We were not chanting or causing any disturbance to the public. Then he honked his horn and told us we needed a permit to pray. He told us to stop. I felt harassed and intimidated,” Sajida said.

Evening Herald, 24 August 2013