Leading Muslim cleric comes out in support of repealing Ireland’s abortion laws

Leading Muslim cleric comes out in support of repealing Ireland’s abortion laws

ONE of Ireland’s leading Muslim leaders has revealed his support for the campaign to repeal the Eighth Amendment.

Dr Umar al-Qadri, a Dublin imam who is chairman of the Irish Muslim Peace & Integration Council (IMPIC), said he believed it was now time the rights of women in crisis pregnancies were “recognised”.

Dr al-Qadri added that IMPIC is planning to distribute a special guide for Irish Muslims on the upcoming abortion referendum on May 25.

The pamphlet will explore the vote’s implications and what they mean for Islam.

"Islam is neither exclusively pro-life nor pro-choice," he tweeted.

"The rights of the unborn child have to be balanced with the rights of the mother.

"I am in favour of 'Repeal the Eighth' and IMPIC will release soon a guideline for Muslims in Ireland who may be unsure how they should vote."

Dr al-Qadri’s words have been welcomed by 'Repeal the Eighth' campaigners who have hailed them as a significant boost for the referendum campaign.

"The Eighth Amendment should be repealed so as to relieve the unnecessary burden on women and medical professionals at what already constitutes a highly traumatic time,” he continued.

"We must sincerely consider our consciences and the moral responsibility that weighs upon us as we decide how to vote in the referendum.

"Every vote is a decision on the future destinies of women like Savita and also of the unborn children of the nation."

Savita Halappanavar died at University Hospital Galway (UHG) following a miscarriage in 2012, after doctors refused her request for an abortion.

The 31-year-old, who was originally from India, contracted sepsis and later died from cardiac arrest.

Dr al-Qadri said the referendum three months from now is about women in crisis such as Savita.

"It is the responsibility of the State to facilitate both legislation and funding for ease of access to abortion in extraordinary circumstances such as risk to the mother's life, rape, incest etc," he said.