HUMAN rights group Shannonwatch has called for an end to US military use of Shannon Airport in the wake of last week’s terrorist attacks in France.
The appeal comes days after the radical Muslim cleric Anjem Choudary said Ireland was now viewed as a “legitimate target” by al-Qaeda and others because of our foreign policy.
“You allow the Americans, who are the biggest butchers in the world, to stop at Shannon Airport to refuel and go on to kill people in Muslim countries,” Choudary said.
While the government has always argued its policy at Shannon respects its human rights commitments and policy on neutrality, local groups like Shannonwatch are less convinced.
After its monthly peace vigil at Shannon on Sunday, the group condemned the attacks on Charlie Hebdo but added all human rights, including freedom of expression, “carry responsibilities”.
“It is essential that responsibility is exercised by all societies and by political leaders and media outlets to avoid inflaming racism and discrimination. This must be borne in mind when publishing materials that are deemed offensive, particularly by minority communities,” a spokesperson said.
“We also cannot ignore the fact that western powers have created instability and engaged in conflicts that have resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Muslims. The conflicts in these and other countries have contributed to the rise in terrorism that we are sadly now seeing.
“Irish Government collaboration with the US military at Shannon makes us Irish complicit in the suffering and loss of life in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Pakistan and other places that American bombs, drones, depleted uranium and white phosphorus have been used.”
Ireland should accordingly “take responsibility for our part in the rise of conflict and terrorism around the world”.