A leading Islamic cleric in Ireland who denounced extreme fundamentalism has admitted that he was "shocked" by the vilification he received for condemnation of the Brussels terror attacks.

Shaykh Dr Muhammad Umar al-Qadri denounced the Brussels attacks but also urged Europeans not to blame Muslims for what had happened. He said it was vital that governments realised that Muslims must be vital allies in "the war against terrorism".

The Dublin-based cleric revealed that in the days following his comments he was subjected to a sinister campaign of online abuse. He interpreted one comment posted about him as effectively calling for his silencing.

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