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Imam of Galway Mosque ‘pleasantly surprised’ at popularity of name Muhammad


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Imam of Galway Mosque ‘pleasantly surprised’ at popularity of name Muhammad Imam of Galway Mosque ‘pleasantly surprised’ at popularity of name Muhammad

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Galway’s most prominent Muslim leader has hailed the city’s multiculturalism and diversity after Muhammad became the most popular boys’ name for births registered here last year.

Imam Ibrahim Noonan of Galway Mosque said he was “pleasantly surprised” to learn Muhammad had overtaken Liam and Michael as Galway City’s most popular name for newborn boys in 2022.

He said it signalled growth in the number of Muslim families choosing to settle in Galway City, which “attracts people of all faiths and backgrounds”.

“I’m not surprised members of the Muslim community want to live here because of its diversity and because it is the City of the Tribes,” he said.

Imam Noonan said some local people might be worried the rise in popularity of Muhammad was a sign that “the Muslim population is outgrowing the Irish”.

“That is not the case,” he insisted.

“I would say to those people they have nothing to fear about Muslims at all. Why would they be worried about the name Muhammad? Of course, they are linking this to some sort of radicalism, or extremism, or terrorism. That’s obviously what’s coming into their heads.

“But I can reassure them, certainly in Galway, and I’m pretty sure the whole country, that all the Muslims in Galway are very peaceful and loving and caring people. They appreciate Galway; they appreciate the people of Galway,” he said.

This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article and more on the most popular baby names in Galway for 2022, see the March 3 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can support our journalism and buy a digital edition HERE.

(Photo: Imam Ibrahim Noonan of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community).

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