An elected official in Ireland is facing calls to resign after stating during a council meeting that he wanted to see those who participated in the siege on Dublin “shot in the head.” Abul Kalam Azad Talukder was Ireland’s first Bangladeshi politician, having been elected to Limerick Council while still a citizen of his home country.
Last Thursday, a violent riot erupted in Dublin following a stabbing left three children and one woman seriously injured. After the perpetrator of the stabbing was identified as an Algerian migrant who had once been subject to a deportation order, citizens took to the streets with demands for immigration reform.
Yesterday, at a Limerick City and County Council meeting condemning the riots, Talukder called for severe public punishments to “deal with” those who participated in the direct action.
“I strongly believe that this is not the face of Ireland. This is just some criminals looting the shops. I don’t think they follow any ideological purpose. They come to the streets and just rob. They should get punishment,” said Talukder.
“Not even an animal does these kind of thing. It is very shameful, and they should get public punishment. I’d like to see them shot in the head or bring the public in and beat them until they die.”
In response to Talukder’s shocking statements, a petition was launched by Stephen O’Neill, a concerned citizen, expressing his concern over Talukder’s incitement of violence towards Irish people.
“As a concerned resident of Limerick City and County, I am appalled by the recent remarks made by our Cathaoirleach, Cllr. Azad Talukder, made in a council meeting that were not only inappropriate, but potentially incite violence,” wrote O’Neill.
Continuing, O’Neill describes the inappropriate nature of Talukder’s comments and explains why they are not a reflection of Irish values:
“These words are not reflective of our community’s values, nor do they cast our wonderful city and county in a positive light. Such comments have no place coming from someone who holds such an influential position within our local government.”
O’Neill concludes by calling for Talukder’s resignation from his position for failing to “uphold standards of decency and respect” for all citizens.
“His words could potentially encourage violent actions which [go] against everything we stand for as a community. We believe that this incident has shown that Cllr. Azad Talukder is unfit to serve as Cathaoirleach [and] member of Limerick City [and] County Council. We therefore call on him to step down from his roles immediately or be removed by appropriate means.”
According to Ireland Live, Talukder was initially elected into a civic leadership role in Limerick last June and was the first immigrant from the community to hold a leadership position in the city.
Before being elected, Talukder, a 54-year-old father of two and “leader of the Muslim community,” was a businessman and taxi cab driver.
Talukder moved to Limerick in 2000 and has been working with Fianna Fail, Ireland’s conservative party, since 2004, focusing primarily on “aiding the migrant community.”
On social media, many have noted that Conor McGregor is facing a police investigation for far less incendiary remarks, and called Talukder’s seemingly preferential treatment “hypocritical.”
As previously reported by the Publica, Garda Síochána, Ireland’s national police, are investigating McGregor’s tweets during the riot as part of a probe into online hate speech. McGregor has expressed outrage over the stabbing of the children, and called out police for labeling the protestors “hooligan lunatics.”