There was a hugely positive reaction to Tommy Tiernan’s interview with a Muslim leader last night
“You’re not going to blow up after this now, are you?”
The Tommy Tiernan Show returned to RTÉ One on Wednesday night with a typically eclectic mix of guests, including Irish musical royalty Foster and Allen, Irish actress Fionnuala Flanagan and Shaykh Dr. Umar Al-Qadri, the Imam of the Islamic Centre in Ireland.
If you’re unfamiliar with the format, Tiernan is unaware of who he’s interviewing until they appear in front of him and it was his interview with Dr. Al-Qadri that was the subject of most discussion on social media last night.
After greeting Dr. Al-Qadri by dropping to his knees, bowing to him and asking if that was “an inappropriate cultural gesture”, Tiernan engaged in a fascinating discussion with the Imam that included a chat about his experience of life in Ireland (he’s lived in here since 2003) and of being a Muslim in this country.
— RTE One (@RTEOne) January 3, 2018
Although the conversation involved a number of serious topics, it was good-natured and humorous throughout, with Dr. Al-Qadri responding with laughter when Tiernan remarked: “You’re not going to blow up after this now, are you?” before Dr. Al-Qadri recited a verse of the Quran.
“No, definitely not,” Dr. Al-Qadri responded.
“The vast majority of Muslims is absolutely peaceful, believe me… and those lunatics do not represent the Muslim faith,” he added.
“And I obviously wouldn’t have said that to you unless I suspected you had a sense of humour,” Tiernan replied, while jokingly wiping his forehead.
The interview drew a positive reaction on social media afterwards, with Dr. Al-Qadri himself remarking that he hoped it helped build bridges in communities in Ireland on the day a Japanese man was stabbed to death in Dundalk in an incident that led to the arrest of an Egyptian teenager.
Just remembered the #TommyTiernan show with my interview is aired tonight. I’m in the Netherlands so could not watch it. On this day when there was an attack in #Dundalk and some used it to divide, my interview aims to build bridges between communities.
— Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri (@DrUmarAlQadri) January 3, 2018
You can watch the interview in full on the RTÉ Player here.
What a lovely man, and the interview was a pleasure to watch! A great ambassador for the Muslim community in Ireland. (I also agree that the Call to Prayer is a treat for the ears)
— Ed (@edquilty) January 3, 2018
Great interview. Tommy didn’t leave anything to chance. I don’t do organised religion but I respect a sense of humor
— PAradise PAddy (@PAradisePAddy) January 3, 2018
@DrUmarAlQadri Thank you for promoting truth Imam :)
There are many of us who recognise islamophobia as a geopolitical tool used to extract profit from fear.
Solidarity and peace be upon you! ✊✌
— c'nar megarry (@dublinmacker) January 4, 2018
— Stiofán Ó Fearail (@stiofanofearail) January 3, 2018
#TommyTiernanShow Shaykh Umar Al-Qadri impressive, more of this please RTÉ
— Nicola Moran 📷🌳🎶 (@Bobbmagee) January 3, 2018
— James Fenton (@fentonjames16) January 3, 2018
"You're not going to blow up after this ?" #TommyTiernanShow
— Larry Patrick L'Oiseau 🇮🇪 🐸 (@LaurenceTheBird) January 3, 2018