Judge Halpin said that he “had no intention of referring to, or offending Muslims or their religion,” apologized, and asked for “forgiveness.” In reference to his earlier remark, he said: “I would like to state that nothing could be further from the truth. I accept that I made the remark, but what I intended to say, and should have said, was that people who beat their partners do not appreciate the provisions of safety or protection orders, and they need intervention and education in that regard.”
This wording is lawyerly, and so it worth parsing carefully. It is unclear what Judge Halpin means by “I would like to state that nothing could be further from the truth.” Clearly the implication is that nothing could be further from the truth than the idea that Muslims feel they can actually beat their wives, but there is room in the statement for the Judge to have meant that not all Muslims, but only some Muslims feel they can actually beat their wives. At least that last statement has the benefit of being true.
What could have moved Judge Halpin to apologize and backtrack so abjectly on what was a demonstrably true statement? Almost certainly it was the prospect of career suicide: of being tarred as an “Islamophobe” and “bigot,” and consequently facing no more appointments to higher courts, and possibly even removal from the bench. So he kowtows, as so many do.
Migrant groups urged the Judge Anthony Halpin to withdraw his comment after he made the remark in Tallaght District Court on Thursday.
Judge Halpin has said that he ‘had no intention of referring to, or offending Muslims or their religion’ and apologised for the hurt caused and asked for their ‘forgiveness’.
In a statement issued today, he said; “I would like to state that nothing could be further from the truth.”
“ I accept that I made the remark, but what I intended to say, and should have said, was that people who beat their partners do not appreciate the provisions of safety or protection orders, and they need intervention and education in that regard.”
The Immigrant Council of Ireland had called on the Judge to withdraw the remark.
“While we have not seen the court record the remarks as reported to us are disappointing, wrong and offensive.
“People in positions of authority in the community have a particular duty not to feed racism or xenophobia, this applies to politicians, local media commentators and members of the judiciary. The remarks should either be withdrawn or clarified as a matter of urgency,” a spokesperson said.
Junior Minister Joe Costello said the judge should clarify the remark.
“It certainly was a gratuitous statement and on the surface it sounds insulting and gratuitous and he should immediately clarify the remarks,” Mr Costello told the Herald.
Dr Taufiq Al Sattar said the comments were in contradiction to all religious teachings.
“No religion says you should hurt anybody and no religion says you should harm anybody. We all have to be tolerant. We all have to compromise
“No religion says you hurt anybody, not your wife or your neighbour or anyone. This is common sense,” the cleric, who established a prayer centre in west Dublin, said.
Judge Halpin, who started sitting in the Tallaght court in September 2011, made the comments in relation to Muslims during the case of Khadar Younis (46),of Belfry Hall in Citywest, Dublin, who had denied breaking into his divorced wife’s home while she was asleep in bed. He also pleaded not guilty to breaking a protection order and being in the possession of a knife while in the house.