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Friday, September 26, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
for 25TH SEPTEMBER, 2014
Local Muslims yesterday pledged to sup-
port Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bisses-
sar in her stance against terrorism, as they
distanced themselves from the Islamic State
of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
In offering that support, both the Anju-
man Sunnat ul Jamaat Association (ASJA)
and Islamic Missionaries Guild said they
agreed with Persad-Bissessar s decision on
Wednesday to co-sponsor United States
President Barack Obama s resolution on
foreign terrorist fighters at the United
Nations (UN) Security Council, New York.
ASJA president general Yacoob Ali, in a
telephone interview, said the Prime Minister
had the association s "unstinted support."
Ali, who heads one of this country s
leading Islamic groups, said ASJA did not
support any group that carried out acts of
violence in the name of religion as was
now ISIS s trademark.
Commenting on Persad-Bissessar s dec-
laration before the Security Council, Ali
said: "A government has a right to act in
a manner to protect the population from
any action that may interfere with the
rights of others.
"No community can act on its own in
a society to force their religious beliefs and
practices on anyone in any way. That will
go against the norms of the law of the
Ali said as a community, local Muslims
support the Prime Minister.
He added: "We do not subscribe to what
those people (ISIS) are doing.
"The Prime Minister has our support.
All law-abiding citizens will support such
a resolution of the Prime Minister, to act
in accordance with the duly constituted
law of the land in which they are living
and not take the law into their own hands
under the guise of any religious belief.
"I am making a generalised statement."
He said it was unacceptable in a civilised
society to impose religious practices or
beliefs on any other person and make state-
ments that would deny the rights of others
to live in peace and harmony in a socie-
"No one must take the law into their
own hands based on their religious beliefs
or practices. They may want to enforce
(it), not giving due recognition to the other
people, but this thing where they are going
to do this and kill this one, they cannot
do that. This is unheard of in a civilised
society," Ali added.
Muslim groups back PM on terror resolution...
Islamic Missionaries Guild president Imtiaz
Mohammed said local Muslims do not share
ISIS's ideology, adding the action being carried
out by ISIS is not Sharia law (Islamic law).
He said when a person was charged with a
crime under Sharia law they were brought
before a tribunal and evidence was put
forward before judges similar to the Western
ISIS, he said, had not shown evidence of
alleged crimes by the people they have
beheaded. He said they have their own
reasons for killing innocent people.
Mohammed also dismissed rumours that
there were T&T nationals with links to ISIS.
He said: "I do not have any information of
T&T (nationals) fighting with ISIS.
"It is important for us as leaders in the
Muslim community to encourage our people
to not get involved in these types of action,
terrorist actions. They have all different
issues." (See Pages A7 and A22)
Mohammed said he agreed with Persad-
Bissessar that T&T "also needs to watch our
borders for terrorism and need to not let our
country get into a situation where we have
"We need to put things in place as well so
we could protect our people here and not have
terrorists come into our country. I do agree
with her in today's world we need to be part of
the world (and join in the fight)," he said.
Mohammed admitted that there must be a
level of co-operation internationally on the
terrorism issue, especially since T&T had been
used as a transit hub in the past by people on
their way to other countries to carry out acts
But the PM's decision also brought a flood
of calls from concerned citizens to radio
stations yesterday, many of them fearing ISIS
terrorists could now target T&T and its
citizens for aligning itself to the US fight to
bring them down.
Mohammed said he was hopeful that the
Prime Minister's position did not bring trouble
to T&T, but added: "I do not rule out any stupid
actions by some people or individuals as it
"The Prime Minister has a country to rule
and we live here. We must have protection.
We will see how things unfold but we do
agree with the Prime Minister and our
Government. They have to do what they have
On Wednesday US President Barack Obama,
addressing the UN Security Council, declared
war on ISIS, which he described as a "network
Saying that "the only language understood
by killers like this is the language of force,"
Obama called for international support to fight
the terrorist group.
ISIS shot into the limelight when they
overran several communities in Iraq, killing
opposing combatants and leaving a trail of
destruction. However, they have also been
killing kidnapping and killing innocent people in
the process and recently initiated a series of
beheadings of those victims, including
American journalist James Foley.
The UN resolution was passed in New York
yesterday and will now see several countries
worldwide co-operating to bring down ISIS
and to try to stifle all its supporting networks
and supporters outside Iraq.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, left, is interviewed by Washington-based radio
hostess Lakshmi Singh during the T&T Investment Conference at Pratt House, Manhattan,
New York, yesterday. PHOTO COURTESY PM'S OFFICE
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan has
endorsed Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar's decision to co-sponsor the US
resolution on foreign terrorist fighters at
the United Nation (UN) Security Council
meeting in New York.
In a release yesterday, Ramlogan also
assured that the resolution would not impact
on law-abiding citizens, since it was aimed
at those bent on causing death and destruc-
"This resolution targets terrorists and their
support base that use deadly force to inflict
maximum damage and harm on innocent,
peaceful law-abiding citizens. People who
do not fall into this category have no cause
for concern," he said.
Ramlogan said he recognises the "grave
threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters to
security, law and order. We are therefore
pleased to collaborate with the US and other
member states to do our part to combat the
global challenge posed by terrorism."
The AG contended that while T&T has
been characterised by our tolerance of each
other s beliefs, "we are not immune from
the growing international threat of those
who believe that all people should think as
they do and who would use the force of arms
to impose their ideology on others."
He said T&T must "cut the lifeline of
financial support that is the oxygen of ter-
rorism. The complex network of support is
borderless, as the tentacles of terrorists can
penetrate every nation, every institution and
every town and village."
T&T, he said, was party to several treaties
that dealt with terrorism and also had proac-
tive legislative measures to "combat this per-
The legislative measures required by yes-
terday s resolution, Ramlogan added, were
already part of local pieces of legislation,
such as the Anti-Terrorism (Financial Obli-
gations) Regulations 2011, the Police Service
Act 2000, the Administration of Justice
(Deoxyribonucleic acid) Act and the Anti-
personnel Mines Act 2000.
He said he was also pleased that the res-
olution was compatible with the existing
international human rights law, international
refugee law and international humanitarian
"Indeed, it is built on the bedrock of fun-
damental human rights and freedom that
reinforce the rule of law in the T&T Con-
stitution and our legal system," he said.
(See Page A6) (RR)
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