Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 7th 2015 Contents A5
Saturday, November 7, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Calls are being made for the
Government to liaise with all Mus-
lim organisations to stop the
recruitment of terrorist fighters
by the Islamic State of Iraq and
This follows the posting of an
11-minute, 20-second video, titled
Those who Believe and Made the
Hijra, which featured Trinidadian
parents and their young children
training to become ISIS fighters.
In the video posted by the Ar-
Raqqah Province of the Islamic State
(IS), the fighters said they left T&T
to fight for Islam as practising their
faith in T&T was "limited."
One of them was positively iden-
tified as former Richplain Road,
Diego Martin, resident Chris Lewis
by his friends and family yesterday.
Family members said Lewis left
Trinidad over a year ago with his
children, saying he was going to
live and work in England.
They were stunned, therefore,
when they saw him appearing in
the ISIS video and were said to be
still struggling to come to terms
with his decision to join the terrorist
But in an interview yesterday,
founder and chairman of the
Caribbean Hajj, Zabar Mohammed
Baksh, said the video was not an
accurate representation of Islam in
T&T. "They have to be mad. We
are the best place in the world to
practise Islam," Baksh said, adding
he hoped the terrorist fighters never
returned to T&T.
He added: "I have travelled all
over the world and we are not
restrictive when it comes to the
practice of Islam. I was a founding
member of the IRO and that is a
blessing in this country.
"Islam is one of the most tolerant
religions of the world. We always
fear Allah. Every life on this earth
must be protected and cherished."
Asked why locals were being
enticed to go to fight for ISIS, Baksh
said: "Ask them that. I don t know
what prompts them." He added that
the Government must deal with
the situation by holding talks with
Meanwhile, president of the
Trinidad Muslim League, Dr Nasser
Mustapha, said he did not recognise
any of the fighters. He said it was
not true that Islam was being
restricted in T&T. "Over the years
we have enjoyed religious freedom
and freedom to worship. We have
established schools and we teach
children from other religions. We
have more rights and freedoms than
many of the Muslim countries
where people cannot speak out,"
He also said when he first heard
people were going to ISIS he was
skeptical. Now that he had seen
proof of the fighters in the Middle
East, Mustapha said it was time for
Government to intervene.
He said children must be taught
not to accept ISIS ideology.
"The Government needs to
address this issue at the level of the
school and the media," he added.
Mustapha also said it was possible
people with limited education and
weak family ties was being encour-
aged by ISIS. "These people with
weak spiritual development can be
easily influenced. I think Muslims
who have knowledge of the religion,
strong family ties and a stable posi-
tion in society will not be enticed
by ISIS," Mustapha said.
TML s secretary Azid Ali had a
message for his Muslim family. "My
message to Muslim community is
think hard about what you are
doing. Search your conscience and
do research and reading.
"Seek understanding about what
is your role is as a Muslim and how
you can preserve your faith," Ali
said. He added that if your mission
was contrary to what Allah wanted,
then Muslims must understand
their duty to humanity.
Muslims want Govt action
After video on Trinis as ISIS fighters...
After damage by
PM to help
A Carenage couple whose house
was partially demolished by high
winds from a low flying helicopter
on Thursday night is expected to
receive compensation following a
visit from a representative of the
Member of Parliament for the
area, Prime Minister Dr Keith
The man, Krishna Salick, visited
the Western Main Road, Carenage,
home yesterday and assessed the
damage done on behalf of Dr Row-
ley, in his capacity as MP for the
Salick spoke with three home-
owners who claimed they suffered
some sort of damages.
At the couple s home which was
being constructed following a fire
two years ago, Marsha Maynard
spoke of how parts of her home
came crumbling when the helicop-
ter hovered close to her home, rip-
ping off galvanized roofs and rip-
ping electric gates off their hinges.
Maynard told the T&T Guardian
she was at her home washing when
she heard the noise from the hel-
icopter blades. Sometime later she
heard a cracking sound and saw at
least six rows of clay bricks coming
down towards her.
The woman said she and her
husband had to jostle to get through
a three-foot wide doorway to
escape being crushed.
Maynard said she had no qualms
with the helicopter doing whatever
it was doing but was disappointed
that while roofs were being blown
off, instead of gaining altitude the
helicopter kept hovering, causing
Maynard said the helicopter was
taking picture of a nearby oil spill
but this was not confirmed.
Other residents who did not want
to be identified said they all came
together to nail sheets of galvanise
back on the roof of a family, who
had a new-born baby at home
when the incident happened.
Defence Force officials up to late
yesterday were seeking to determine
whether the helicopter belonged to
the National Security Ministry.
Sources within the Defence Force
told the T&T Guardian on Thursday
that the helicopter was not part of
the Defence Force arsenal.
ISIS has released a new video featuring four men, who all claim to be from T&T. The video, entitled "Those
who Believe and Made the Hijra", was posted on Twitter and PRO IS Telegram channels today. In the video,
one of the men (Abu Zayd al-Muhajir) said he moved to Syria with his wife and three young children.
MORE ON VIDEO
In the video, a man, identified as
Abu Zayd al-Muhajir, described the
practice of Islam in T&T as limited.
"The only practice that you can
practise is what they tell you is halal
(permissible) to practise. The other
aspects of Islam are haram
(forbidden) for you. "You cannot
practise your deen 100 per cent. It
was yearning for me that I knew I
had to leave, I had to leave this land.
I cannot sit and watch my children
grow up in this land in which they
cannot practise their Islam 100 per
cent," he said.
While he admitted there were no
problems in wearing hijab or other
Islamic wear in T&T, Zayd al-Muhajir
said Muslims were only allowed to
practise what they were told. His
three young sons were featured
attending school learning
mathematics, English and Islam.
One of the children was heard
saying school in the Middle East
was better than school in Trinidad.
Another Trinidadian, called Abu
Abdullah, urged his "brothers" in
T&T to question their conscience.
"What will we tell Allah the Great
and Almighty if I don't make hijra to
the land of the Muslims, if I don't
make hijra to do my part and to give
my little contribution towards the
deen of Allah, the Great and
Almighty," he said.
The fourth fighter, Abu Mansour
al-Muhajir, said the fight was
against the allies of Satan.
"As we speak today, over 60
nations of this world sign on to wipe
out us but Allah, Glorified and
Exalted be He, is with us. I hope and
pray that Allah, Glorified and Exalted
be He, will guide us and protect us
and bring us to this land so that we
will make jihad for this cause and to
gain the reward of Allah, Glorified
and Exalted be He," he said.
Another fighter, Abu Khalid, said
although he lived comfortably in
Trinidad he felt he did not belong.
He also agreed that Muslims in
Trinidad were restricted. Last year
reports surfaced that locals were
leaving T&T to go to Ar-Raqqah, a
city in Syria on the north bank of
the Euphrates River. Former national
security minister Gary Griffith
estimated that at least 30 citizens
were now terrorist fighters. T&T has
been named as a country where
fighters were being recruited by the
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