Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 28th 2016 Contents A6 news
guardian.co.tt Monday, November 28, 2016
Faithful Muslim or Isis "fol-
Debate has arisen on this after a
young female at Piarco Airport last
Friday, was seen wearing a jacket with
a large logo, similar to the logo used
by the terror network Islamic State
The girl was among relatives at Pi-
arco airport, last Friday, welcoming
the five T&T men who returned from
The men, Dominic Pitilal, Wade
Charles, Asim Luqman, Andre
Battersby and Leslie Daisley were
detained in Venezuela in 2014, on
suspicion of terrorism. Charges were
changed a few months ago to intent
to commit espionage and commit
a crime. They were found guilty.
Time already served was factored
Among those welcoming them
back, was the girl who was seen
wearing a black "hoodie"(jacket).
She was seen going to greet the first
of the men, said to be Asim Luqman.
An older woman went to hug him.
The girl followed her.
Muslim community attorney Na-
feesa Mohammed, who defended
the girl, claimed she was Luqman's
Emblazoned on the back of the
girl's jacket were large Islamic say-
ings in Arabic, and beneath, a circle
with more Arabic writing.
The design was similar to Isis'
flag logo which also has Arabic
writing---"There is no god but Allah
[God]. Mohammad is the messenger
of Allah." The phrase is a declaration
of faith used across Islam, known as
Underneath the writing is also a
circle highlighted with more black
writing, "Mohammed is the mes-
senger of God"
The circle is said to resemble
prophet Muhammed's seal. The
logo is also on the flags of African
and Middle Eastern terrorist groups,
Al Shabab and Al Qaeda.
The issue was also picked up by
social media. Calls to the Luqman
family went unanswered yesterday.
Islamic Front leader Umar Abdual-
lah, among those at the airport, said
the girl was among several present
to greet the men.
He confirmed he'd told her to take
the jacket off. "I told her to do so since
nobody wanted to send the wrong
"But such things with (Isis) symbols
are all over the place, mostly youths
are buying them. People wear all kinds
of things in T&T. Youths normally
take up all kinds of things as fashion,"
National Security Minister Edmund
Dillon said, "We're looking at the le-
gal aspect of all aspects---anything to
do with terrorism will fall under the
Attorney General Faris-Al Rawi
didn't answer calls concerning leg-
islative framework on such.
However, Mohammed defended
the girl, saying, "Not because some-
thing has Arabic sayings on it, means
it's Isis or it's evil."
"The phrases---There is no god but
Allah [God]. Mohammad is the mes-
senger of Allah' are the foundations
"Many Muslims in T&T believe
in these sayings as the tenets of the
religion. But the sayings have nothing
to do with vulgarities or abuse perpe-
trated by these groups (isis)."
"If you have such sayings on a
jersey or jacket, it doesn't mean you
follow Isis. But some sentiments are
now giving rise to Islamophobia,
stigmatising everything that is Islam
and misconstruing its nature. I hope
people would be aware and under-
stand we must respect each others'
Scholar: Trinis like
to follow fashion
Islamic scholar, Aziza Charles, of
San Juan, who was with Mohammed,
added, "The logo (on the girl's jacket)
isn't exclusive to Isis. "
"The writing of the sayings are Ar-
abic calligraphy. Many youths wear
it. But groups like Isis 'hijacked 'the
symbol and part of the problem also,
is that everyone else around the world
associates it with Isis now,"
Use of Isis' flag displaying the logo
has been banned in the Netherlands
and Germany. Former British Prime
Minister David Cameron had suggest-
ed it in the UK also, but that wasn't
T&T Guardian checks revealed
some sources "access" similar gar-
ment/ items, with the same design,
but they're not sold openly.
One source said: "It's not a big
thing, it's a fashion statement, mostly
by some youths. You know how fash-
ion or fashion statements are---Trin-
is just like to follow-fashion. Isis is
a talking point these days, so... The
style passes. Is just for now."
Other items of apparel---black or
beige headgear---associated with Mid-
dle Eastern states or with the practice
of Islam, are also more popular locally
now than in recent years.
Last month, a middle-aged man
entering the Parliament to deliver
a document to an MP was asked by
security to remove his pakol (round
hat used in Pakistan and Afghanistan)
as he was being scanned. He declined,
saying the hat was for Muslim reli-
A female relative of one of the Muslim returnees wearing a jacket with a
large logo, similar to the logo used by the terror network Islamic State (Isis).
Nafeesa defends relative of Muslim
returnee wearing 'Isis' jacket
Attorney Nafeesa Mohammed, who visited Wade Charles at San Fer-
nando Police Station, yesterday, said he was in good spirits. Charles was
arrested by police immediately after he landed at Piarco, last Friday. This
is in connection with an alleged fraudulent transfer matter.
Mohammed said this allegedly concerns a matter of a truck issue in
He will face a San Fernando magistrate this morning and apply for bail.
Charles was visited by his mother Gloria and daughter Aziza. When Charles
was arrested his mother said her son was being treated like a "terrorist."
CHARLES IN COURT TODAY
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