Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 3rd 2014 Contents RHONDOR DOWLAT
The Carapo-based Al Islamia Jamma Masjid
attracts scores of people on a weekly basis.
Supervisor of the Life Sport programme Devoughn
Cummings said the mosque was a safe haven for most.
The mosque has been in the spotlight since news
about the Life Sport programme broke and allegations
of corruption were pointed in that direction.
In Parliament on Friday, Opposition MP Colm Imbert
described the leadership of the mosque as operating
a militia on state lands. In the face of the criticism,
members of the mosque issued an open invitation to
"During a visit by the T&T Guardian on Monday
Cummings said: "On Friday, the mosque is full of
people. They come here with different problems. Some
are very poor and they would get help.
"Single mothers come with their children and they
too get help. The homeless ones are taken in by some
of the sisters in the mosque, once they have room in
their house. It s purely about love and care for the
When the T&T Guardian visited several youths were
seen playing basketball. The women of the mosque
also were seen preparing food for the breaking of the
fast, as they are observing the month of Ramadan.
"This is how it is on a daily basis here. You see
them from toddler to young adults and they are all
involved in some sort of recreational activity. The
youths are also welcomed here for Islamic teaching
and the reading and explanation of the Holy Quran,"
He explained that Rajaee Ali, a co-ordinator of the
Life Sport programme and a member of masjid, plays
a major part in teaching peace among its members.
Cummings added: "He (Ali) ensures that peace is
taught and carried out within the community. The
entire community respects Rajaee.
"I can safely say that he is the one responsible for
the peace maintained along the East-West Corridor.
He has everyone pat down and cool. It have one or
two imps that will go outside of that but generally it
is peaceful along the corridor compared to way back
Ali has been accused of being one of the main
players who have benefited from Life Sport programme
contracts. He has, however, denied this. Imbert also
linked Ali to the assassination of Senior Counsel Dana
Seetahal, who was shot dead on May 4.
A self-proclaimed Christian, Cummings stressed
the good relationship he had with the masjid.
"We have a very good, understanding and close-
knit relationship. In Parliament, politicians would talk
about the two gangs, the Muslims and the Rasta City
warring, but how can they say this? At the end of the
day the politicians can only make allegations. That is
their job," he added.
Warring factions of the two opposing groups have
been linked to the majority of gang-related murders,
senior police said.
Cummings said he would like politicians to invest
more in the youths in Carapo.
He noted: "Give good jobs to the youths and have
them go to study classes in the evening. Don t have
them just going to study and no job and no pay at
the end of the day because this will cause them to
stray and do wrong things for money.
"They should have programmes to educate the
youths both academically, trade, musically and in
Cummings also praised the youths of Carapo who
were involved in the construction of the mosque.
"The mosque as it is only cost $160,000 and this
is for the material alone, because all the labour was
done for free by the youths. The building still has
far to go, including the installation of windows but
it will be completed in due time," he said.
Cummings also showed the T&T Guardian a video
of a function held in honour of a female teacher,
who came into the community and sacrificed her
time and money to work along with the youths.
That teacher, he said, was given a local used
"The youths did well and they all have good
hearts. One of them is a teacher today and all of
them put up $500 and more and together they were
able to purchase a car for this teacher as a form
of gratitude," he said.
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, July 3, 2014
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Carapo activist denies militia link
Members of the Al Islamia Jamaa Masjid Carapo, play a game of one on one
basketball on their compound on Monday evening. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
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