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HOUSING PROJECT IN BARBADOS CAUSES A STIR

According to reports carried in the Barbados Nation News:

A new community exclusively for Muslims has been started at Clermont, St James.

But Barbadians have nothing to fear, said members of the An-Noor Muslim Association, the body behind the housing development that will include a mosque and community centre.

Authorities have denied the group one of its featured facilities, the call to prayer when speakers attached to the mosque publicly announce the times of prayer.

Responding to queries about the project, located opposite Queen’s College on more than five acres of land that already has the roads laid out, Abdulsamad Pandor said construction was being governed by the same convenant that applied to those living in nearby residential districts even though a mosque will be part of the community.

The "exclusively" for Muslims description has caused a stir amongst Barbadians.  Commenting on The Nation News Facebook page Ismail Chotia stated "I think the Nation's use of the word 'exclusive' is clearly intended to stir debate. There is nothing exclusive about the Clermont project , its natural for members of a congregation to be offered a chance to own a home around their place of worship. Are you going to suggest that the Anglican Church or any other undertaking a similar project be labelled as 'exclusively Christian" ?"

Suleiman Bulbulbia commenting on the actual post on nationnews.com:- "Permit me to clarify one major inaccuracy with this article. This project is not exclusive. Permission was not granted on this development on any clause that it would only be opened to Muslims. It is a development that includes housing lots and lots for worship space and community centre. The housing lots can be purchased by anyone of any faith. Majority of the lots were purchased immediately upon availability by Muslims, but no clause prevents any landowner to resell his/her plot. He/she can sell to whomever is interested in buying regardless of faith. Furthermore, a landowner can build a property on his/her lot and choose to rent to whomever they wish, again regardless of faith. I am deeply saddened when in wonderful Barbados we have to hear such negative comments based on false and misleading information that so tarnish our tradition of harmony and peaceful coexistence. Furthermore, this development will NOT be gated, free access in and out at all times."

Kelly Johnally chimed in on the Nation News Facebook Page chimed in "Why is the considered segregation and racism? If a credit union bought land and sold it to its members we would hear nothing. If it was government lower income housing scheme you would hear nothing. If it was a group of "Black Barbadian Businessmen" we would hear nothing. A group of people who have the commonality of faith have bought land- so what. Good for them.People need to stop looking for the worst in everything."

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Taking on takfirism will require more than a quick fix

A Takfiri (from Arabic: تكفيريtakfīrī) is a Muslim who accuses another Muslim (or member of Abrahamic religions) of apostasy. The accusation itself is called takfir, derived from the word kafir (infidel) and is described as when "one who is, or claims to be, a Muslim is declared impure."

In principle the only group authorised to declare a member of an Abrahamic religion a kafir ("infidel") is the ulema, and this is only done once all the prescribed legal precautions have been taken. However, a growing number of splinter Wahhabist/Salafist groups, labeled by some scholars as Salafi-Takfiris, have split from the orthodox method of establishing takfir through the processes of the Sharia law, and have reserved the right to declare apostasy themselves against any Muslim in addition to non-Muslims. In their interpretation of Islamic law, any apostate (a person who declares that he or she no longer is a Muslim) must be killed. Thus, many armed Islamic takfir groups, such as Al Qaeda and ISIS, carry out violent acts or insurgencies against people or governments considered by them as "apostates" to enforce this Islamic punishment on them

The (Middle East) region’s conflicts have shed light on the proliferation of takfirist movements operating in the Arab world and beyond. They are a threat to the people of the region as much as they are to countries and they must be challenged. We all have a collective role in fulfilling this duty. Here are some recommendations which will aid the task.


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One of the persons who have had a lasting impact on Muslim praxis in the Caribbean especially Trinidad, Guyana and Suriname is Maulana Ansari. Here we present a biographical sketch.   Dr Maulana Fazlur Rahman Ansari (ra) was an outstanding theologian & philosopher of the Muslim World. His broad knowledge of the modern sciences together with his Islamic learning and insight enabled him to expound on Islam in a manner that was inspiring to both the masses and the intellectual elite.
 

An Address delivered by Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Chairman of the Caricom Reparations Commission, House of Commons, Parliament of Great Britain, Thursday, July 16, 2014.

I speak this evening, in this honourable chamber of the House of Commons, as Chairman of the Caricom Commission on Reparations.

My colleagues of the Commission are tasked with the preparation and presentation of the evidentiary basis for a contemporary truth: that the Government of Great Britain, and other European states that were the beneficiaries of enrichment from the enslavement of African peoples, the genocide of indigenous communities, and the deceptive breach of contract and trust in respect of Indians and other Asians brought to the plantations under indenture, have a case to answer in respect of reparatory justice.

The case of genocide is not only in respect of our decimated native community. It is also important to recognize the genocidal aspect of chattel slavery in the Caribbean.

British slave ships brought 5.5 million enslaved Africans into their Caribbean colonies over 180 years. When slavery was abolished in 1838 they were just 800,000 persons remaining. That is, a retention/survival rate of 15%. The regime of enslavement was crafted by policies and attitudes that were clearly genocidal.
Jamaica received 1.5 million Africans. Only 300,000 remained at Emancipation (20%).
Barbados received 600,000 Africans. Only 83,000 remained at Emancipation (14%).


The Shuttered Bug

When she was 12, she got her first camcorder and discovered a world waiting to be recorded. Soon, everyone in the family expected her to be the one taking pictures, recording their gatherings. She edited her first home film then too, and has even done music videos with her cousins.

For Maryam Mohamed, filming has been a passion for exactly half her life—she’s 24—so when she finished her BSc in Sociology with a minor in Psychology, she was thrilled to begin a double major in the Faculty of Humanities at The UWI; a BA in Film Studies and Film Production.

For her dedication and application to her studies—she sounds like a model student—she was given the bpTT Student Award at the just concluded Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival, a prize she is careful to point out is not for her short film, “If I could Fly,” but for her “studentship.”

“A group of students from UWI film programme was nominated for the award (based on our GPA) then we had to write an essay stating why they should select us to go to the International Rotterdam Film festival and how will this benefit us personally and professionally. The award is sponsored by bpTT and it’s an all-expense paid trip to Holland for the film festival,” she explains.


Sheikh Ali Mustafa Seinpaal

Sheikh Ali Mustafa Seinpaal hails from Suriname, South America, a former Dutch Colony; from a Christian, religious family. Sheikh Mustafa embraced Islam in 1966. After meeting Maulana Dr. Fazlur-Rahman Ansari (r.a) in 1969 in Suriname, he went to study at the Aleemiyah Institute of Islamic Studies at Karachi. Sheikh Mustafa graduated from the Aleemiyah Institute in 1974, the same year Dr. Ansari passed away. He obtained the Alim Degree: AD-DARAJAT AL-IJAZAH AL-ALIYAH. Subsequently he completed his Bachelor’s degree in Arts at the University of Karachi majoring in Political Science, Natural Science, English and Arabic. Sheikh Mustafa is also Hafizul-Qur’an and has mastered the Arabic language, Urdu and English. His mother tongue is Dutch and he also studied Spanish and Germany. Sheikh Mustafa traveled around the world and served in Botswana (10-years), Suriname, the United States (New York, New Jersey), Europe (the Netherlands), Trinidad & Tobago and Pakistan. Recently he came from Durban after serving at the Assalaam Institute for 18-months.


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