War, Terrorism , Violence, Criminality

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    This article focuses on the rise of the “Muslim Boys” gang, from its origins in prison and the streets of south London through street crime and forced conversions to a media discourse alleging links with international terrorism and al-Qaeda. Paradoxically, the absence of reliable factual evidence only seems to have enhanced the power of discursive labelling. The author shows how the word “Muslim” is being used both by the gang and the media and how in this process stereotypes about Muslims as well as young black males are being amplified   and reified.

    Trinidad and Tobago is being used by an overseas crime syndicate to fund international terrorism through credit card fraud, British police believe.


    In the Name of God, the All-Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

    Gentle reader, Peace upon those who follow right guidance!

    I am honored to present the following fatwa or "response by a qualified Muslim Scholar" against the killing of civilians by the Oxford-based Malaysian jurist of the Shafi`i School and my inestimable teacher, Shaykh Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti, titled "Defending the Transgressed by Censuring the Reckless against the Killing of Civilians."

    The Shaykh authored it in a few days, after I asked him to offer some guidance on the issue of targeting civilians and civilian centers by suicide bombing in response to a pseudo-fatwa by a deviant UK-based group which advocates such crimes.

    Upon reading Shaykh Afifi's fatwa do not be surprised to find that you have probably never before seen such clarity of thought and expression together with breadth of knowledge of Islamic Law applied (by a non- native speaker) to define key Islamic concepts pertaining to the conduct of war and its jurisprudence, its arena and boundaries, suicide bombing, the reckless targeting of civilians, and more.

    May it bode the best start to true education on the impeccable position of Islam squarely against terrorism in anticipation of the day all its culprits are brought to justice.

    Given the level of crime in the idyllic Caribbean island — state of Trinidad and Tobago, everything from murder and kidnapping to corruption and robbery, I was surprised to find security at Piarco International Airport conspicuously absent.

    This is after all the land of carnival and Calypso and it takes a great deal to disturb the festive atmosphere. But with a population of 1.3 million people and an average GDP of TT$90 billion, Trinidad has earned the unenviable reputation of being the "kidnapping capital" of the world.

    Many influential Muslim leaders, who asked to remain anonymous, told me they suspect that Yasin Abu Bakr and members of his Jamaat al-Muslimeen have been behind a large number of the kidnapping for ransom schemes.

    Bandits shot and killed a Muslim community activist in Marabella yesterday and stole an undisclosed sum of money that he was on his way to deposit at a Republic Bank branch for his employer.

    Muslims protest at the wanton murder of co-believer

    THE BODY of Aleem Ali, a 15-year-old schoolboy who has been missing since Monday, was found on Wednesday afternoon in bushes at Upper St Michael Road, Tacarigua. The body which was badly burnt was discovered at about 4 pm by forest rangers and bore several chop wounds.

    Tariq Ali, 40, of Alfredo Street, Woodbrook, left his home on Sunday telling relatives that he was going to the ATM Machine in Woodbrook.

    Reports revealed that Ali was walking along Adam Smith Square around 9.30 pm ,when he was confronted by a group of men who beat him on the head and robbed him of cash.

    A passerby who witnessed the killing alerted the Woodbrook Police and the bleeding Ali was rushed to the Port-of-Spain General Hospital.

    He succumbed to his injuries on Monday night.

    THOUSANDS of mourners, including politicians, lawyers, doctors and members of several Islamic organisations, turned out at the Barrackpore Islamic Community Centre to bid farewell to Ashmead Baksh, 30, son of UNC MP for Naparima Nizam Baksh, who was shot to death and partially burnt one day after being kidnapped. Police investigating the weekend murder of Baksh, a contract supervisor who worked in his father’s contracting business, told Newsday that fear of being held by persons searching for Baksh, including members of the Jamaat-al-Muslimeen, led to the kidnappers aborting their plans to hold Baksh for a $5 million ransom and, in the end, deciding to kill him instead.

    Kidnap victim Ashmead Baksh, Shazara Baksh sister, and father Nizam Baksh, MP for Naparima.

    Ashmead Baksh’s widow Reshma, seated left, and mother Latiffa, being hugged at right, are among the Muslim women who mourned his death at his funeral in Barrackpore yesterday.

    Book Description
    On July 27 1990 the Jamaat al Muslimeen launched an attempted coup d' etat seeking to overthrow by force of arms the elected government of the day. This work describes in detail the events that culminated in the attempted coup d' etat by focusing on the salient question of the existence of an Islamic social minority in the West.

    On Friday, July 27, 1990, 114 members of the Jamaat al Muslimeen, led by Imam Yasin Abu Bakr and Bilaal Abdullah attempted to stage a coup against the Government of Trinidad & Tobago. Forty-two members attacked the seat of Parliament while 72 members attacked the T&T Television (TTT) station on Maraval Road, Newtown, which was at the time the nation’s prime broadcasting company and one of the only two radio stations. At 6 pm, Bakr announced that the Government had been overthrown. On the night of the 27th the army took control of the TTT transmitter on Cumberland Hill, taking the television station off the air and effectively curtailing the insurgents’ means of communicating to the national populace.

    The Police Force surrounded and sealed off the area around the Red House. During that time, widespread looting occurred in Port-of-Spain and parts of the East-West corridor, though the remainder of the country was calm.

    After six days of negotiations, the Muslimeen surrendered on August 1 and they were taken into custody. They were charged with treason but the Court of Appeal upheld the amnesty offered to secure their surrender and they were later released.

    Property worth millions were lost, 40 people died during the six-day takeover, including one member of Parliament, Diego Martin Central representative Leo Des Vignes. Many citizens saw the coup as the last nail on the coffin of the National Alliance for Reconstruction Government.  The leader of the Jamaat al-Muslimeen was, and still is, Yasin Abu Bakr. He was born Lennox Phillips in 1942, educated in Canada, a former policeman and convert to Islam. He is reported to have four wives, and various offspring. 

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