- News Archive
MANDELA MOURNED - FROM PROTESTOR, TO PRISONER TO PRESIDENT
- Published 12/6/2013
LEAVES A LEGACY OF STRUGGLE FOR HUMAN DIGNITY AND FREEDOM
The Caribbean joins with the rest of the world in mourning the loss of Nelson Mandela. Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid icon who became the first president of a democratic South Africa, passed away Thursday at his home in Johannesburg after a prolonged lung infection. He was 95. South African President Jacob Zuma said "Our thoughts are with the millions of people who embraced Mandela as their own and who saw his cause as their cause.… This is the moment of our deepest sorrow. We saw in him what we seek in ourselves. And in him we saw so much of ourselves," he said. "Nelson Mandela brought us together and it is together that we will bid him farewell."
Fazeel M Ferouz, President of Central Islamic Organization of Guyana said that "Nelson Mandela passing is a great loss for South Africa and the world.`He guided his country and his people and set an example that will be forever remembered by all who would like to see a peaceful world. He decided to forgive and move on in the interest of "Peace and Unity " for his country and people. Being Muslims we know what our Holy Prophet Muhammad (saws) did when he entered Makkah --he forgave all those who wronged him. Mandela did the same. He was and will always be remembered as a man who chose peace instead of destruction."
Hakeem Khan, President General of The Anna Catherina Islamic Complex in Guyana, in paying tribute to Mr. Mandela said that "Nelson Mandela must always remain in our eyes as a person who faced all challenges and sacrifices at a great cost to his personal freedom and well-being. While his death is a cause of great sorrow, his life and his example is a lesson for all human beings who value justice and equality. Nelson Mandela espoused all the values and teachings of Islam and Muslims, therefore as Islam asks “is there any other reward for good other than good?” – we are sure that his reward for the good of his life will only be the compensation of good in the life hereafter."
From Barbados, Suleiman Bulbulia, Secretary of the Barbados Muslim Association added that "Nelson Mandela's struggle against the unjust, oppressive and inhumane system of apartheid in South Africa, his imprisonment for 27 years for this struggle and his continued struggle for a unified, and reconciled South Africa after his release and Presidency has inspired and endeared Mandela in the hearts of millions of people across the Globe for decades. His unwavering support for the Palestinian cause and indeed for all causes and fights against tyranny, injustice and oppression also won him admiration and support from the Muslim world. All persons, Muslims and others who fought alongside Nelson Mandela and were imprisoned with him attest to his character and personality."
Ahmad AbdlHaqq Ibn Ambroise of the Dominican Republic, posted his tribute on Facebook, saying "A great man of the universal struggle for justice and freedom has passed on today. Rest in peace Nelson Mandela, you will be remembered."
Bulbulia speaking on behalf of Muslims in the Caribbean said that " We join with persons across this region in reflecting on the life and contribution to humanity of Nelson Mandela. His passing will remind us all that we too must one day taste death, and should inspire us all that our time on earth must be committed to the highest ideals of truth, justice and mercy for all regardless of color, race or class."
Behind mask of secularism, France hardens face towards Islam
- Published 11/29/2013
Frenchwomen who wear headscarves out of faith could see their freedom to do so curtailed after a Paris appeals court's decision to uphold a nursery's right to dismiss a worker who insisted on wearing a hijab at work.
At the heart of the case was the question of whether France's strict ban on any overt religious symbols being displayed in state schools and other public institutions could be applied to what was a privately run nursery.
A lower court had said no in March but, after an outcry across the political spectrum, that ruling was overturned on Wednesday.
Although further legal wrangling is likely before the issue is definitively settled, the notion that private employers can tell employees how to dress on the basis of a principle of religious neutrality has been established for the time being.
"A line has been breached," said Franck Fregosi of the national research centre (CNRS). "Until now, the idea of religious neutrality was exclusively an issue for the public sector.
"The problem is that a number of recent developments, including this one, are perceived as being directed exclusively at Muslims, even if the current government actually targets Islam less (than its predecessor)."
President of Guyana meets visiting scholar
- Published 11/28/2013
REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL MUSLIM LEADERS GATHER IN GUYANA
- Published 11/26/2013
The distinguished scholar will visit Guyana from Wednesday 27th November and will be associated with four programs here.
Haji Yacoob Ali, President General of the Anjuman Sunnatul Jamaat Association Inc. of Trinidad and Tobago (ASJA) Principal of one of Trinidad & Tobago’s recognized institution of Higher Islamic Education, Markaz Al Ihsan (Center of Refinement) and Maulana Dr. Wafi Mohammed will represent the twin-island Republic. Al Haj Basheer Khodabux of Hedayatul Islam, Suriname will lead a delegation from that country to Guyana.
From Canada, Secretary of the International Muslim Organization (IMO) of Toronto, Canada, Ameer Ali, Board Member of Sunnatul Masjid of Ontario, Canada, Bro. Twiab Khan and award winning journalist, Toronto-based Guyanese Nazim Baksh, who has been responsible for the visit of this great scholar to Guyana, is also expected to attend the programmes and activities.
His Eminence, Maulana Hisham Kabbani will also unveil the plaque at ACIC to officially signal the opening of classes (which will start on December 14). The Guyana Branch of the Markaz will offer the Certificate Course with Lecturers from Trinidad & Tobago who will travel to Guyana to conduct the classes.
Also coming as part of Shaukh Hisham’s delegation is internationally acclaimed Nasheed singer, Ali Elsayed. For the very first time the people of Guyana will get the opportunity to meet Shaykh Hisham and listen to his words of love, wisdom and sincerity.
The main programme will be held on Friday at 18.30 hrs at the Anna Catherina Islamic Complex, West Coast Demerara. His Eminence will deliver the Friday Juma Sermon at the Queenstown Jama Masjid the same day. Other programmes are slated for Peter’s Hall Jama Masjid, East Bank Demerara, Mon Repos Masjid, both programmes commencing at 18:30 hours.
The delegation will be paying courtesy calls on several government functionaries, Opposition Leader and Members of the Diplomatic Corps.
Lebanese born Muslim Scholar, Shaykh Kabbani, has dedicated his life to calling people to increase their love of Prophet Muhammad (SAS). For over two decades he has worked tirelessly to validate expressions of love of Allah’s Messenger through mawlid celebrations and gathering of dhikr in the West and the East. He combines religious and scientific knowledge to convey the message of Islam to diverse groups of people in English, French, Arabic, and Turkish. His message has touched millions of the people all over the world and through his da`wah, by Allah’s grace, over 15,000 people have accepted Islam in the Americas and Europe. Maulana Kabbani advocates an understanding of Islam as fundamentally based on peace, tolerance, interreligious cooperation, respect and love. He has counseled and advised Muslim leaders around the world to build community resilience against violent extremism. In 2012 the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre named him one of the top 500 most influential Muslims. His discourses, presentations and dialogues have earned him the enviable respect of Leaders and peoples of all faiths.
The Central Islamic organization of Guyana (CIOG) is fully supporting these programs, and will be providing free transportation to and from the programs. The buses will leave at 5.00PM and stop at masjids on its way to the program venues. For more information persons can contact the Regional Vice presidents of CIOG or the CIOG’s Secretariat or the ACIC.
ACIC has served as the hub for the International cooperation of Muslims in Guyana, with those overseas since early 2000’s and provides the programs and facilities to allow this cooperation. Sadr Anjuman is the oldest existing Islamic organization in Guyana, enacted by an Act of Parliament in the 1960’s. It was formed in the 1940’s and provided leadership to the Muslim community over many decades.
The leaders of these Muslim organizations of the various countries will also meet to discuss the expansion of their cooperation in other areas.
For the first time ever, the Main Program on Friday night will be carried live by NTN Radio 89.1 FM. The broadcast will commence at 6.30PM and persons across the world can tune in to http://www.ntntv-radio.com/. There will also be a live video stream of this program at www.sufi.com
The price of slavery in the Caribbean
- Published 11/26/2013
Caribbean nations seek reparations for damages related to Atlantic slave trade
What is the legacy of slavery in the Caribbean, and can it be repaired by reparations? Fourteen Caribbean countries are suing their former European colonisers and seeking payment for damages rooted in the slave trade. Leaders of the campaign say the money would go towards development projects. Many feel there is a moral case for compensation, but how strong is the legal case?
SOLAR SYSTEM PICTURE SHOWS EARTH IN MINISCULE PERSPECTIVE
- Published 11/13/2013
An incredible natural-colour image of Saturn, taken from space, shows the planet’s moons and rings as well as Earth, Venus and Mars all together for the first time.
The image was taken by Nasa’s Cassini spacecraft, which shows the view as it would be seen by human eyes.
Cassini’s imaging team processed 141 wide-angle images to create the impressive panorama.
The picture, which was unveiled at the Newseum in Washington today, takes in 404,880 miles across Saturn and its inner ring system, including its striking rings out of the E ring, which is the planet’s outer-most ring.
To give an idea of the vast scale of the image, Nasa said the distance between Earth and our moon would fit comfortably inside the span of the E ring.
It is possible to see Earth as a bright blue dot to the lower right of Saturn, while Venus is a bright dot to Saturn’s upper left. Mars also makes an appearance as a faint red dot, above and to the left of Venus.
MUSLIM GROUP TO TRINIDAD POLITICIANS: DESIST OR WE MAY RESIST.
- Published 11/12/2013
A Muslim group has warned political parties in Trinidad and Tobago that they should desist from using Islam and Muslims as pawns in the fight to gain political dominance here.
“If these parties continue along this path; the face of politics as we know it would change... A change we are not prepared to endure,” the Islamic Front said in a statement on Saturday.
The statement followed the controversy over the election of mayor for the city of Chaguanas in Central Trinidad after the United National Congress (UNC), the biggest partner in the coalition People’s partnership government, the newly formed Independent Liberal party (ILP) of former national security minister Austin “Jack” Warner and the main opposition People’s National Movement (PNM) won the same number of seats in the 12-member council.
However the deadlock was broken after the ILP councillor Faaig Mohammed broke ranks and sided with the UNC amid allegations that he had received money in exchange for his vote.
Mohammed, who was elected to head one of the committees of the Chaguanas Borough Council, has denied the allegation made by the ILP, but he has since been expelled from the party.
The Islamic Front, which claims to have a membership of 200 and ties with Muslim groups regionally and internationally, said it “has been observing the behaviour of this country's politicians, in particular those of the ILP and UNC, and is not impressed.
“The Islamic Front has always maintained a neutral position when it comes to politics and has vowed to work along lines of righteousness and sincerity with whichever party holding the reins of power, with the honest intent to bring about justice, fairness, peace and lawfulness in this Twin Island State of ours.”
The group said it was sending a warning to all political parties “in particular Jack Warner and his ILP's party to stop and desist from using Islam and Muslims as pawns in their fight to gain political dominance”.
Speaking on a radio programme here, a spokesman for the group denied that the group was intending to engage in any criminal activity, saying it was instead urging civil disobedience.
The Islamic Front is not recognized as a group representative of the Muslim Community of Trinidad & Tobago. It is a fringe group of ideologues.
TRINIDAD MUSLIMS CAUTIONED ON HAJJ VISA ISSUES
- Published 11/11/2013
The meeting also addressed an incident last month in which 87 Muslims were left in tears at Piarco Airport after they were denied visas to travel to Saudi Arabia for the pilgrimage by the consulate in Venezuela. The group complained then they had spent an estimated $20,000 each to book hotels, transport and other costs. Baksh said because of fraudulent activities worldwide fraudsters were pocketing people’s money instead of delivering Hajj packages.
He said all countries had a quota for the pilgrimage and this year for T&T it was dropped by 20 per cent from 300 to about 240, owing to renovation works in Mecca. “The 87 people who were refused Hajj were not booked with licensed operators and that should be a ‘no no’ in Trinidad,” Baksh said. He said when he had to get his licence he spent 80 days in Saudi Arabia doing the paperwork which included a profile on a person’s ability to operate tours.
TRINIDAD'S TEACHER OF THE YEAR
- Published 11/11/2013
HAMZAD MOHAMMED’S dedication to his students over the years was recognised as he was named Teacher of the Year on Saturday night. Mohammed was bestowed with this honour during the Frank Seepersad Memorial Teacher of the Year award ceremony 2013 hosted by the Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers’ Association at Cascadia Hotel, St Anns.
An emotional Mohammed accepted the award where he was among
four other finalists. Clearly shaken, Mohammed a teacher, at San Fernando ASJA
Primary School for the past 21 years said he was an advocate for TTUTA “to the
FLAMBOYANT VS THE SACRED - BAJAN RIHANNA CROSSED THE LINE.
- Published 10/27/2013
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is open daily for tours by both Muslims and persons of other faiths. Appropriate dress and conduct is enforced for all visitors. Arab News reports that Rihanna was ask to leave the mosque after posing flamboyantly for the photographs at the sacred place of worship.
Saudi Gazette reports some of the comments following release of the photos:
"Rihanna shocked fans by wearing hijab for Abu Dhabi mosque photoshoot. But I am proud of her. I think she's being respectful and is paying tribute to Arabic culture...she is showing respect by supporting the hijab," Najlaa Hameed, 22 year old Kuwaiti student. Hamid Syed, 24 year old Saudi student felt otherwise. "She is so seductive. How can you even allow her to pose in front of a mosque?"
Secretary of the Barbados Muslim Association commenting on the story feels that all persons visiting places of worship should abide by the protocols and regulations of those sacred places. Appropriate dress and conduct must be adhered to. It is admirable that Rihanna took time out to visit a mosque and to even dress in a manner that would be deemed acceptable but to use such a visit for posing would certainly not be considered appropriate or acceptable behaviuor to worshippers at the mosque. Barbados's largest mosque, the Jumma Masjid had to take the unfortunate action of banning the taking of photos without permission some years ago after a car pulled up to the mosque and several females started posing at various places around the mosque while someone was photographing them.