Muslims in the Turks & Caicos established the Turks & Caicos Muslim Association (TCMA) on April 14th 2012. The launching of the association comes after several years of the community struggling to organize the local community. Imam Yussif Yakubu, Aisha Niass, Tajudeen Seymour, Delano Clarke, Ogail Awad and Hassan Missick are the principals behind the initiative. Present at the formal launch were the former Minister of Immigration of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Karen Delancy and visiting Canadian Religious Scholar and Historian Dr, Abdullah Hakim Quick.
Dr. Quick used the occasion of his visit to get more information on the history of the Turks & Caicos Islanders. Among his findings Dr. Quick reports: “It appears that there is some emerging proof of an Islamic presence among the slaves who were liberated from a shipwrecked slave ship called the Trouvadore, in 1841 and there were other shipwrecks as well. One particular settlement called Bambara in the Island of Middle Caicos is an indication that the people have maintained a clear link to the Mandingo/Bambara tribe of West Africa.” Abdullah also said: “We also visited some of famous sites of the Grand Turk such as the Salt Mills, the lighthouse and the old city. The story of the salt trade and the suffering of the African slaves is another chapter in Caribbean history that needs to be remembered.
The newly formed TCMA organized the islands first public forum on April 14th 2012 inviting fellow citizens to share the Muslim’s faith experience. Those in attendance were quite curious and keen to inquire about the Muslim beliefs, visiting scholar Dr Quick was happy to entertain their numerous questions.
Karen Delancy who is currently serving on the Advisory Committee to the Governor and Dr. Carlton Mills, former Minister of Education, a historian and the author of the book “The History of the Turks & Caicos Islands” held private discussions with Dr. Quick on African, Caribbean History and Islam.
Jumma prayer (Friday congregational prayer service) was led by Dr. Quick at a private facility as currently there is no masjid (place of worship) on the island.
The Turks and Caicos Islands are a British Overseas Territory consisting of two groups of tropical islands in the West Indies, the larger Caicos Islands and the smaller Turks Islands, known for tourism and as an offshore financial centre. The islands lie southeast of Mayaguana in the Bahamas island chain and north of the island of Hispaniola. Cockburn Town, the capital since 1766, is situated on Grand Turk Island about 1,042 kilometres (647 mi) east-southeast of Miami in the United States. The islands have a total land area of 430 square kilometres (170 sq mi). The islands are geographically contiguous to the Bahamas, but are politically a separate entity.
The total population is about 45,000, of whom approximately 22,500 live on Providenciales in the Caicos Islands.