Muslim representative organizations in Trinidad and Tobago have collectively condemned the mob violence in which US Ambassador Chris Stevens, several of his colleagues and many Muslims were killed. The Anjuman Sunnatul Jamaat (ASJA), Trinidad Muslim League (TML) and the Ahlus Sunnah Institute voiced their condemnation to the national media. Together these groups represent the vast majority of Muslims in Trinidad and Tobago.
Yesterday’s Sunday Express reported the head of the Islamic Front of Trinidad and Tobago, Umar Abdullah as saying that the United States Embassy at Marli Street, Port of Spain, is under threat because of the film. Excerpts of the video, posted on YouTube, depict the Prophet as a fraud, a womaniser and a madman.
ASJA President, Haji Yacoob Ali, said the organisation was not in favour of any type of violent protest action in a democratic society.
“We regret violence of any form or fashion,” he said, although he noted that in a democracy, persons could engage in protest action but it must be of a peaceful nature.
“There is no reason to resort to violence and if the governments in the Middle East are reaching out to practice democratic principles, then both the government and the people should practice peaceful demonstrations.”
He said the association extended its condolences and sympathies to the families of those persons who were killed in the violence and expressed optimism the situation could be diffused through dialogue between the parties involved in the action.
In a press release the TML distanced “itself from threatening statement made against the United States and other embassy officials by persons purporting to represent Muslims in Trinidad and Tobago. As a responsible organization that holds strongly to the teaching of Prophet Mohammed (upon whom be Peace) we cannot condone actions that results in the killing of innocent human beings. Furthermore we wish to express our profound sympathy to the people of United States of America and the family of the US Ambassador to Libya and other officials who were killed in the uprising.”
Maulana Siddiq Nasir, of the Ahlus Sunnah Institute expressed horror at the level of violence, saying “two wrongs do not make a right”. He said there were other methods which could have been used to convey the protestors’ message.
“Two wrongs don’t make a right and an act of violence is another wrong that doesn’t make a right,” Nasir told Sunday Newsday.
Asked whether he thought this type of violence could occur in Trinidad, he said this was not a probability, as local protests tended to be of a peaceful nature. “No, we in Trinidad, we don’t have violent protests. We protest peacefully, write letters or have placard demonstrations, but we don’t have any kind of violence,” he said.