July 1990 extra: An ex-Jamaat elder speaks out; how the shot was called on me

“I have earned the right to speak because of my commitment to Islam and because of the blood that gushed forth from me because of speaking out and being critical.

“I speak on the authority of the four 357 magnum bullets from the gun that Mark Guerra gave to Quincy to shoot at me and my home and family.”

The following letter, termed “An open letter to the leadership and membership of the Jamaat-al-Muslimeen,” was shared by Hassan Anyabwile, who is recognised as one of the founders of the Jamaat-al-Muslimeen. In the interest of clarity, minor edits have been made to the original text.

Photo: Imam Yasin Abu Bakr (right) chats with a member of the Jamaat-al-Muslimeen.

Here we are again, 27th of July, and not much has changed except the players.

Those who took up arms to apply corrective surgery to a sick society now have the same diseases as the society. Those whose intention was to change the outta-timing rhythm of society then are now playing mass (or the ass) and jumping in the same band.

That’s why I understand some reasons why Allah took us just to that point and not an inch further.

How did I come to understand this?

By looking at the behaviour of the Muslims who were involved in that militant action—this includes me—you see how the secrets of our hearts have been manifested.

Allah is most wise and knows what he knows before it occurs. He knew that to put power in the hands of a people with certain types of behaviour and lack of spirituality would only lead to dictatorship and destruction.

Photo: Soldiers surround TTT headquarters during the 1990 insurrection.

So I thank Allah that he has not inflicted on Trinidad and Tobago what we Muslims of the Jamaat-al-Muslimeen have manifested.

This is my criticism of us, the leadership and membership of the Jamaat-al- Muslimeen.

I say this without fear or favour, I say this and include myself because I was part of that leadership, part of that Jamaat and I actively took part in attacking a wicked regime to check State terrorism.

I am not pointing any fingers at any group of persons that does not include me; I do not absolve myself because I am no better than anyone else.

So the entire Jamaat-al-Muslimeen, all of us, need to do Muhasabah, or self-criticism if the organisation is not to be relegated to the dustbin of history.

Its membership should stop being a herd of sheep, we who seem to be unaware that Mushurah (consultation) is frank and without fear. This is our political system, which is based not only on obedience and following the leader but also on supporting the leader by consultation and checking him in his excesses.

Didn’t Allah say in the Quran in referring to the true Muslim community “…those who carry out their affairs by mutual consultation…”?

Photo: An insurrectionist surrenders to the Defence Force after the attempted coup on 27 July 1990.

I know that this assessment will not be greeted with approval by many, men and women, but it cannot be honestly challenged by anyone.

Others will say that I don’t have the right to criticise the JAM because I left it. My reply to such people is that I have as much right as anyone else in the history of the Jamaat.

If they are honest, no one can write me out of the history of the JAM (I am already seeing attempts to do just that); no one can blame me for the reasons that I left nor can anyone challenge my critique.

I have earned the right to speak because of my commitment to Islam and because of the blood that gushed forth from me because of speaking out and being critical.

I speak on the authority of the four 357 magnum bullets from the gun that Mark Guerra gave to Quincy to shoot at me and my home and family.

I earned that right by suffering the consequences of that assassination attempt which consigned me to a wheelchair and forever changed my life, affected my family and friends, not to mention affected me as a person.

Photo: Late Jamaat-al-Muslimeen member and suspected gang leader Mark Guerra.
(Copyright Trinidad Guardian)

But a long life  is one that gives you time to amend, to change your ways and to make Tawbah (repent).

The only person who ever asked for my forgiveness was the shooter himself, Quincy; he sent a message to me from prison asking for my forgiveness.

As for my many friends who literally abandoned me, few have asked me for forgiveness or have reached out to help me or just to enquire how I was going. Those who have done so, I thank you.

But I carry no hate for anyone, even the main plotters who know themselves. So far, two have died and three remain in their arrogance and hostility. May they perish in that state if they don’t rectify themselves.

By their actions against me, they dishonoured themselves and opened a door of treachery that they are unable to close.

I ask Allah that the people and members of the Jamaat stop worshipping man; they must fear only Allah and seek his approval.

I wish the JAM success and I don’t want to see all that work, all that commitment and all those sacrifices disappear due to the arrogance of one or two families.

Photo: Fuad Abu Bakr, the eldest son of Yasin Abu Bakr, poses in front of the Jamaat-al-Muslimeen’s mosque on Mucurapo Road.
(Copyright MEE/Amandla Thomas-Johnson)

No 1 Mucurapo belongs to the members of the JAM and the Muslim Community, not to one family. Because men have paid with their lives to ensure that Muslims of African descent have a place to worship without being discriminated against.

A place to build families, to teach our children and to hand down a vibrant Islam that is relevant to the ills of this narco State, with its wicked legislators and evil social customs, a State devoid of justice for all, a State where inequality kills.

A place that will ensure a future for our youths who don’t have to run to Syria behind a false flag or be gunned down in a foolish war with Rasta City or at the hands of corrupt police officers.

We must create that space for the youths to train them to carry this Islamic Movement, not a political party, a place to make them the future leaders of Islam in a world pregnant with the signs of the Last Days.

If we don’t do that, then we have failed our youth, all of whom – not just the children of the leader – are important. Our help and support must embrace all the children of those who sacrificed to establish the JAM with all its faults and successes.

The future is in our hands; failure or success will be our doing and we cannot blame anyone else.

Peace and Bless!

Photo: Muslim pilgrims making the hajj, only one of the responsibilities to be shouldered by devout Muslims.
(Courtesy spa.gov.sa)
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  1. You can do what you want but not for as long as you want.

  2. No one take Bakr or his off spring seriously. They survived by being lucky enough to be Trinidadian. Anywhere else they would have been killed to a man. Their treasonous, ill fated plan was never about the benefit of the people It was about the benefit of Bakr. A greedy narsisistic megalomaniac with the military acumen of a child playing with toy soldiers and the spiritual grounding as deep as a frying Pan. “If they break their treaties against you. Strike at the heads of disbelief.” That was the surah Bakr co-opted to justify “Jihad” Except I can find a dozen Hadith and Scripture that forbids the making of treaties with Gufas. And what treaties were broken anyway and by whom? To who’s disadvantage? Not John public. We never asked Yasin Abu-Bakr to correct anything. Nd for the reccord, taking over two buildings in POS does not a revolution make. STUPIDITY. HUBRIS. NARCISISM. 27 years later we can trace much of today’s violent crime epidemic right back to the Muslimeen’s attempted coup and the romanticism of their unpunished criminality. When I hear people like Bakr speak like they have some moral authority or some hidden insight into how to cure the ills of this country I feel to vomit. Yasin Abu-Bakr is a Terrorist. Just one that got away. He had great legal counsel in a country that is paralised by bachanalia and apathy. He and his off spring should shut up and get lost. How much money in compensation has the Jamat given to the victims they kidnapped and tortured in TTT and the Red House? Bakr is a loser. No right thinking person ever took the man seriously. Yet he speaks with an air of importance he does not have. He makes us all look like citizens of a Banana Republic. I mean really; Where else could a group of armed TERRORIST attemot to overthrow the democratically elected Government, Murder, Kidnap and Touture people, Shoot the sittimg PM in the ass, Traumatizes and plunges a nation into chaos and uncertainty, then gets off scotch free and sues the state for “their” damages? It would be hillarious if it wasn’t so humiliating, sad and vexing.

  3. What kind of insane medic would prescribe a vaccine of bullets to cure his perception of a ‘diseased’ society and be so proud of participating in the ‘innoculation” of innocent lives?

  4. Up to now, nobody has given the public the truth behind the 1990 coup. Even this man who want to talk still protecting people by staying quiet.

    Faud Abu Bakr. You have a long ways to go before anybody will take you seriously and it’s all because of your name and the scars that your father inflicted upon this country. If you and your father spoke the truth about the coup, maybe then people would take you all seriously.

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  6. Your Courts judged this matter and ruled on it. Allah will be the final judge on this matter. But it is instructive that your Courts ruled and said the muslimeen should be free and any further persecution would be an abuse of the process.
    Again when it comes to your democracy you are very selective in your belief. For me as a Muslim any time the law of the land contradicts the law of God….I stand submitting to my Lord

  7. Vernal you water down your position? Actions are judged by Allah by intentions. Intentions are in the heart ….those who fought on July 27th 1990 as a response to a command from Allah or those who fought for lawlessness or personal gain remains in the heart…..But the command was clear ….” And why would you not fight in the cause of Allah of men women and children who are oppressed and whose cry is our Lord rescue us from this town whose people are oppressors and raise for us one who would protect and raise for us one who would help”.
    Among the muslimeen who fought were teachers, businessmen, trade union men, butchers, bakers all vocations. Your view that Islam was not the motivator and lawlessness was ….is yet another nose ….to which you are entitled to but that is a view and despite your emotion it is NOT a Fact.

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