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Cockroaches must stay out fowl business! T&T Shia Muslims condemn Trump but pledge peaceful approach

“Based on our faith and understanding of Islam, we are sworn to the protection of the realm of Trinidad and Tobago and to peaceful coexistence with persons of all faiths…

“The AIATT—nor any Shia Muslim organisation or person of Trinidad and Tobago as far as we can tell—[is not] a proxy of any foreign government, or militia […] and we understand that our Islamic responsibility would be to disclose to the competent officials any information, person or scheme in the service of any foreign government or militia…”

The following press statement was issued by Imam Jaffari Saleem of the AhulBayt Islamic Association of Trinidad and Tobago (AIATT):

Photo: A young Iranian in Tehran pays tribute to assassinated Iran Major General Qasim Soleimani.
(Copyright GoTechDaily)

During the past few days since the United States carried out a drone strike on a convoy carrying Major General Qasim Soleimani, a prominent Iranian commander, and a number of other prominent pro-Iranian militia leaders out of Baghdad’s International Airport on Friday 3 January 2010, there have been various news reports in Trinidad and Tobago and talk show comments about the possibility of reprisals here by local Muslims, who may have links or loyalties to the leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Since, naturally the focus of these reports and comments has been on the Shia Muslim population of Trinidad and Tobago, the Secretariat of the AhulBayt Islamic Association of Trinidad and Tobago (AIATT)—a federation of local Shite Muslim organisations of Trinidad and Tobago—take this opportunity to make the following statement:

In mourning the death of Soleimani and condoling his family, we join the millions of Iranians and Iraqis and Muslims from all countries of the world that believe the primary worldly objective of the way of Islam is the establishment of peace, so that each human being may develop his or her fullest spiritual and human potential unhindered, except by his or her limitations.

We believe such sentiment is warranted because, on the face of it, Soleimani is the person primarily responsible for the dismantling of ISIS and its anti-caliph Bhagdadi.

To this end, we join with millions of lay persons and leaders from all religions and the many commentators and world leaders who have not shied away from articulating a position that the president of the United States [committed] a grossly misconceived and unlawful act according to international law in eliminating Soleimani.

Photo: US president Donald Trump speaks to supporters during an electoral campaign event at the CFE Arena, University of Central Florida on March 5, 2016 in Orlando, Florida.
(Copyright AFP 2016/Joe Raedle)

In so far as the question of reprisals by the Shia Muslims of Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean are concerned, we should like to state the following:

  1. Based on our faith and understanding of Islam, we are sworn to the protection of the realm of Trinidad and Tobago and to peaceful coexistence with persons of all faiths, based on the Quranic principle that ‘there is no compulsion in deen’ (meaning religion or way of life);
  2. The AIATT—nor any Shia Muslim organisation or person of Trinidad and Tobago as far as we can tell—[is not] a proxy of any foreign government, or militia; or so called ‘resistance’ and we understand that our Islamic responsibility would be to disclose to the competent officials any information, person or scheme in the service of any foreign government or militia or ‘resistance’, including ISIS;
  3. Apparently the Governments of the region have, wisely in our opinion, adopted a position of staying out of the business of fowls. AIATT nevertheless is of the opinion that it is our civic duty to condemn President Trump’s latest tweet threatening the destruction of Iranian cultural sites, which most international legal scholars would tell you is a war crime.

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