CAIRO - Muslims in Trinidad, the southernmost archipelagic state in the Caribbean, have marched against the rising crime in the country, calling for followers of all faiths to come together in one call to live in peace and harmony.
Islam teaches you that you cooperate in goodness and not co-operate in sin and corruption, Imam Raffaic Mohamed, Chairman of Regional Council of the Anjuman Sunnat-ul Jamaat Association (ASJA), told Trinidad Guardian on Tuesday, January 22.
Gathering from ten mosques in the southern region, Muslims started the march from the Jama Masjid on Mucurapo Street, San Fernando.
Mohamed said the march, held on Sunday, aimed to send a warning against increasing crimes in the country.
It followed recent decisions by Minister of National Security Jack Warner to confer powers of arrest to 1,000 soldiers.
The Muslim imam reiterated support for any actions that would tackle crime and bring in a safer Trinidad.
I personally support whatever it takes to stop crime, he said.
It is a good measure and we have to support it because they are the ones in authority and they have to put things in place. We have to respect that.
Criminal activity in Trinidad and Tobago has been and still is a controversial topic on the two islands.
Gang Murders and killings have risen since 1999 to 2008 every year.
Approximately 558 people were murdered in 2008, the highest number ever.
The police administration has responded by improving the working conditions of officers, increasing the use of forensic evidence and surveillance technology (CCTV cameras) as well as hiring overseas experts.
Setting an example for other faith groups in Trinidad and Tobago, the march was suggested by Muslims as a call to the community to help the police to curb crime.
The leaders in the community from all religious paths must get their act together, imam Mohamed, the chairman of ASJA, said.
We have to come under one common understanding.
He warned that a rising level of crime in the Caribbean island was posing a threat to humanity.
The level of crime taking place is not right for humanity, Mohamed said.
As religious leaders we have to influence the human race because we are creatures of God and we have to live in accordance with God.
Islam is hardly unknown in the Caribbean; countries such as Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname and Guyana have significant Muslim populations.Muslims make up nearly 5.8 percent of the 1.3 million population in Trinidad and Tobago.