Detention of T&T Islamic scholar puzzles followers

(Trinidad Express) Among the people detained in connection with the alleged plot to kill Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and three ministers is an Islamic scholar.

He is also the principal of the Darul Qur’an Wal Hadith Islamic School, of Calcutta No 2, Freeport. He is married, in his early 50s, with a son, and daughter who died recently of cancer.

He studied in Saudi Arabia and while his khutbahs (sermons) are considered controversial, many in the Islamic community said they were shocked to learn of the man’s arrest.

Many said he was incapable of the assassination allegations being made by Persad-Bissessar and Police Commissioner Dwayne Gibbs.

At the family home at Mathilda Village, Princes Town, the man’s son said he was told not to speak about his father’s detention at a police station in north Trinidad, after his arrest on Monday.

However, many in the community said while his kuthbahs (sermons) were controversial, he was no threat.

Umar Abdullah, head of the Waajihatul Islaamiyyah (Islamic Front) said the man could be considered “moderate’ in his views.

“He would have nothing to do with this kind of thing. There is nothing tangible in this (and) the government is grasping at straws and our brothers are being held against their will.”

At the Islamic private school Friday, an official told the Sunday Express the claims being made about the principal were “ridiculous”.

The official said, “This man’s life has been seeing about the school and teachers. It is about educating the children to become good and disciplined Muslims.”

The official said: “We are baffled by this. He is here every day of the week from 7 a.m to 2 p.m. When will he have time to do anything? We have been doing dua (prayers) for him constantly, the staff and the children. This is a good and helpful person. It must be a mistake.”


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