Trinidad & Tabago Peace Conference: ‘Violent jihadists not true Muslims’

Monday, April 23, 2018
Attendees at the Peace Conference yesterday at National Centre in Preysal. Inset: Maulana Ibrahim Bin Yaqub. PICTURES RISHI RAGOONATH

Terror groups who commit violence in the name of Islam are not true Muslims, Amir of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Maulana Ibrahim Bin Yaqub, said yesterday as he explained the name Islam means peace.

Speaking at their annual Peace Conference in Preysal, Couva, Bin Yaqub said a true Muslim is a person people can feel safe around. He said while the Islamic faith locally has been under scrutiny since several followers left to join the Islamic State, this was a small amount compared to the population of Muslims living in T&T.

“A true Muslim is that person from whose tongue and whose hands people are safe in and secure. So if you would not allow people to become safe and secure, then you are not a true Muslim because you are not practising the teachings of Islam,” Bin Yaqub said.

“The majority of Muslims in the world are very peaceful. Why is it that we go after those individuals who are creating problems and then try to tell the world that it is Islam? That is not Islam.

“The true Islam are those people who are very peaceful. How many Muslims are there in Trinidad and Tobago? More than 100,000 persons and you are talking about how many people went to join ISIS. How many of them?”

Asked if there was a wrong perception of Islam by non-disciples, Bin Yaqub said in every religion you would have people with various views and who would create upheavals, just like what has happened in Islam.

“Therefore, if there is a Muslim who is misbehaving, we believe that that person or persons are far away from the true teachings of Islam.”

Bin Yaqub said local Muslims are free to travel the world and that even after 9/11 he went to the United States.

“We have a solid relationship with the US government.”

The conference is an annual event that is also held in other countries by Muslims.

Its purpose is to educate people so they can understand peace has become an expensive commodity. Bin Yaqub said with so many upheavals in the world, the Ahmadiyya Muslims believe that unless they try to know themselves entirely, they will not be able to arrive at peace.

“It is also our firm belief that various religions in the world can bring peace, because if you study the scriptures of all major religions of the world, they all speak with one tongue and that is about peace. Unless the world comes to realise its maker, that is the Creator, we will never be able to see peace.”


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