Reprised after 37 years at Little Carib Theatre in Woodbrook, Lester Efebo Wilkinson’s Bitter Cassava is just as relevant today as it was in 1979 when premiered by Mausica Folk Theatre.
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Al-Rawi in defence of heritage: AG has attacked Muslims, Arabs
Opposition Senator Faris Al-Rawi says Attorney General Anand Ramlogan launched an attack on Muslims and Arabs in the Senate on Wednesday. Al-Rawi called a news conference at his law office in Port-of-Spain yesterday to express his disappointment. He said the AG’s attack was made when Ramlogan commented on a Newsday story, published in 2010, in which Al-Rawi said he was a descendent of the Prophet Muhammed.
Al-Rawi yesterday presented a certified family tree, which he said was evidence to confirm his claim and said he was thankful to his father “for giving me the proof. “You could write to the Iraqi Government. I can vouch that it is 1,000 per cent correct,” he said. He added that the document “means nothing to me other than the fact that I know where I come from.” Nevertheless, Al-Rawi said Ramlogan “made derogatory remarks and I condemn his behaviour in the Parliament. I think he was making a direct attack against Muslims and as against me as a descendant of an Arab and an Indian mother.”
Al-Rawi’s father is Husam Al-Rawi, an Iraqi architect and academic. Al-Rawi was born in Trinidad and his mother is former government minister Diane Seukeran. In the 2010 story he was quoted as saying: “We are descended from the Prophet Muhammed, my 43rd grandfather directly.” In response to questions yesterday, Al-Rawi said Ramlogan had told him off the Parliament floor on Wednesday: “Boy, Faris you got me vex and I had to respond.” Al-Rawi said he, in turn, said: “Well, Anand, the least you could do is to be truthful.” He said Ramlogan’s statement was petty, cheap and nonsensical but Ramlogan was a non-issue and he was not interested in an apology from him. “Why would I ask for an apology from a man who had so many opportunities to apologise in Parliament? That would be throwing pearls to swine and I am not interested in that,” he said.
The AG may have made the attack on him, he said, because he “took exception to the manner in which I dealt with his debate (presentation).” He said he told the AG then that he had presided over the worst set of legislation brought to the Parliament. Al-Rawi said there were many more important matters to be addressed by the Government, including the crime problem and the so-called stand-off between the army and the acting Commissioner of Police.
The Darul Uloom T&T says it cannot accept Al-Rawi’s claim until it sees the proof. Mufti Waseem Khan said yesterday further comment would be made only after evidence was presented. He added that someone’s claim “to being related to Prophet Muhammad has no special significance in Islam. It is all about the individual himself... his faith and practice is what matters.” He added: “If one studies the history of prophets and their descendants, one will see that there were many from among their descendants who were transgressors, unrighteous people, and antagonists to the teachings of the prophets from whose lineage they came.
“This, however, had no effect on the truthfulness of the prophet’s teachings, nor did it have a bearing on the soundness of the religion which came through a prophet.” (See Page A10)
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