A High Court judge yesterday convened court at a parcel of land next door to a Temple in Princes Town which is the subject of a legal battle over ownership.
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Practicing Muslims not involved in any gang war
Nation of Islam leader David Mohammed is challenging citizens to identify one practicing Muslim associated with a criminal gang in Laventille or any part of the country since Islam condemns criminality and gangsterism.
Mohammed threw out the challenge during an interview yesterday on CNC3’s Morning Brew show as he spoke about the ongoing conflict between the Rasta City gang and Muslim gang which has resulted in several killings within recent times.
Rasta City is reportedly based in Beetham Gardens and the Muslim Gang in Laventille.
In giving his views on the gangs, Mohammed said he did not believe that there was a war between them.
“You cannot have a legitimate war when you have conflict on two sides of a divide where they are not fighting for anything. Legitimate wars are fought over territory, real estate, land and resources.”
Mohammed said what has been unfolding was “ignorance and also illiteracy that are merged with a number of conditions within the society, particularly the economy and breakdown of the family. So I would not describe it as a war especially when most of these young individuals, whom some refer to as soldiers, are only killing members of their same army.”
Mohammed said the gangs are locked in a cycle of destruction, self-imposed genocide and self-hatred.
He said many people in Port-of-Spain can identify those who are associated with the Rasta City gang which the entire community seems to be embracing.
He put out a challenge to anyone “to show him one person who is a practicing Muslim who claims to be a member of a gang of Muslims. But no Muslim who is practising the faith claims to be part of any gang.”
He said Islam as a faith should not be associated with any kind of gangsterism because they congregate in societies, nations, movements or organisations but not gangs.
“The whole idea of coming together for criminal activity is condemned in Islam.”
Mohammed said when the Rasta City gang painted parts of Belmont in the red, yellow and green colours it was reported that there would be an all-out war after Ramadan.
“I rebuke the usage of the term Ramadan along with this petty gang violence on the street.”
He said the police was wrong to cover the colours since it represented the Ethiopian flag which symbolises unity of all African people.
“But it goes out in the media that that represents as war.”
Mohammed said there were seven gang related murders after the Anti-Gang Act was passed in both Upper and Lower Houses.
He said there was a need to fix the delay in court matters, since there are men in prison awaiting trial for years, stating that the country’s justice system was not working.
“There is no single institution within the society that we can pinpoint and say this is the entire problem. What we have to do is look at the relation and interconnectivity between all of the failing institutions, then you would see a clearer picture…starting with the family.”
He said if there are failures on the part of the family and education system and the workplace is unable to provide employment for these young men, then crime and the drug trade would catch those who fall through the cracks.
Mohammed said while the Government has been focusing on joint army and police patrols, equipment and technology, there should be a greater emphasis on the role and responsibility of positive male role models in this community.
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