Islamic State and Trinidad and Tobago

At least since the 1970s Muslims of T&T have answered the call to be active in the war against the enemies of Islam both at home and abroad. In the aftermath of the attacks on the US in 2001a two pronged strategy was launched amongst Muslims in T&T which involved the spread and ultimate dominance of Salafi Jihadi discourse over the Muslim Ummah/Community of T&T whilst Muslims were recruited to depart T&T to fight in the wars against the west in Muslim lands: Afghanistan etc. Muslim boys of T&T were sent to madrassas famous for teaching dominant members of the Afghani and Pakistani Taliban. Likewise boys were sent to the premier repositories of Salafi Jihadi Wahabi extremism in Saudi Arabia for instruction. This strategy has been executed for years under the public mask of the discourse of “Islam is a religion of peace” which involves naming persons/ groups as being non-Muslims/radicals and now the latest moniker: terrorists. The first whipping boy of this strategy was the Jamaat al Muslimeen before July 27 1990 and since 1990 the perfect villain of the piece to reflect the gaze from those who are committed to an extremist agenda and the politicians over time have bought into this strategy of deception hook line and sinker. Suddenly the talking heads of the Muslim Ummah are lining up to publicly state their support for the war on terror in its latest phase stating again their dictum that Islam is a religion of peace and Islamic State and its members are outside the pale of Islam. I await the next phase of pinning the donkey tail on the Jamaat al Muslimeen the knee jerk villain. What the talking heads must tell the kafirun/unbelievers of T&T why in the aftermath of 9/11 when Adnan el Shukrijumah was on his sojourn in T&T no one gave give him up to the kafir but rather chose to give shelter and support to this world famous extremist? Why suddenly today the fervour to denounce Islamic  State and its followers? Is it because the government of today is drastically different from that during the visit of Shukrijumah? Shukrijumah visited whilst the PNM was ruling. Do we then as Muslims enjoin the good and forbid the evil based on which party is ruling? Does the politics of race trump the Will of Almighty Allah (swt)? The next glaring reality is the inability of members of the media both local and abroad to understand what is the Islamic State with the expected resort to sensational declarations supported by nothing that is real. The latest is the 1000 USD per day pay for foreign fighters.  In the order of battle of the Islamic State there is a hierarchy of fighters. The top echelon are those battle hardened veterans of wars fought around the world and at the dreg level are those who have no battlefield experience and reputation. Besides the Arab oligarchy that wields power in the Islamic State the most respected fighters are the Chechens. A raw recruit from T&T with no battlefield experience if accepted is placed in the dreg level and must seek to be jumped in to join a squad led by a fighter with rank and power. A beheading on video released to the world and an appearance on an Islamic State video outside of battlefield heroic action are paths to rank to be jumped in. Never forget to be Shahid/Martyr means you are dead without profit in the here and now. This then is the gravest threat to a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago falling into the hands of Islamic State they can end up as the victim of the public act to enable successful jump in. The 1000 USD per day is then as usual speculative propaganda to feed panic. Finally if successive governments of Trinidad and Tobago were intent on doing their job on monitoring and policing Islamic extremism there would have been no need to co-sponsor a UN Security resolution on Islamic State. Reputation for solid interventions and quality intelligence in the international community trumps co-sponsoring resolutions that amount to little geopolitically.

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