Singh: PM must apologise to Muslims

Apologise to the Muslim community, Prime Minister! That’s the demand from UNC Chaguanas West MP Ganga Singh who wants Prime Minister Keith Rowley to apologise to that community for Rowley’s recent comments about the Masjid-ul-Muttaqeen Mosque in Cunupia.

“The Prime Minister’s attempt to manipulate the facts of the issue to justify his lack of leadership and impaired judgment was made worse by the fact that he chose the Holy month of Ramadan to launch his latest senseless tirade on the Muslim community,” Singh added calling for the apology.

At a PNM meeting in Barataria, Rowley had commented following a raid on the Central T&T mosque where four guns, 54 rounds of various ammunition, 15 (12 gauge) cartridges, a firearm holster and ski mask were found hidden in the ceiling of the mosque’s prayer room.

The mosque’s Imam distanced the mosque from the find. The mosque was one of those searched by police during the Carnival terror plot alert.

At the PNM meeting, Rowley reportedly said, “one of the very mosques we had to raid at Carnival time, on credible information that the security services had, we have found within that place of worship lethal weapons, arms and ammunition.”

Singh said yesterday, “Dr Rowley seems to be impervious to the sensitivities of the issues confronting the Muslim population in T&T where a brush of terror was recently used to tarnish the integrity and reputation of an entire community which has been peaceful, law-abiding, hard-working and generous citizens who have helped to build this nation and continue to contribute to the growth and development of the national economy.”

“Rowley has perniciously used this sensitive religious issue on a political platform to justify his own questionable actions and low popularity in the country. without credible and reliable evidence that can stand up in a court of law, he’s casting doubts in the minds of citizens which will only serve to damage and/or destroy the social cohesion and fabric of the society.”

Singh added, “What the nation must also know is that the weapons in question were not found in a raid, they were found during routine maintenance and it was the Mosque officials themselves who called in the police—they were not hiding anything.”

“In fact, in a statement issued by the Mosque, they were very clear that they were the ones who called in the Chaguanas Police. They also requested the police conduct a thorough search of the entire compound to ensure that no other guns, ammunition or other illegal items were secretly on the premises. Nothing was found.”

“Now that the FBI has been called in to ascertain the origins of these weapons one cannot help but ask how did these weapons enter the country in the first place. Is a stage being set to create a so-called terrorist network in T&T and blame the Muslim community?”

Singh added, “The Prime Minister must not be allowed to arrogantly deflect and make his usual weak attempts to justify his failure to govern equitably for all in T&T.”

Source: www.guardian.co.tt (Gail Alexander)

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