Bajan Muslims about peace

Barbados TODAY continues its series on the Muslim community with their call for Barbadians not to fear them. 

As militant attacks by the ISIS terrorist group continues to make headlines across the world, the Muslim community in Barbados is focused on spreading mercy, tolerance, love and brotherhood – all principles of the Islamic faith. That is why there is no need for non-Muslims in Barbados to fear members of the community rising up against the general population.

This is the message echoed by Imam Aakil Bhula, as he shared his opinions with Barbados TODAY about the terrorist group, showing how its negative activities differed from the true teachings of Islam, which Muslims here adhered to.

“I guess I have as much information of who ISIS is as you do – and as everyone else does. Basically, what we know is from the media, that ISIS is a breakaway faction of Al-Qaeda, who are even more radical than Al-Qaeda.

“There are many people in the name of religion or religious zeal who misinterpret things to suit [themselves],” said Bhula. “There are people who will do things in the name of Christianity; and there are Muslims, in the name of Islam, who will do what they want to do.

“It is like a person in an organization doing something the organization does not approve of, and then the organization comes out in the paper and says so; and so doesn’t have any links to [such person]. The same thing has happened here. Here is a group of people, and they are doing certain things that go against all that Islam explains.

“That is why I always say to check back to the source. Check back and see what Islam is, and if they are doing something that is contrary to Islam. Then you know that they are not representing Islam at all,” the imam affirmed.

Bhula is of the view that checking back with the sources means looking at the Islamic faith, its principles and teachings. What is Islam? Islam, with its word meaning being surrender or submission, is one of the world’s major religions with approximately 1.2 billion adherents, right behind Christianity that has 1.9 billion, and surpasses Judaism with its 14 million.

Like Christianity and Judaism, Islam teaches monotheism, which is the doctrine that there is only one God in all existence. The religion also teaches that Allah (God) is supreme, all-knowing, ever-present, different from all creations, is in complete control of all things, having created the universe, which continues to exist by His permission and will.

The Koran is the sacred book of Muslims and is broken up into 114 chapters called suras that cover a wide range of subjects, including ethics, history, law, theology and science. Muslims consider Muhammad to be the final prophet of God to the world.

“When I study The Koran, Islam actually means peace,” said Imam Bhula. “One of the names of God is Peace. And over and over again in The Koran it teaches the better person is the one who forgives. The Koran has been interpreted by the prophet, peace be upon him, practically, and his companions who would have continued and carried on the message.

“And when we look at their behaviour and how they conducted themselves –– whether they were with Muslims or those who are not Muslims –– there is this general pattern of love and peace and mercy,” the imam explained.

He continued: “In The Koran we are commanded that the prophet is the perfect example for you. Study the life of the prophet and you will see what true Islam is. And throughout his life you would see that no matter whom he was with, it could have been an old lady stopping him and wanting to speak to him, he stopped spoke to her, fulfilled her request and carried on.”

Bhula stressed that the objective of Muslims in Barbados was to live in peace and harmony, as they had done since coming to the island 104 years ago.

“It is not that a Muslim would want to take over Barbados. There is no need to fear that one day people are going to get up and say we want to take over or do something radical,” he said. “We go to school here; I went to public schools. We grew up with Muslim friends and non-Muslim friends, and we do the same things that everyone else does. It is not that we are here to do something else, or we are here to do something different,” he said.

What is different about Muslims would perhaps be their wear, because they dress as Muslims. You would see them going to the mosque, because that is their sacred place of worship where they pray five times a day. You would not see them in the rum shops drinking alcohol, or in a casino gambling, because those are forbidden actions in their religion.

“We adhere to our faith, and that’s it. The root of Islam is that you be kind to your neighbours; not only left hand and right hand. Extend it it to 40 doors down. Be kind to your family. When you live in a society you have to be kind, you have to be nice, you have to be gentle.

“In Islamic land, both Muslims and non-Muslims are given rights; but we are here in this society where there are people of all different religions and we have to uphold that respect and that honour and love for each and every person. You are told be charitable to Muslims, non-Muslims, and even animals. It is significant in our religion that even animals have rights,” Imam Bhula said.

There are about 3,000 Muslims living in Barbados, and five mosques.

18 Responses to Bajan Muslims about peace

  1. Daniel Polonis
    Daniel Polonis October 30, 2014 at 11:57 am

    Then why is there signs posted about no photography or video recording by this mosque… I don’t see any on the Churches?

    • John Drakes
      John Drakes October 30, 2014 at 12:08 pm

      they can display whatever sign they wish, it is you who will decide if u will obey the sign or not. there’s no law against taking pics or video so why worry?

    • Daniel Polonis
      Daniel Polonis October 30, 2014 at 12:15 pm

      its not about worry…its that the muslim community is promoting that they are a open community…just like everyone else….I think a better approach is for them to say ..we live by our religion..which conflicts daily with the world around us..but we still have to survive. Personally..I think they should be left to do as they wish…as long as its legal…and not impeding anyone else’s rights. But they also need to be honest about the differences.

    • John Drakes
      John Drakes October 30, 2014 at 12:36 pm

      understood. once they dont try to take over BIM all is well with me.

    • Aishah Reece
      Aishah Reece October 30, 2014 at 1:09 pm

      Well said Alvin!
      John Muslims been living in bim before your were even thought about, why say take over? Loads of people can try to take over bim & doing it real sweet to Like d trinies …..soooooo ummm

  2. Philip Matthews
    Philip Matthews October 30, 2014 at 11:58 am

    so why do they all dress the same if they live in a society ?

  3. John Drakes
    John Drakes October 30, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    I don’t think these people are linked to any kinda of terrorism. Dem aint gonna be so stupid to risk something to that level and risk their lives being killed by bajans who may strike back. they’re outnumbered by many who will avenge. They must out-breed us first.

  4. Aishah Reece
    Aishah Reece October 30, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Are the two of u serious??? Did you even read the article before you commented? What do the way they dress have to do with anything? Would you prefer to see them with saggy pants showing their butts and crack hairs? And what do signs saying no photography or video recording have to do with anything?.. b4 I was a Muslim I went to a church which had up a signs saying to phones, video recordings etc etc!! And I saw nothing wrong with it. How in the world does “dressing” that way or having up signs become an issue now? Geeze

    • Toni Carter Watson
      Toni Carter Watson October 30, 2014 at 5:07 pm

      Well for me I have no problem with them some are very nice ,my only problem is the women faces hidden

    • Aishah Reece
      Aishah Reece October 30, 2014 at 5:46 pm

      Why does the women face being covered a problem for you? That’s their choice and it’s modest, just like how it’s the choice of some women who dress with their breast out & half their privates out! Which is more problematic?

    • Aishah Reece
      Aishah Reece October 30, 2014 at 7:29 pm

      I am a fabulous Muslim woman!!! My face ain’t covered…what law you talking about again?
      I choose to be fully covered only showing my face, others choose to fully cover including their face………… And some non Muslim women choose to expose everything, now there should be a law for that don’t you think?

      NO!!!!!!!!! You won’t have a problem or condemn d women who don’t have respect for their bodies and let every tom dick and Harry see what suppose to be dear & precious to them, but have a problem with a women who choose to be fully covered!! Am I in the twilight zone or something?

  5. Adonna Maynard
    Adonna Maynard October 30, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    Lol leave the people alone they respect your religion and they deserve the same respect as well. Everybody has a choice of who they worship and requirements that comes. The word sacred means privacy why would u want to video tape ppls privacy between them and God. Thats why ppl lives are ruin like to much social media and I respect them for that no media whatsoever. Grow up ppl

  6. Betty Proverbs Kavanagh
    Betty Proverbs Kavanagh October 30, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    Wait till they take over – then your world changes !!

  7. Bryan L
    Bryan L'Ecuyer October 30, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    Hopefully when their numbers grow they won’t start swaying more to the radicle side.

  8. Jason Evelyn
    Jason Evelyn October 30, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    Some of these comments are ignorant. Their place of worship, their rules. Would you have someone come to your home and do things you wouldn’t like, or find disrespectful? Why does it always have to be he against we in barbados? Black against white against brown? We all grow up together, shared the same schools, shared the same restaurants, the same beaches, same public places. Why is it always someone against someone. It’s pathetic. This mentality in this country needs to end. Poor against rich, black against white, Anglican against Jehovahs witness against jewish against muslim. This mentality is irritating. Some people have so much intolerance it’s disgraceful at times. I don’t care the colour of my friends and family skin, I do not care of my friends and family religion, job, financial status. I care about respect, honesty, friendship, some of you really need to reflect on your perception of people. I’m not a muslim. I believe we all have a right to live on that land and we all have that right to worship whoever we want. This intolerance is truly stale.

    • Michael Rideout
      Michael Rideout October 31, 2014 at 12:22 am

      People have to give up childish things… Meaning they have to grow up and stop hating others and move forward with their lives!

  9. jr smith October 31, 2014 at 6:25 am

    Its happening, in bimshire, religion has messed up black people so much, they have lost they culture and have nothing to show for all these years of praying.
    The Muslims in Barbados now becomes a soft target, this is what bajans do best. The trinnis is taking over Barbados, controlling every financial aspect, bajans no complaints about this.
    When bajans are going to wake up, stop living in cloud cookoo land, stop blaming everyone for the cock ups in Barbados, start accepting responsibility for the independent years that nothing was done by the masses.
    Look around the world, Tribalism, Religion and corruption, you all can see where its happening.


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