In October, 2015 a pregnant Muslim woman was verbally and racially abused on a bus in North London. She was accused of having bombs, having links to ISIS and told to return to her own country, with the use of expletives.
In our local context, with the rise of ISIS and other groups and their portrayal in international and local media, do you think that something of this Islamophobic nature can take place in T&T?
Siddiq Ramjohn: In Trinidad most religions are respected and there is more mixing and intermingling with each other. I don’t think that type of fear against Muslims in this country is so extreme. Trinidadians are a little more understanding. But also keep in mind that anything is possible.
Michelle Cockman: It will continue to take place anywhere so long as media outlets continue to portray ISIS as the standard for Islam. Radical sects compromise of less than 1% of the total Muslims worldwide. Also ISIS is killing more Muslims than anyone else but no media outlets mention that.
Shane Beekham: I think it can. There are many confirmed Trinis in ISIS. If that continues, who knows?
Nandita Maharaj: It all depends on how local media twists and corrupts the situation.
Joe Joseph: Let’s go further, in 1990 a local Muslim group stormed our Parliament and our democracy was threatened and not once did I ever hear anyone accuse any Muslim, anywhere…. No, I don’t think that will reach here in sweet T&T … but also Trinbagonian Muslims must show they are not aligned to any international terrorist groups that will threaten the bond that only Trinbagonians know.
Lee Brent Britton: Nothing like that is going to take place in this country, we as a people are not like that. I’m a Christian and I’m not standing up and see anybody disrespect a Muslim woman or law-abiding Muslim man and not say anything about it.
Muhammad Lee: I think the only people who would be overtly Islamophobic now or anytime in the near future in Trinidad and Tobago are members and/or sympathizers of gangs who are currently at war with “Islamic” gangs.
Abu Sawdah Ali: I was once traveling in a full maxi which was pulled over by the police. Not surprisingly I was the only one singled out to be searched. I said to myself that day “I can’t be vex with the police because people who look like me doing nonsense”. Similarly as more and more ISIS affiliates are revealed we can expect some level of increased Islamophobia. And a part of me will understand why.
Carl George: Not gonna happen. We, with the exception of a few, as a people are not inclined to violence. The closest to violence was the looting in 1990. The few who are the exceptions are not influential to sway the masses.