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Trinidad - Jury views video'demanding' Zakaat
From the Trinidad Express
THE video recording of the sermon given by Jamaat-al-Muslimeen leader Imam Yasin Abu Bakr, during an Eid-ul-Fitr function six years ago, was viewed yesterday by members of the jury in the trial in which he is charged with communicating a statement having seditious intention.
Bakr, 70, of La Puerta, Diego Martin is also charged with two counts of inciting to demand with menaces with intent to steal, and endeavouring to provoke a breach of the peace.
The trial is being heard before Justice Mark Mohammed and a nine-member jury with six alternates in the Third Assize Court at the Hall of Justice in Port of Spain. Interesting name - Muslim surname but Christian name that of not just any old saint but one of the four evangelists. Is the son or grandson of an apostate?
Mano Ragbir (a cameraman at television station CNC 3) testified yesterday that about 350 to 400 male members (average age 25) of the Jamaat were present and sitting on the floor of the mosque when Bakr spoke about the collection and distribution of Zakaat. The women, he said, were located on a balcony.
Bakr told the congregation that the system of collecting and distributing Zakaat was designed by the Muslim prophet Muhammad for the purpose of eradicating poverty among the Muslim community.
"And the way we are doing this Zakaat in Trinidad, we are doing it wrong," Bakr said. "And that is the reason why Muslims in Trinidad are so weak and oppressed because they are not doing what Allah (God) say to do in terms of the Zakaat.
"The Zakaat is paid on your jewelry, the Zakaat is paid if you have money in the credit union, the Zakaat is paid if you have money in the bank, the Zakaat is paid if you have cattle, if you have goats, if you have sheep. The Zakaat is paid if you have a big garden, if you have produce. The Zakaat is paid on all these things and anytime you do not pay the Zakaat, Allah lower you down to the level—headed for the destruction.
"If Allah give you a promise that he will provide for you and he would provide for the children, how come you are poor? You either doing something that you not supposed to do, or you not doing something what you are supposed to do, or somebody has taken your sustenance, in which case you go and take it back."
Bakr said the nation's wealth, derived from the natural resources provided by Allah for all citizens of Trinidad and Tobago, was not being equally shared.
"If somebody takes something that belongs to you and they do not want to give it back to you, then it is your duty, in the Quran (Muslim holy book), by the support of Allah, to take it back from them. It is yours and somebody took it away from you..."
Bakr said Prophet Muhammad used to designate people to go and collect Zakaat.
"The Muslims in this country, they making joke because I don't know who we have in this community (who) could send anybody to collect any Zakaat from these so-called Muslims who rich. So that is why I'm saying now, we going to put it in place. And I could foresee a war. I am not serious. Listen to what I am saying, I am dead serious. There is going to be a big war in the Muslim community—a real war. Lives may be lost but there is going to be a war in the Muslim community, come next year, about the collection and distribution of Zakaat."
CASE AT A GLANCE Jamaat-al-Muslimeen leader Imam Yasin Abu Bakr, 70, is charged with:• unlawfully inciting persons present to demand with menaces property of members of the Muslim community who are not members of the Jamaat- al-Muslimeen;• unlawfully inciting persons present to demand with menaces property of (former head of the Inter-Religious Organisation) Noble Khan, with intention to steal. • unlawfully inciting persons present to commit a breach of the peace by enforcing the collection of Zakaat against members of the Muslim community who are not members of the Jamaat-al-Muslimeen; and • uttering a seditious speech, the purport of which was to engender and promote in his listeners feelings of ill- will or hostility between members of the Jamaat-al-Muslimeen and other members of the Muslim community who are not members of the Jamaat- al-Muslimeen.
I thought at first he was inciting his congrgation to go out and extract jizia by force from the non-muslim population but I fear that would have come later.