Tobago Imam applauds Venezuelan registration

Tuesday, June 4, 2019 - 14:30

Imam Yusuf Diab, of the Crown Point Mus­lim sect, ap­plauds Gov­ern­ment’s move to reg­is­ter and of­fer Venezue­lans em­ploy­ment and med­ical ser­vices for one year.

Speak­ing with Guardian Me­dia at the Crown Point Masjid on the eve of the cel­e­bra­tion of Eid-ul-Fitr, the Imam said he is hap­py the Gov­ern­ment be­gan the ini­tia­tive.

He made it clear that as an Or­tho­dox sect, his or­gan­i­sa­tion did not get in­volved in Gov­ern­ments’ af­fairs.

How­ev­er, as a busi­ness­man, he saw “the reg­is­tra­tion as a good idea.”

Not­ing that “the wave of Venezue­lans is ir­re­versible,” and that “the sit­u­a­tion in Venezuela is not go­ing to get any bet­ter soon,” he said: “It’s a good thing they are be­ing reg­u­lar­ized and are go­ing through the due process.”

“They could help build the busi­ness sec­tor here (To­ba­go),” he added.

He has worked with them be­fore and not­ed that “the Venezue­lans are good work­ers. They are re­li­able. They are trust­wor­thy.”

He feels the Gov­ern­ment’s ini­tia­tive should have be­gun ear­li­er and in­clud­ed oth­er na­tion­al­i­ties.

“I think they should have done that a while back and they should have in­clud­ed all the oth­er na­tion­al­i­ties that come here and are will­ing to work,” the busi­ness­man, who owns a num­ber of restau­rants in To­ba­go said.

He said the Gov­ern­ment’s ac­tion is sim­i­lar to Sakat in the Mus­lim re­li­gion. “Sakat re­quires all who have to give to those who don’t have so that no man is way above an­oth­er in so­ci­ety,” he said.

How­ev­er, he feels the Gov­ern­ment should go a step fur­ther and pro­tect the na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty.

“While I ap­plaud the idea, it’s good for us to al­so keep checks and bal­ances on the en­tire im­mi­grant sit­u­a­tion as they (Im­mi­grants) are from a dif­fer­ent cul­ture,” he said.

“Venezuelans should be test­ed for dif­fer­ent dis­eases. We ex­pect that they would have their own dis­eases. They should be test­ed and get im­mu­ni­sa­tions against cer­tain oth­er dis­eases,” the Imam told Guardian Me­dia.

“At the end of the day, we have to pro­tect our way of life. We have to main­tain our cul­ture,” the Imam said.

Mean­while, speak­ing about the role his sect is play­ing in To­ba­go’s so­ci­ety, he said, “the or­gan­i­sa­tion has a great re­la­tion­ship with the To­ba­go House of As­sem­bly.”

“We have out­reach pro­grammes that ed­u­cate peo­ple about Is­lam and show them that the world­wide vi­o­lence is not a part of the true Mus­lim re­li­gion,” the Imam said.

 - by Camille Mceachnie