Posted by: nastylittletruths | August 23, 2011

Irony Of The 49th

Coming home tonight (on the first night of planned curfew starting at 9:00 pm) and decided to pass over Lady Young Road instead of the Beetham Highway. As I approached the roundabout at Maritime Plaza, Barataria, I noticed the Independence Day decorative banners and thought of the irony…

Here we are on the eve of celebrating our 49th anniversary of Independence and our rights have been severely curtailed by a State of Emergency. Our citizens have no right to the enjoyment of property, no right of assembly and no basic human rights. Famous movie line: “How did it ever come to this?

I will be the last to trivialise pain of those who have lost loved ones (as I am also on that list) by saying that they don’t know what they are asking for when they support drastic measures like this, but when I heard that 80% of the respondents to CNC3 poll agreed to the SoE, I had to shake my head and wonder why are we so short-sighted? No, this is not a good thing.

Former US President George W. Bush did the same (well, worse really) when they rammed through the Military Commissions Act of 2006 removing many US citizens fundamental human rights without them even knowing it. It took a ruling by the Supreme Court for the removal of the suspension of habeas corpus from the Act. (Habeas Corpus has, historically, been an important legal instrument safeguarding individual freedom against arbitrary State action – Wikipedia).

Of interest also is the restriction of practising one’s religion. It is the Holy Month of Ramadan and in which the faithful break the fast in their mosques, read Magrib Salaah, have dinner and stay for the Taraweeh prayer. Can you imagine trying to get all this done and getting home before the curfew hour of 9:00 pm? And the next morning – no call of the Azaan for Fajr Salaah as no one can’t get to the mosque at 4:45 am seeing that curfew ends at 5:00. Madness I say… The Government was ill-advised to proclaim the Eid holiday on September 1st, and it seems as if no one gave a thought to the Muslim community. I mean, will it be all that different if curfew starts at 10:00 pm and ends at 4:00 am?

Last, but not least – what about economic activity? After 9/11 ten years ago the City of New York was doing all in its power to get people out to the stores and restaurants. We can’t even go to the movies… Airline flights being cancelled? Shift work? Did the government, in effect, shut down the country more than what labour could have possibly achieved? Did they also quiet all the ‘politically motivated’ protests for better roads and amenities? All of the above…

I doubt very much the electorate will forget this next election time for a simple reason – the government won’t have much to show for it…



  1. i registered my complaint about the holiday declaration as the first day of (Shawwal) Eid falls on the 31st of August. In typical Trinidad has the most holidays mode they sad give them the 1st. if any Muslim advised them to do that well he will answer to his maker. The same goes for the curfew times that is limited to certain areas. i am pretty certain that even though one gets more blessings by praying in the masjid it isnt a necessity… and neither are Teraweeh prayers.

    the only logistical problem arrives when it comes to setting up masjids/spaces for Eid Salaat. They are usually held from as early as 7AM and this is where problems may arise. Masjids have ample time to organize necessary permits and co-ordinate with relevant service providers to get things in place.

  2. Wanted to know your thoughts on the Express editorial today:

    • Hey Ray… You actually made me visit the Express to read a story (I declared that I wasn’t going to buy that rag, nor read it online for free…). But Clarence is a columnist expressing an opinion – it wasn’t the editorial.

      I may be biased, but I like Clarence and this is one of his better works. On the spot 101%. For too long the crooks have been chummy with the politiicians and they get the protection they pay for. I’ve been speaking about the biggest laundromat in Trinidad (the Bamboo) for years since it’s the most efficient way of washing money on the island. A dealer could drop a $100k in cash a day in the bank and he can justify that with a challenge for anybody to audit him.

      People also say that the drug trade is equivalent to our oil trade and sometimes it shows. I mean come on: just take a walk in some malls, see the volume of business the guy is doing (maybe just scraping rent) and he’s driving a Porsche Cayenne!

      • so with you on the Million dollar car drivers/owners…

  3. Eid can fall on the 30th because new moon is the 29th. But it could never be on 1st because mandatory fasting days is restricted to 30 days. Now if it *can* fall on the 30th what will be the position of all Muslims on the country? They *will* stay home (no one can’t do them anything) and yet still have the 31st and 1st as holidays.

    You are right – I have no idea who advised the gov’t on this one… My position on these religious public holidays is that they should all be stopped.The only people allowed to stay home should be those directly involved and not the general population. I think it is in extremely poor taste and an insult to Muslims to see alcohol being consumed like there’s no tomorrow by non-Muslims who have a ‘holiday’…

    Bandi, I agree that it’s not mandatory to break fast in the masjid nor stay for Taraweeh, but the whole joy of Ramadan and the feelings of ‘Jamaat’ or community my Muslim brothers and sisters have at that time is irreplaceable. They feel that they are being robbed…

    • i understand the sentiment of feeling robbed all to well. Muslims are part of the society and it isnt an islamic one. They have to follow the man-made laws as well as God’s. Surely Allah will not frown upon those who are inconvenienced by the state as he knows their intention.

      I heard/read an explanation from Maulana Siddiq Nasir on why Eid will fall on the 31st and it had to do with when the moon would be born and as such be able to be seen by the naked eye.

  4. And the Prophet Muhammed (swas) was unambiguous in his decree about following the laws of the land that you live in – you *follow* it. No argument from me on that, but this curfew is a decree that could be modified simply… by man. Is 10:00 to 4:00 much worse than 9:00 to 5:00 in the scheme of things?

    I did hear the comment by the Maulana and the hypocrisy amongst by brothers continue… I live in a land that says bigamy is against the law, but some are enamoured of the idea of having more than one wife. They will then say that ‘nikkah’ is not ‘marriage’ as recognised by our laws, but still say that they have ‘wives’…

    The Arabs gave us mathematics that helps us calculate the exact birth of the moon, but we have to *see* it? I’ve been complaining about this for ages because every year it’s a ‘bet’ to see when they’ll ‘call the holiday’… We use the creature comforts of modern technology, but like to speak of tradition when it suits our purpose…

    I could go on, but there was one silver lining in this dark cloud. No terrorists on wheels with the loud boom boxes disturbing me in the night. Peace and quiet – it is a beautiful thing…

    • alhumdulillah

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