Muslims Moving to Upscale Neighbourhood, TOGETHER
BU has withheld comment to the news that a Muslim group was given the go ahead to establish a community in the built up Clermont St. James neighbourhood. Why has this news evoke a 7-day outcry from Barbadians? All the lots in the new Clermont community were purchased by Muslims.
It strikes the sane among us that in a country reported to be 90+ percent Black many educated Barbadians have reacted to the news with a Muslim phobia. The breaking news that 50 Trinidadians of a certain religious sect have flown to Syria to join the terrorist organization ISIS will probably add to the hysteria by those opposed to the Muslim Clermont Settlement.
The majority if not all of the Muslims associated with the Muslim Clermont Settlement are Barbadians. Many if not all were educated in Barbados and are second generation immigrants. Some of them have dated Barbadians outside of the group although they are encouraged, and often do, return to the fold to chant marriage vows. Many Muslims have resided in the enclaves of Fontabelle and Kensington for decades with a mosque built in 1950 in the environs to practice their religion. Could it be a case the Barbados middleclass feels threatened by a few hundred Barbadian Muslims because some of them aspire to live in a middleclass side of town, TOGETHER? It seems those opposed to the Clermont Settlement were happy to be silent when they traversed Kensington New Road and Fontabelle to attend cricket or do business in the area. We are truly a bunch of hypocrites.
The Closed Brethren have lived segregated lives in Barbados for decades although they control big business in Barbados? Will those opposed to the Muslim Clermont Settlement find voice and oppose those who live at Kent?
Full credit must be given to Abdul Pandor, Suleiman Bulbulia and others from the local Muslin community who have come to the public to explain and clarify the Clermont transaction. Although many questions remain unanswered local Muslims have not behaved in a manner to compare with the Jamaat al Muslimeen in Trinidad to suggest Barbadians should fear local Muslims desire to live together. It is no a secret this is a group who relish their clannish ways.
They have gone about their business by attending to rituals and practices in the most unobtrusive manner. Have we have become intoxicated on a diet of US Cable news we are happy to label Muslims and other ethic and religious groups with a very broad brush?
The only concern BU has about the Clermont Settlement transaction is whether is was transparent. From arms distance it appears very convenient all of the lots were sold to Muslims. BU understands a few Muslims bought all the lots and on-sold to other Muslims. When did the lots go on sale. Did a non Muslim offer to buy any of the lots. Was there any ‘pressure’ brought to bear on the Town Planning department. When was permission requested from Town Planning and when was the deal consummated between buyer and seller.
The developers of the site have wasted no times, work has started in earnest at the site.