This was the second time the Prime Minister has donated $350,000 to the TML. She first did so last year. With a big smile on his face, Mustapha thanked Persad-Bissessar for her continued generousity.
“I would like to assure the Prime Minister the money would be put to good use, and I wish to thank her sincerely on behalf of the council and members of the TML for recognising us and also for appreciating us. May Allah bless you,” Mustapha said.
Persad-Bissessar told those gathered in the hall next door to the mosque that similar donations were being made to other “large Muslim organisations in the country,” including to the Anjuman Sunnat ul Jammat Association (ASJA) of Trinidad and Tobago.
In a night of giving, the Prime Minister also handed over a $5,000 cheque to Imam Amzard Khan, for use in the St Joseph mosque’s Eid al-Fitr celebrations tomorrow (sun). This too would be matched in donations to every registered mosque in the country.
“As I did last year, again this year, we have tried to give to every mosque. A small contribution at this very special time that you celebrate.
So this is a symbolic handing-over, but all mosques in TT will receive a similar donation of a cheque from the Office of the Prime Minister,” Persad- Bissessar stated.
Noting that for millions around the world, Islam has provided peace, solace and strength, and has been hailed as one of the fastest-growing religions in the world, the Prime Minister noted that in TT, “Islam has blended itself into our diverse national structure of ethnicities, religions, social backgrounds and cultural heritages.” Persad-Bissessar said TT would not be celebrating so many achievements on our 50th Anniversary of Independence if it weren’t for the contributions of the Muslim community.
“It is without doubt that the place at which TT has arrived at today, in this year of our Golden Jubilee celebrations of Independence, that in great part our achievements have been due to your influence (and) your contribution to our national development through prayer, education, social and economic contributions, through politics and the direct intervention of Islamic elders.”
The Prime Minister also assured the Muslim community of her Government’s commitment to upholding “the values of our Constitution — that every creed and every race will find an equal place.
As we celebrate our independence and we sing joyously our anthem, we remain committed and dedicated to those words, that every creed and every race will find an equal place in Trinidad and Tobago.”