Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation

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Islamic scholar denied entry into T&T

Jue 7, 2024

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – The Caribbean Dawah Association has called on the Government to clarify why Immigration officials denied entry to Islamic Scholar Sheikh Uthman Ibn Farooq.

According to immigration officials, Farooq and his eight-member touring party arrived at the Piarco International Airport on Sunday, with plans to participate in a workshop. 

He was also scheduled to speak to local Muslims and invite people to join Islam. 

However, Dawah Association president Asad Yacoobali said someone from the Immigration Division told one of the members they were undesirable in the country. 

Yacoobali said the men left Trinidad for the United Kingdom (UK) two hours after the entry denial without their luggage. 

“When they landed, somebody approached him at immigration and told him he was not allowed to enter. They did not give any information. They did not give any warning or any time for us to find a solution. Rather, they were just told that he needed to get on the next plane back out, which was just two to three hours later,” Yacoobali said.

Yacoobali said  Farooq has over one million YouTube subscribers and travels the world sharing his knowledge. 

“Knowing that he is a US citizen, nobody expected him to encounter an immigration problem.In many ways, it feels like discrimination against Muslims, yet again, and there seems to be no end to this madness. Even when individuals are making suggestions like ‘we should have made special arrangements for him to enter the country through immigration’, why is that necessary.”

Yacoobali said some people could consider Farooq a controversial figure because he invites people to Islam. However, he said he was never stopped or arrested in any other country.

Apart from answers, the association wants compensation, as it incurred expenses to bring the team to Trinidad and prepare for the workshop.

“We are hoping that somebody from the Government gives us an explanation and helps us work this out so that this does not happen in the future.”

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