Wednesday 9th June, 2004

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Dr Mann wrong about Jerusalem

I take this opportunity to correct an error made by Dr Larry Mann in his letter headed “Israel attacking terrorists only” (Guardian, May 27).

Dr Mann stated that “Nowhere in the Qur’an is Jerusalem mentioned even once, yet the Palestinians now claim it as their holy city.” This is wrong since Jerusalem is mentioned in the Qur’an. Let me quote it for you:

“Glory be to Allah who transported His servant (Muhammad, peace be upon him) by night from the Sacred Mosque (in Makkah) to the Distant Mosque (in Jerusalem), whose precincts (ie Palestine) we did bless in order to show him our signs” (17:1).

In this verse, the Distant Mosque is also known as the Temple of Solomon or the Dome of the Rock and everyone clearly knows that this is located in Jerusalem. Therefore the Qur’an does make mention of Jerusalem, contrary to what Dr Mann wrote.

Additionally, this same verse confirms that Palestine is the Holy Land, since it is a precinct (or surrounding territory) specially blessed by God.

For more detailed information on this issue, Dr Mann should read the book The Religion of Abraham and the State of Israel—A View From The Qur’an.

Furthermore, I remind Dr Mann that the Qur’an is the last of the four revealed books and is the only one that has not been altered by man. Therefore, every word can be taken as the truth. The Qur’an itself states that it is a book wherein there is no doubt.

So, Dr Mann, do a little more research next time before you make an uninformed and incorrect statement again.

Zafir Latchan

[email protected]

All must work to prevent flooding

The mountains, hills, valleys, vegetation and gardens are green and lush due to the short dry season this year. Thank God for that.

However, with the serious rainy season now here (and some forecasters predict a serious hurricane season), I appeal to all Trinidadians to do their part to prevent the flooding which happens year after year, by keeping drains, canals and rivers free of debris.

If the communities can rally to get everything cleared, I think we will see a lessening of the flooding. Don’t throw your fast food boxes or soft drink bottles in the drain or the side of the road, please!

We need to come to the reality that we cannot depend on the Government to help us, so we as a people need to do it ourselves.

The flooding which occurred in Woodbrook last year was terrible and I hope the residents ensure it does not happen again.

Let us all work together, check ourselves, clean up our environment and hope that we do not see what happened in the Dominican Republic happen here.

B Sandy


Don’t worry, it’s in the bag, Dianne

I read that Dianne Seukeran, the PNM MP for San Fernando West, is worried that the PNM may lose the prized southern marginal.

My advice to her and all who dwell in the PNM kingdom is not to fear. Your party has provided for that by house-padding the constituency. Forget winning votes by performance and noble deeds. Just house-pad.

And guess what? The media don’t seem to care! So why fear? Don’t lose another hair!

So, Seukeran need not sweat it, her party has it in the bag. She can rock back and relax. The only problem is that she may not be the candidate in 2007.

Martin Maharaj

St Augustine

[email protected]

Impose martial law to stop crime

I READ the letter from Johnathon Smith (“Dirty money poisoning T&T,” May 29) who lives in Toronto, and I knew he was wasting his time in asking for something to be done to stop the escalating crime in Trinidad.

He is, however, right about dirty money pouring into Trinidad. One can see some newly-built establishments with all modern amenities. Some are even over-manned with well dressed attendants but no customers. They just can’t be making a profit. However, they remain in existence. Could it be they have bent accountants and blind trade officials?

There are so many crooks in Trinidad. I speak from personal experience.

When I returned to live in Trinidad several years ago, I rented a property from a local millionaire in a well-to-do area. I paid £400 a month in rent. I purchased a new TV and made arrangements with the cable company to connect me to the network. A technician was supposed to come on a Wednesday to make the connection.

On the Monday morning the landlord came to collect his rent and check to see that things were OK. He noticed the new TV, picked up the remote and tried to switch it on. I told him I had made arrangements for the cable company to come to connect me to the network.

“Oh,” he said to me, “what a pity, I could have had one of my boys connect you to the network on the lamppost outside the house.”

That is one example of dishonesty.

Another is when a friend of mine applied to the water authority for permission to install a toilet downstairs in his villa. The following day a man from the water authority turned up on his doorstep offering to have the toilet application approved for a certain sum of money without his superiors knowing anything about it.

I have had other serious personal encounters. I remained in Trinidad for only five months and was glad to return to England. The move to and fro cost me £20,000.

The main trouble is that the ordinary Trinidadian loves the underdog and because they know a lot of officials are crooked they secretly support anyone who gets away with a criminal activity, and they themselves are ready to indulge in minor or serious criminal activities for financial reward.

This attitude is widespread. The only solution is to impose martial law for a time and hope that will bring about the end of most of the criminals and their activities. I can see no other solution.

The problems of crime and the production of new criminals are on the increase, despite figures showing crime has fallen. I don’t believe that these figures are correct; someone must be counting backwards.

GA Marques

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