Muslims urge strong measures vs crime

FOLLOWING Sunday night’s brutal murder of the elderly East Bank Essequibo (EBE) rice-farming couple Mohamed and Jamila Munir, the Muslim community has issued a call to the authorities to take drastic measures to arrest current criminal activities.

At the same time, government has, through Social Cohesion Minister Amna Ally, extended condolences to the relatives and loved ones of the 75-year-old Mohammed Munir and his wife Jamila Munir, who perished on Sunday night in a fire set by bandits who had invaded their Lot 17 Good Hope, EBE home.

The fleeing bandits had minutes earlier attacked the Munirs, who had been well-known in the Muslim community and in the rice industry, Jamila having been described as a trail blazer therein, given her efforts to develop the industry.

In a release yesterday, the Guyana Islamic Trust condemned the death of the couple.
“This is one in a series of brutal crimes that have recently been perpetrated against innocent people across the country, and the GIT joins with the rest of the community in condemning these heinous acts of terror,” the body noted in a statement from its East Street, Georgetown base.

The GIT described the Munirs as “peace-loving, hard-working, generous and religiously upright individuals, as well as long-standing and ardent supporters of the GIT and the Muslim community as a whole.” It said Sunday night’s incident, along with others in the past, shows “complete disregard for the sanctity of human life and (for) people’s right to enjoy their hard earned wealth.”

The GIT noted the brazen manner in which such crimes have been committed, and declared that such acts illustrate utter disregard for the law enforcement agencies in Guyana. It said such actions do not auger well for the future.

The Muslim organization issued a call on the citizenry, especially the Muslim community, to work with those in authority to maintain peace and security in our land.

The body expressed sincere condolences to the family, relatives, and friends of the Munirs, as well as victims of past crimes.

The Anna Catherina Islamic Complex (ACIC) and the Guyana United Sadr Islamic Anjuman (SADR) have also condemned the actions of those responsible for the deaths of the elderly couple.

In a strongly-worded statement, the two bodies have called on President David Granger and the government to assure the citizenry that responsible criminal elements will face the law.

“The brutal slayings of these two innocent persons, Mohamed and Jamila, must serve as an impetus for us, as a Guyanese nation, in full cooperation and stripped of all differences, to find solutions quickly to this dire situation,” the two organizations stated.

The two bodies also expressed sympathy to the family of the Munirs, and pledged their support to the authorities to vigorously commence new efforts to bring the present crime situation under control.

“Government must demonstrate concern and empathy through constructive and timely response. Government must also demonstrate its commitment to the safety of the population, every group in the population, through effective policing,” the two entities stated.

According to a release from the Ministry of the Presidency, on Monday evening Minister Ally travelled to Good Hope, EBE along with Head of the Political Division at the Ministry of the Presidency, Fredrick Mc Wilfred, where the two participated in a wake held in memory of the Munirs and offered words of comfort to the Munirs’ grieving children, grandchildren and other relatives.

“I want to express, on behalf of President David Granger, on behalf of the Coalition Government, our sympathy to the children, grandchildren, and all the relatives of Brother Munir and Sister Jamila. I want to say to you that I’m sure that this was an unexpected act, but God will give you faith to carry on,” an emotional Minister Ally said.

The Minister echoed earlier condemnation of the “barbaric act”, and expressed hope that “justice would be meted out to them [the bandits].”

The release stated that Sheikh Moen ul-Hack of the Central Islamic Organisation of Guyana (CIOG) and Opposition Members of Parliament Bibi Shadick and Irfaan Ali also expressed condolences on behalf of the CIOG, masjids and other Muslim organisations to the Munirs’ grieving relatives.

Meanwhile, West Demerara police officials told this newspaper yesterday that they are actively investigating Sunday night’s incident. While several persons have been questioned, no arrest has as yet been made in connection with the incident.

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