Spreading Islam most appropriate tribute?
Family members and friends of the victims of the September 11, 2001
On September 11, 2001, Sheikh Musa Tijani was at the Camp Road headquarters of the Islamic Council of Jamaica when two hijacked planes crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City.
There was a similar attack on The Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, that day. Another hijacked plane crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
It would be another four years before al-Qaeda, the militant Islamic group, claimed responsibility. But Muslims were largely blamed for the deadly incidents in which nearly 3,000 persons were killed.
Jamaica did not escape the paranoia in the aftermath of the attacks. In Kingston, the police reported that a member of the local Muslim community had been assaulted.
According to the Caribbeanmuslims.com website, Muslims have had a presence in Jamaica since the 18th century. Many of the slaves from West Africa were Muslims, so, too, was 16 per cent of the 30,000 Indians who came to Jamaica as indentured servants between 1845 and 1917.
The first mosque in Jamaica opened at Three Miles River in Westmoreland in 1956. The following year, another was opened in Spanish Town.
The Islamic Council of Jamaica was established in 1982. Six years later, it set up headquarters at Camp Road where the largest number of Jamaican Muslims worship and where ceremonies such as Nikha (wedding) and Aqiqah (christening) are conducted.
There are no plans by Jamaican Muslims to observe the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Sheikh Tijani believes spreading the word of Islam is the most appropriate tribute.
"We must continue to explain the teachings of Islam, and that Muslims do not support wrong. It is this way we can win over souls," he said.