Recently, a story broke ’bout a new housing development in Bubbadus that was going to be for Muslims only. That is to say, only Muslims will own and presumably live there. It didn’t go down well on Facebook, along with letters to the media and people expressing their views pun call-in programmes.
Now before I start, lemme establish my credentials. My family large and diverse; immediate relatives from as close as St Lucia to as far as Sweden and India. We got Christians, Muslims, Jews, believers and maybe a few disbelievers. My father-in-law come from India and is Muslim.
I went to school wid Muslim boys and count many Muslims among my friends. So understand De Vendor don’t have no axe to grind wid no religion nor follower.
My mother always advise me pun certain matters, and if she in doubt about my proposed actions in a matter, would ask me: “Son, consider how it go look.”
Truth be told, if I did listen to she, I woulda save muhself plenty agony.
The story broke ’bout this Muslim only community, and de next day a representative of the faith went pun de radio and explain that it was not that the community was for Muslims only, but rather dat when de approval was given it was announced at prayers in the Mosque, and Muslims present buy up de lots.
He further explain that Muslims like to live close to the place of worship and dat a mosque was going to be part of the development.
I wondering out loud. Did anybody reflect pun the likely outcome of announcing the development in the Mosque only? Did anyone ask de question how it go look?
Having regard to de fact that Muslims are a small minority in the community, did anybody consider that you might be sending a wrong signal to others in the country?
Did anyone consider it unwise to allow all lots to be gobbled up by Muslims only, or that at least de lots should have been advertised publicly to allow for a mixed development?
Or to reserve some lots for sale to other Bubbajans?
Shouldn’t we be seeking to integrate and not separate? Doesn’t it look like yuh excluding rather than including? In short, how it go look?
Suppose others decide dem want Syrian/Lebanese only, Anglicans only, Baptists only, Trinis only, Lucians only communities? How it go look? Buddadus would begin to look like South Africa in de old apartheid days! We would be sending a wrong message to de rest of the country!
Things could get ridiculous. Next thing we might be demanding Muslim only plumbers, or Baptist only carpenters. And when yuh have a problem, which police yuh going to call?
At de risk of not getting invite to Eid celebrations at de family, and offending de father-in-law, dis Vendor got to be true to heself and raise issues dat mek he uncomfortable!
It is true dat West Indians in London does populate certain areas like Hackney and in the US, Brooklyn, and dat Lucians use to control Nelson and Wellington Streets and Jessamine Avenue, but it was never exclusive! Baje live alongside Americans, and after two mornings we integrate and sound and look just like them! Of course, that might be part of de problem here.
I, Market Vendor, gone fuh now. You have a blessed and a wonderful day, yuh hear?