Don’t be afraid of the Muslims among us; learn from them.
That advice has come from historian Trevor Marshall, as a community exclusively for Muslims begins construction in Clermont, St James.
He said while the Muslim community was flexing its muscles culturally and economically, and as a distinct ethnic social group in society, black Barbadians were being left behind.
“They are undeniably affluent and they have saved far better than we black people and far better than our white community. They have accumulated a lot of money and have a simple lifestyle,” he said in an interview with Barbados TODAY.
“We are now seeing another ethnic group assert itself. All that is happening is that we Barbadians are shocked because we thought of them as just ‘coolie men’ . . . But the Muslims are well established.”
As he indicated that Muslims have a strong presence on the island, the veteran historian said he was disappointed that the Ministry of Education has never included the study of the community on the curriculum.
“We black Barbadians . . . have never studied them. A lot of stupid people in Barbados consider Trevor Marshall as a troublemaker and a controversial twistorian and historian. [They] are now waking up to the fact that the Muslims are a serious and economically powerful group in Barbados,” he said.
Stressing that he was not attacking the community, the historian added: “The Muslims in Barbados are not Isis . . . they do not intend any danger to our community.”
Marshall, who has conducted research and studies on the group, noted that Muslims have been in Barbados since 1910, but have peacefully operated under the radar and traditionally kept to themselves as they practised their beliefs.
“This is now 104 years. Muslims can mainly be found in the lower income suburbs of Bridgetown and Hindus have moved up into Bellville and both groups are now moving out into the wider suburbs and more affluent areas of Barbados,” he said.
The new Muslim community, located opposite Queens College, will include a housing development, a mosque and a community centre. The project is being headed by the An-Noor Muslim Association.