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VZCZCXYZ001 1 
RR RUEHWEB 

DE RUEHSP #0767 1731856 
ZNY CCCCC ZZH 
R 221856Z JUN 06 
FM AMEMBASSY PORT OF SPAIN 
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7031 
INFO RUCNCOM/EC CARICOM COLLECTIVE 
RUE HBU/ AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 0026 
RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO 0414 
RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA 0037 

CONFIDENTIAL PORT OF SPAIN 000767 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

DEPT FOR WHA/CAR, INR/TNC 

E . O . 12958: DECL : 06/22/2016 
TAGS: PINR PTER KISL TD 

SUBJECT: CARIBBEAN MUSLIM FORUM IN T&T 
REF: A. A. SECSTATE 064703 

IB. B. PORT OF SPAIN 00618 

Classified By: A/DCM A. D. Miller for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 

IQ. (U) The 2006 Caribbean Muslim Forum took place at the 
Trinidad campus of the University of the West Indies on June 
18-19. Pol intern attended forum. Approximately 40-50 
people attended, most from Trinidad but with a handful from 
throughout the region. The crowd was made up of about 2/3 
East Indian and 1/3 African-ethnic. The Central Zakah 
Organization of Trinidad and Tobago organized the conference 
and invited Dr. Monzer Kahf, a Syrian-born American, to speak 
on the Muslim pillar of Zakah, or almsgiving. Dr. Kahf is a 
leading expert on Muslim economics, and has worked for the 
governments of Pakistan, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. 

Information on Dr. Kahf,s publications can be found on 
website http : //monzer kahf . com/ about . html . 

1.2. (U) During Dr. Kahf,s lecture, a participant asked, 
&Should forceful means be used to collect Zakah from Muslims 
who are otherwise lax in their giving?8 Dr. Kahf responded 
that since Zakah is a tenet of Islam, giving Zakah is 
crucial. He further stated that giving Zakah must be sincere 
and come from one,s love for Allah. Dr. Kahf closed by 
saying that forcefully collecting Zakah is just as bad as not 
giving Zakah. Dr. Kahf,s response provoked a few grumbles 
from some of the Afro-Trini Muslims in attendance. (NOTE: 

The extremist Jamaat Al-Muslimeen (JAM) is largely Afro-Trini 
in composition. The grumbles may have come from JAM and 
sympathizers. END NOTE.) 

13. (U) Most participants appeared to be Sunni Muslim with a 
few participants who may have been Shiite based on their 
clothing. Some of the high profile participants included 
Rasheed Inusah the Ghanaian deputy-Ambassador to Cuba, and 
Mohammed Hajja, the Secretary-General of the Latin American 
Islamic Council, based in Argentina. Also of note were 
Muhammed Soleiman, a Palestinian Imam living in Puerto Rico 
for the past few decades, and Imam &Omer8, an Englishman 
running a Muslim outreach program in Mexico. 

1.4. (C) COMMENT: The Jamaat Al Muslimeen (JAM) is composed 
mostly of Afro-Trini Muslims. Its jailed leader, Yasin Abu 
Bakr, was arrested for threatening violence against Muslims 
who did not pay their zakah to the JAM. The grumbles from 
the Afro-Trini Muslims may have been to show their 
displeasure with the idea of not using force to seize Zakah. 
While there were private breakout sessions for high-ranking 
Imams and Muslim representatives, discussions to which we are 
not privy, the public forum was far more technical than 
ideological. A calculator and math skills were more useful 



than a pen. END COMMENT. 
AUSTIN