It has been reported widely that five students from Munroe Road, Cunupia were arrested over the weekend.     Many inaccuracies have accompanied the reports in the media and social media. It has become necessary that some of these falsehoods and reports are addressed.

Firstly, one of the students is a student of the Darul Uloom Boys’ College, Cunupia, and not all five as was reported in the Trinidad Guardian, and Radio 95.5 FM on Saturday 21st March. The other four are students of Rashadi Foundation, Madras Road, Cunupia. Both of these institutions are involved in Islamic Education and provide a range of religious and social services to Muslims and non- Muslims throughout the country and beyond.

The Darul Uloom and Rashadi Foundation condemn the reported actions of these boys as totally un-Islamic, foolish and wrong. Their actions have brought disrepute to themselves, their parents and families, their community and the schools they attend. They have further caused untold pain, suffering and loss to their victims and all those involved, to their pranks.

As believers in Allah and followers of His noble Prophet Muhammad (SAS), we support justice. Allah (SWT) commands us in the Holy Quraan ‘O you who believe, be persistently standing for justice, even if it be against your own selves…..’ Chapter 4, verse 135. We therefore support whatever punitive actions the judicial system finally determines that is due to them, as long as these deliberations are fair, and consider all of the circumstances pertinent to this case.

It is noted with alarm however, that in the social media and on the numerous talk shows on radio these students have already been found guilty and condemned. Words like ‘terrorists’, ’drunkards’ and ‘delinquent’ are being labeled on these young lads.

Worse is that institutions like the Darul Uloom which has been responsible for the academic education and moral training of thousands of Muslim men and women who contribute positively every day to the development of our society, is now being blamed for these boys’ behavior. This is far from the truth. Over the past years how many incidents of wrong doings can be attributed to our students, compared to the serious disrespect, fighting, possession of knives, illegal drugs and guns that have plagued almost every single ‘prestigious’ and ‘regular’ Secondary school in this country ?

No doubt the actions of these boys were ridiculously foolish, especially in these violent times. But to call them terrorists, or treat them like hardened criminals is going too far.

The Newspapers reported that some of the boys were reportedly beaten while in custody as reported by their lawyer. We condemn these actions if true, as strongly as we condemn the boys’ actions themselves. There is no place in our legal system for torture and the taking away of a person’s human rights and dignity.

We, at the Darul Uloom wish to make it abundantly clear to the nation, that Darul Uloom remains a prestigious Islamic institute, involved in academic as well as Islamic education. The institute is well known for its many services which it renders to the Muslim and non Muslim public of Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean.

Since its inception in 1989 until today, the Darul Uloom has never been involved in, nor suspected to be involved in any such activity which came in conflict with the law of our country.

The Darul Uloom continues to disseminate such knowledge and moral values to its students, which train them to become honest, peace-loving and law abiding citizens. With such training, they are able to contribute positively to the building of good communities and societies. Never in the history of Darul Uloom until today, it has ever encouraged, propagated, taught to its students, or supported violent, unruly and ‘law-breaking’ behavior. The Institute out rightly condemns acts of terrorism, crimes, violence and every such act that destroys the peace of family units, the community and society at large.

The Darul Uloom absolves itself from the actions of these teens, and does not hold itself responsible in any way for their behavior.

In conclusion, we wish to say that everyone who commits a crime is usually connected to a family unit, a community and a religious organization. However, it will be totally wrong to blame a family, a community or religious organization for the crime committed by an individual. Thus, it will be totally wrong to blame the Darul Uloom or any other organization for the actions done by the teens.

Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago Ltd.