The radical leader of the Trinidad and Tobago based Muslim group Jamaat-al-Muslimeen, Yasin Abu Bakr, is insisting that he is not a threat to Jamaica.
In a statement yesterday Abu Bakr asked that the Jamaican government respect his right to free movement within the region.
Abu Bakr was yesterday denied entry to Jamaica after arriving on a Caribbean Airlines flight at the Norman Manley International Airport.
The Jamaat al Muslimeen issued a press statement on behalf of Abu Bakr.
According to Jamaat, Abu Bakr was invited to Jamaica by the leader of the Nation of Islam, Minister Louis Farrakhan.
Farrakhan is hosting the 19th anniversary of the Million Man March in Kingston on Sunday.
Jamaat says Abu Bakr was also using the opportunity to visit his daughter, who’s studying medicine at the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies.
He was accompanied by one of his wives and his son.
The three intended to stay in the country for six days, but Jamaican immigration officials refused to grant them entry.
The initial decision was later reversed.
But while Abu Bark’s wife and son were allowed entry, he was told he would be deported.
According to Jamaat, the Muslim leader told immigration officials that as a CARICOM citizen, he was willing to be taken to court to assert his right to freedom of movement in Jamaica and the Caribbean.
He also asked to be taken to court to prove that he was not a threat to Jamaica’s national security.
Abu Bakr’s son, Fuad, said his father has traveled to over 60 countries and does not have a criminal conviction.
According to the statement, Trinidad and Tobago’s High Commissioner to Jamaica, Iva Gloudon and Minister Farrakhan, are making efforts to help Abu Bakr.
According to Abu Bakr, the decision to deport him is in bad taste.
He points out that he employs a number of Jamaicans in Trinidad and that Jamaicans benefit from his private school in the twin island republic.
He says he’ll be taking appropriate action.
Jamaat has called a press conference at its headquarters for today to discuss the issue.