Listen

It is with great sadness that I write this letter in order to express my utter dissatisfaction at the treatment meted out to law-abiding citizens of the Commonwealth of Dominica who did not purchase our passports, and who were born here and have contributed to the progress and development of this island. As Muslims, we believe that our women are honourable and valuable members of our families and society and so whenever leaving their homes should be covered in Islamic attire in order to preserve and protect their honour and dignity. The Qur'an says: "O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies. That will be better, that they should be known so as not to be annoyed. And God is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." 33:59

The other day after returning from St. Lucia, my wife and I were treated in a very disrespectful and rather ignorant manner by a customs officer when I asked for a female officer to identify my wife who was wearing her face veil. This should have been a simple routine practice, except that the officer seemed offended at my request. I will not go into the details here of what ensued. The question is: Was my request unreasonable? Is there something in the constitution that says that a person should not dress the way that their religion and Creator requires and commands them to?

I can safely say that I have never faced the utter embarrassment and flagrant disrespect and inhospitality that we face ONLY in Dominica.

The question is: Why do we undergo this special treatment only in the Nature Isle? Are we that unique? Is there a special threat that Muslim women pose to Dominica? Is this a country that possesses valuable and high priority strategic targets that might be of interest to some terrorist organization?

I hope that progressive people especially in Dominica will realize that we live in a world full of variety and that people should learn to be a little more tolerant in their treatment of others just as we would respect differences in race and colour and that a nation that does not respect diversity in any age is going nowhere fast.

Ilyas Nassief


Listen