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Allah's Outlaws: The Jamaat al Muslimeen of Trinidad and Tobago

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Allah's Outlaws: The Jamaat al Muslimeen of Trinidad and Tobago

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Abstract

'Sacred violence', the long-standing relationship between religion and violence, takes unique forms shaped by local cultures. While the conditions that produce phantom revolutionary groups vary widely, those groups that invoke altruistic declarations for radical social change drawn from religious texts often resort to violence to attain their goals. In this article, it is argued that, although the social conditions conducive to the formation and initial religious revolutionary appeal of the Muslimeen of Trinidad and Tobago were economic and cultural, the subsequent gangsterism in which it engaged alienated the group from the mass support required for an effective revolutionary movement.

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... Although the historical roots of violence in Trinidad and Tobago are evident, the specific sources of the abrupt increase in violence that occurred starting around the year 2000 are not so obvious. One dynamic that coincides with that abrupt increase was the splintering apart of street gangs that had previously been under the control of the Jamaat al Muslimeen, a radical Islamic group based in Trinidad and Tobago (Mahabir, 2012). 11 In 1990, the group, led by a former Trinidad and Tobago police officer, launched an unsuccessful coup d'état, killing 24 people (Searle, 1991). ...
... One local official describes the Jamaat al Muslimeen as "a criminal gang with a veneer of Islamic ideology"(McCoy and Knight, 2017: 277). Another author refers to the group as "Allah's outlaws"(Mahabir, 2012). ...
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Trinidad and Tobago is a two-island nation in the Eastern Caribbean about seven miles off the northeast coast of Venezuela. As of June 2018, its estimated population was approximately 1.36 million people. Despite its small size and idyllic location, Trinidad and Tobago is also among the world’s most violent nations, with increasingly high levels of gang-related homicide. Political corruption is also reported to be endemic throughout the public sector, including within the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS). Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) commissioned this Rapid Evidence Assessment (REA) to examine the current state of research evidence on these issues. The aims of the review are twofold; (1) to provide an informed understanding of the nature and prevalence of gang homicide and police corruption in the country, and (2) to identify effective practices that the police can adopt to address these issues. The results from this review will increase understanding of how gang-related homicide and police corruption in Trinidad and Tobago could be tackled most effectively. The findings will contribute to the design of HMICFRS police inspection of Trinidad and Tobago.
... Had Cullen consulted the entire back-catalogue of the British Journal of Criminology, one of the key institutional sites of academic international criminology, he would also have found suggestive evidence for his thesis. Between July 1960, the month in which the first ever volume of the British Journal of Criminology was published and January 2014, which saw the publication of the first issue of its 54th volume, the theme of religion and its relationship to crime is addressed in just three articles: Junger and Polder (1993), Mahabir (2012) and Hamm (2009). Ulmer (2010: 163) shares Cullen's concern. ...
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Chapter
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