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UPDATE: Residents want Premier Smith to denounce religious attack on Muslim family

Muslims in hijabs. A local Muslim family is claiming to have been verbally abused for their religion while in a local store. Photo: Internet Source
Residents are calling for Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith to publicly denounce the religious attack on a local Muslim family. Photo: VINO/File
Residents are calling for Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith to publicly denounce the religious attack on a local Muslim family. Photo: VINO/File
Mr Omar Tarabay (left) has alleged on Facebook that his family members were discriminated against by a customer in a local store for being Muslims. Right: Mr James De Digitus who also discriminated against the Tarabay family and Muslims on the BVi Community Board. Photo: Facebook
Mr Omar Tarabay (left) has alleged on Facebook that his family members were discriminated against by a customer in a local store for being Muslims. Right: Mr James De Digitus who also discriminated against the Tarabay family and Muslims on the BVi Community Board. Photo: Facebook
The Facebook post by Mr Omar Tarabay. Photo: Facebook
The Facebook post by Mr Omar Tarabay. Photo: Facebook
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Several residents are calling on the Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith to make an urgent public statement denouncing a recent religious attack a Muslim family residing in the Virgin Islands reportedly endured.

Several persons called this news site yesterday Monday August 15, 2016 following our story headlined: “Tarabay family alleges being verbally abused for being Muslim - - claimed abuse occurred in a local food store.” Most of the callers indicated that this should not be left to be handled by the affected family alone but steps should be taken by the highest level of government.

A businessman, who only gave his name as Brother Hasim, was most forward in his call on the Premier. “Premier I respect you to the highest level but I am hoping that you are seeing the seriousness of what just happened to the Tarabay family. I am appealing to you to make a public statement denouncing this sort of behavior. Assign a legal officer attached to government to investigate this with the owner of the food store.”

Hasim continued, “I am Christian but it does not matter, we see what’s going on around the world and we are not too small for those kind of things to infiltrate our shores, let’s make this culprit a living example EARLY.”

Another female caller directed this news site to a comment made by one Carmen Maynard n Facebook, who was described as making a very pivotal comment under the Tarabay’s post.

Maynard commented, “The hate is spreading!! VI people......don't ingest its poison. Don't fall for it!! See what's going on?? When you try to throw out God...Satan will rule; in all kinda ways.”

Shut down such behaviour

Maynard further said that some people are migrating and making the VI their home, but bringing hate and other negatives here. “I say, we must come together and whenever we see this kind of behaviour, shut it down right away. (No matter the race, color or religious back ground) Stand for something...or you'll fall for anything. Kill pride and let’s take back our home. We need each other; unity is strength. That's the plan; to make us fight against each other, so they can take over.... But, the devil is a liar.”

She noted that the warnings are all around which must be heeded to and return to God. “Yes....I said it; We ALL need to return to God; it's His grace that brought us this far; whether we believe it or not. Work on mending broken relationships; cut the hate out, let go of pride....and let's move forward. I'm sick and tired of these hate stories; and racist comments that I come upon on time and time again on FB. This nonsense has to stop NOW before it gets out of hand.”

Several attempts were made to contact the management of the store where the incident allegedly took place but to no avail. This news site will continue to follow this matter as requested by several residents.

See previous article published August 15, 2016

Tarabay family alleges being verbally abused for being Muslim

- claimed abuse occurred in a local food store

 “Hate and prejudice live among us here in the BVI.” This is a public statement made by Mr Omar Tarabay, head of the prominent Tarabay family living in the Virgin Islands, following a daring attack two of his family members allegedly endured over the weekend.

Venting his shock and disapproval of a “religious attack” on his wife and daughter, Mr Tarabay moved to social media, BVI Community Board on Facebook on August 14, 2016, to share the experience.

He said, “I never thought I would go through what my wife and daughter went through yesterday in Riteway Supermarket as they do shop every Saturday being a Muslim they wear Hejap while they were doing their shopping they were approach by a white man and he ask my daughter if she was a Muslim she say yes we are. He told her you and your Mohammad going to hell your Prophet is a child molester your people are trying to destroy our Western society. Shocked from what they were going through they try to avoid him but he kept following them from aisle to aisle keep insulting them. As shock as they were, they did not know how to react, call the security or something instead they check out and left.”

This vicious and unexpected attack on the family came as a shock to many who reside here, prompting persons to express their disapproval while also extending support for the family.

Bashaar Tarabay commented: “Wow, is mom and Weedad ok? The BVI isn't the same place mom came to over 40 years ago.”

Marisa Frett said bigotry and ignorance are the height of insecurity, while Carol Valero said she always felt the Tarabay family is very respected and admired in the territory.

Others, however, challenged the family not to take the incident lightly and said they should go as far as seeking legal counsel or actions.

One Ian Clark said, “There must have security cameras in the store. Report him to the police for harassment. So sorry they went through this.” He was supported by Vaughn Nanton who said, “A camera probably picked up the harassment. You should check Riteway manager for security footage before it's too late, because they probably don't keep them for long.”

Mar Javierto said: “RiteWay response has the potential to be a landmark act. Will they assist the family who is clearly a victim of bigotry in their store by sharing the security camera footage to help apprehend the culprit? Let's see if the security cameras are working.”

A number of well-placed figures in the territory also expressed disdain, including BVI Tourist Board’s Ms Lynette L. Harrigan and Head of the Trade and Consumers Affairs Department Karia J. Christopher.

Harrigan wrote: “This is sad, this man must be a stranger as Mr. Omar and family is well known in the BVI community. As a little girl growing up in VG is when I first met Mr Omar and he had been like family and still to this day when I go in the store he would treat me like family. This behaviour must not be allowed to go on in our society. I know Riteway will handle the situation. So sorry this happen to your family.”

Christopher added: “This is not indicative of our culture, unfortunately those who sprinkle our community with their racist rants make the most noise. We are #Onebvi and I speak for most when I say, sorry that your family had that horrible experience.”

Insult to injury

Adding insult to injury a second attack was unleashed on the family on social media by one James De Digitus who said: “Someone got called out for following the demented teachings of a pedophile whose followers claim is the perfect man and the last prophet of God, and people get upset? Really? Apparently 7th century dogma is more important than anything else. You are only offended if you allow yourself to be.”

Alex DR and others did not take this second attack lightly. “You need to mind your manners. In these parts people are highly respectful of religion and still very tolerant of most views. One thing that doesn't go down AT ALL well, is blatant disrespect for decent, good people like the Tarabay family. If this is your game, you might want to think about pulling up your anchor and charting a course to somewhere else. Just a thought,” said Alex.

The moderator of the BVI Community Board indicated that they were contemplating removing James De Digitus from the Facebook group but on second thought said it would be too easy a penalty as they left him on for a while longer to allow members to ‘deal with him’.

61 Responses to “UPDATE: Residents want Premier Smith to denounce religious attack on Muslim family”

  • ccc (15/08/2016, 10:42) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Oh my
    • Zero Tolerance (16/08/2016, 11:28) Like (10) Dislike (3) Reply
      I say anyone who is not from here and live here on permit or whatever means they got here, and are bringing their racist hateful attitudes here to spew on people, need to be put out of our territory forthwith. Our Premier needs to address this immediately and let outsiders know, we are not the U.S.A. with their hate filled ways and we have ZERO TOLERANCE for this crap. I'm waiting to see if anything will be done to remove this filth from our territory. This is for all of the racist people who slivered in here and think you own our homeland. You can all be put out if it is proven you mean any of us harm.
      • Outsider (16/08/2016, 12:24) Like (11) Dislike (7) Reply
        Not only "OUTSIDERS" pull prejudice stunts like that. BVI landers do it has well. Cause if you were to migrate to another country to make a better living for you and your family you wouldn't like to be bashed by the citizens of the country. Please don't bash us "OUTSIDERS" like that. Besides how are you sure the person who made their religious/racist comment towards them aren't from here? His complexion does not state where he was born.
        • time will tell (16/08/2016, 13:13) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
          Trust m cuz he ain't from here. The mere fact that he asked a Tarabay if they were muslim says he is not from here. Say what you want, VIlanders have experienced this when we worked overseas for better living as you put it. The difference is the came back home and built the BVI that many feel they must come to now and be allowed to do as they feel. I say there were witnesses and if a law was broken that person should be prosecuted accordingly. I only pray that if not immigration laws were broken some criminal code was and he can be deported forthwith. Trumpism will not be allowed to fester in these islands.
      • FULLOFHATE (16/08/2016, 15:15) Like (2) Dislike (5) Reply
        You right we are not the US, we can be WORSE with OUR HATEFUL WAYS! Some of us in this country too wicked man!
  • muslims lives matters too (15/08/2016, 10:53) Like (25) Dislike (14) Reply

    WH*** TRASH

    • Nobody (15/08/2016, 16:21) Like (15) Dislike (8) Reply
      If anybody's life matter why call a man trash? This bs will never end.
      • at nobody (15/08/2016, 19:56) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
        When someone shows you who they are believe them.
        • agreed (15/08/2016, 20:25) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
          i know what its like to be and feel descriminated and it hurts like hell sometimes and for dat reason i could never inflict such emotional harm against anyone,theyre not our teachers so why be anything like them.
    • concernedr (16/08/2016, 14:35) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      It's time to stop this stupid talk. A tit for tat . Come on. We are dealing with a serious issue that can spread wider and bigger. It needs to be dealt with professionally.
      We all can say we have every kind of people in the bvi, from every part of the world, including our own. We have to deal with our own, but we don't and should not have to deal with others. This is why we need an investigating arm attached to the immigration department , and now. Gov. We need not cut off our nose to spite our face. People in the bvi and of the bvi we need to unite in love and peace, and when we pray we need to be genuine
    • concernedr (16/08/2016, 14:35) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      It's time to stop this stupid talk. A tit for tat . Come on. We are dealing with a serious issue that can spread wider and bigger. It needs to be dealt with professionally.
      We all can say we have every kind of people in the bvi, from every part of the world, including our own. We have to deal with our own, but we don't and should not have to deal with others. This is why we need an investigating arm attached to the immigration department , and now. Gov. We need not cut off our nose to spite our face. People in the bvi and of the bvi we need to unite in love and peace, and when we pray we need to be genuine
    • a bvislander (16/08/2016, 16:49) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      There are hateful people of all backgrounds, from all places and are taught to be hateful...It is not natural to hate and we all should care, reach out, lift up and be together through kindness and love. That means everyone here, there and everywhere.
  • Nature's Big Secret (15/08/2016, 11:08) Like (45) Dislike (42) Reply
    This reminds me of how expats are treated in the BVI for example let a Guyanese OR Vincentian name come up in the news, the first thing that they like to say is "curry people" and "grammazone people" I could never understand such foolishness
    • . (16/08/2016, 09:10) Like (7) Dislike (8) Reply
      But them a** love curry so idk what they trying to prove.
    • yeah (16/08/2016, 16:43) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
      Not only you sweetheart, I was in the States not to long ago and this lady ask me where I was from and I told her the BVI. The B:;$-/d ask me if I came to the States on a banana boat. You know what I did? I said no I came on American Airlines and I spit in her face. I did not mean to do that but I did.
    • Stop your Commess (17/08/2016, 08:12) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      You are the only one on here causing strive and confusion. A few bloggers do not reflect the views and opinions of an entire territory. Some persons are chronic negative bloggers and get under your skin for everything. Your comment is uncalled for. Besides, its the same Guyanese and Vincentian that make those jokes on themselves. I married to one so I should know.
  • justice (15/08/2016, 11:15) Like (54) Dislike (2) Reply
    We don't need people like James de digitus in the bvi who totally disrespect people religion and culture.
    He need to start packing his bag. Work permit should not be approve for people who are in sighting fear and intolerance in this beautiful islands
  • belonger (15/08/2016, 11:47) Like (44) Dislike (5) Reply
    Mr. Ali I'm sorry, I wish I was there when that bugger was attacking ur family i would have dealt with him myself. Ur family n u have done great things for the ppl of the bvi. No one has the right to insult u like that, BVI don't behave like and we wouldn't tolerate such hatred from idiots like that man. U r Virgin Islanders don't tolerate such hatred from idiots like that man.
  • Nobody (15/08/2016, 12:29) Like (36) Dislike (2) Reply
    Black,white,Jew,Muslim or Christian what's da difference when we're all da same.
  • The Observer (15/08/2016, 14:08) Like (20) Dislike (8) Reply
    Chances are that man who does not respect himself is a supporter of Donald Trump. What do you expect.
    • Shrink (15/08/2016, 17:34) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
      The man is just upset that his world as he has known it is coming to an end. So he is trying to stay relevant by picking on innocent people. It is traumatizing to see your people suddenly on the receiving end of extreme violence especially when you and your ancestors have grown accustomed to dishing it out. Just ask the white South Africans and the families of some of those white police officers.
    • maga (16/08/2016, 14:14) Like (6) Dislike (7) Reply
      trump isn't racist stop drinking the democrat koolaid
  • Boo (15/08/2016, 14:35) Like (18) Dislike (8) Reply
    Are we witnessing a Donald Trump effect here?
  • i from here (15/08/2016, 14:43) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    I see they fix a Freeman lady there yesterday for some BS post she put up LOL!
  • Interesting (15/08/2016, 14:44) Like (15) Dislike (2) Reply
    Some of the people who claim to be Christian does say the most hateful things..... black and white.. pure hypocrisy.
  • totally concerned. (15/08/2016, 16:19) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    pure and total hatred...bigotry and it is horrid to think it is permeating here...there always has been a we and they...but if everyone would care, reach out, lift up and hug and help, what an even better home we all would have. I am so terribly sorry for the Tarabys..they are the best and most kind and caring family and extended family and extend into so many families, including ours.
  • The Reaper (15/08/2016, 17:45) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
    Dont mind them Mr Omar..I Know U and your Family long Time.Well Respectable Family in the BVI.....Racism is among US..I Willl tell him about his self..If he give a Chance. he wouldn't have have slept at All...The Reaper
  • Becca (15/08/2016, 18:41) Like (11) Dislike (4) Reply
    I hope that the Tarabay's sad experience will serve to convince the Ruling Powers that B.V.Islanders who grieve the passing of the country they once lovingly called home, are not liars and malingerers, when we complain of the dire cultural shift.

    We have fawned over persons of other origins to the extent that we fail to secure our homeland from the worse elements of all distinctive groups.

    Whatever your feeling about the Muslim faith, the Tarabays have lived among us for years, doing business and contributing to the community in their own way for their entire years here. Theirs is a recognized name in the community and has, and few can make assertions of negative interactions with them.

    Who then is this person. who not only insults those he obviously knows nothing about, but more tellingly, violates the very common courtesies this community has been guided by for generations?

    It is a very sad thing happening here. The governing institutions of the country, which are meant to protect, embrace without thought, the very worse and most indecent types of entrants to the country, and bestow on them all kinds of privileges, all for largesse, and for the Tom-foolery of the insecure among us, who need to fraternalize with what everyone else can clearly identiy as uncouth, because I just can't bring myself to call humans "trash", as some do.

    Please join in calling on the Department of Immigration to investigate this incident, with a view to deporting this person who would stir up racial discord in this very small piece of land, where we seek to live in peace and harmony and need no imported white bigotry to upset our cultural balance, precarious as it is already.
  • wize up (15/08/2016, 20:52) Like (12) Dislike (12) Reply
    The white folks around here have some serious attitude because our elected officials are in their back pocket but not to worry something to have to bell the cat!!!!
  • voter (15/08/2016, 22:15) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Who actually is this idiot called "Mr James De Digitus". He can cart his sorry excuse out of here
  • The watchman (16/08/2016, 00:56) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    in money we trust
  • long look me come from (16/08/2016, 09:59) Like (6) Dislike (6) Reply
    NDP does not like locals
  • SMH (16/08/2016, 10:06) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply

    by looking at this gentleman's facebook he looks like a total @$$h*le ! i cant believe this man went up the man wife and daughter like that. thats a sign of racism. not jus black and whites but every race

    • wize up (16/08/2016, 10:46) Like (6) Dislike (10) Reply
      @ SMH....I know the the days when the whites in this community were seen and NOT heard BUT within the past 5 years they have taken over.....
      • careful (19/08/2016, 14:49) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        "Whites..Seen not heard" your comment is sounding racist. But then again Tola people were always prejudice.
  • wize up (16/08/2016, 10:32) Like (9) Dislike (9) Reply
    This administration will never go up against the white folks in this territory: the whites in BVI are seen as the financial backbone by this NDP regime...I cant see the current political leadership having any conversation involving whites about religion....remember we need those white folks to save the Sharks.....just saying
    • Online Now (16/08/2016, 12:47) Like (10) Dislike (6) Reply
      Every one of your posts talk about "the white folks" like every one of them is exactly the same and guilty of one persons actions. I'm pretty sure that is how all race hate starts, judging a collective as one. You need to get some help!
    • @ wize up (16/08/2016, 14:45) Like (3) Dislike (4) Reply
      Seems like your a Trump supporter - vile bigot! As one WEST man to a next - gtfoh with yah BS - you cannot and should not lump all persons regardless of race, color or religious affiliation in one umbrella. What about the many 'whites' that have contributed significantly to the development a=of the BVI - I bet you directly and indirectly benefited from some of their endeavors.
      • wize up (16/08/2016, 18:50) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
        @ @ wize up....I definitely like to hear Trump: I can not vote outside BVI like some us(donald brings a different flavour)....there is good & dad in every one BUT in our community somethings have to nipped in the bud; if allowed to go unchecked it will become a big problem in our society.....listen; the BVI is still the very best place to live and all of us must keep certain level of conduct and conversation out of this BVI(One love).....
  • VG-1 (16/08/2016, 10:34) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    The Muslim community and the Christians have existed side by side here in the B.V.Is for decades with no conflicts or problems what so ever. Back in the day we didn't even know who Muslims were and it didn't even matter. The Tarabay family and the other families from the middle east are an integrated part of our culture and lives not to say a very important pillar in our business community, and we embrace them, love and respect them as such. Many of us personally know Mr. Omar from the days when he came to VG and drove around selling clothing from boxes and even now many of us frequent his store in Road Town always leaving with a pleasant experience.We should not and will not stand for this kind of nonsense in our islands. where ever this trash drifted in here from, disrespecting and insulting our citizens, need to leave with there hate and nasty behavior.
    To the Tarabay Family...Sorry you had to go through this experience.....all the best in seeking justice against this garbage. Many of them come and live among us smiling but they carry hate in there hearts and want to destroy what we have here.
  • LNB (16/08/2016, 13:09) Like (9) Dislike (5) Reply
    So what would a statement by the Premier achieve? Not a darned thing. A statement by the Premier doesn't change religious prejudices. Waste of energy.
  • ausar (16/08/2016, 13:16) Like (7) Dislike (5) Reply
    If the Brexit vote is any indication, whites have long been suspicious of outsiders.

    And from the look of things at some point , Virgin Islanders(UK) soon may find themselves caught up in this type of monsoon giving the fact that we too are becoming a minority in our own land!
  • 123 (16/08/2016, 14:15) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    lets brong the country together
  • gobackwiththatMess (16/08/2016, 14:52) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
    These people spread hate throughout the world, with a smile. I remember as a kid we hated the fake smile, without fully being aware of racism we sense that there was something off about their behavior!!!!
  • Kingish (16/08/2016, 14:54) Like (6) Dislike (8) Reply
    The Virgin Islands is not in the Middle East, we are in the Caribbean which is part of the Western World, those who wish to migrate and live in among us should conform to our norms.Leave the Hejap in your country.
    • . (16/08/2016, 16:17) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
      but our nuns wear it too
    • virgin (17/08/2016, 12:51) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      The hijab is none of ur business mr. Porn addict. You can't dictate what a woman can or cannot wear. Hopefully when most women find out that they don't have to kill them self to visually please worthless men they will prefer to wear it
  • Mediator (16/08/2016, 15:44) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    wine and spongecake after services...
  • jam band (16/08/2016, 16:15) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
  • Hmmmmm (16/08/2016, 16:16) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    The same way they feel about Muslims is the same for blacks. Smith not going to go against his campaign purse for a few.
  • hummm (16/08/2016, 16:33) Like (1) Dislike (6) Reply
    If people were smart they'd never go to the BVI and leave you incestuous pigs to yourselves. Everyone on island cross related due to incest and now all that has caught up with your minds and warped your thinking as well.

  • Victimofyourowntolerance (16/08/2016, 18:45) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    Europe has been very tolerant with people who has not contributed anything positive to their society and whom do not share the same culture or values but simply come to impose their own. Watch the news for a clue and be awaken before you become victims of your own tolerance.
    • Brilliant observation (17/08/2016, 07:52) Like (6) Dislike (3) Reply
      I don't hate Muslims, but it is clear that once their population here grows to a significant margin their bigoted religious attitudes will become very obvious. In fact, one of the Arab Muslims here was already comfortable enough to say ALL Christians will go to hell. And a black Muslim said BVI will regret having opposed the building of a mosque in a residential community.

      I see Whites and acknowledged Jews marching with BLMin the USA. And even though BLM has formally written their support for the Palestinians as policy, I have yet to see an acknowledged Muslim of any race in the BLM protest lines.

      And even after we in BVI supported local Muslims in their Palestinian march recently, I still don't see Muslims in our BVI emancipation activities. So now we must come out again and support them in their RELIGIOUS fight with white people? We have our own problems.
      • Kingfish (17/08/2016, 12:38) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        @Brilliant observation.

        Let us hope that the people of the BVI read and fully understand your comment. Someday in the future it may be to late .
    • virgin (18/08/2016, 10:47) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Quite frankly everything Europe have has been stolen from the Middle East and Africa. Give it bk if you don't want Arabs coming into ur lands,otherwise shut up and suck it up because it's an undeniable right.
  • Big Pig (17/08/2016, 08:25) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    And you still comfortable here. Can't leave, can you? Hoping to get a good humping from a big pig? Just identify yourself nah.
    • At big pig (18/08/2016, 11:27) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      I don't swing that way but stopping giving it to your 14 year old 2nd cousin! Lol
  • Oh, Wait (17/08/2016, 12:22) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Yes, hmmmm and what about when Muslims threaten to shoot Jews, here in the BVI? Is that ok?
  • jethro (18/08/2016, 06:55) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Most foreigners bring their dirty ways not all but most.
  • yes (18/08/2016, 08:52) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    What so special about the muslims, different religion fight discrimination all the time and you don't hear them crying to the government.
    • virgin (20/08/2016, 10:55) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Islam is disliked by all other religions and most religions are finding solidarity and commonality with each other against islam,now do the math by deduction if you want your miserable little soul saved.

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