Daily Archives: October 22, 2006

If Barbados Taxi Drivers Refused To Take Passengers With Bags Of Duty-Free Booze…

Muslim Taxi Drivers At US Airport Refusing Rides To Airline Passengers With Duty-Free Liquor

BFP’s article Cricket World Cup: Special Meals, Prayer Rooms For Pakistan Muslim Team… But What About The Toilets? had a high readership and a fair number of comments. This morning I was surfing from link to link about Muslim religious customs and such – and I ended up reading about a dispute at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in the United States.

It seems that Muslims operate about 75% of the taxis at the airport – and they refuse to take arriving passengers who are carrying bags of duty-free liquor. When there were only a few Muslim cab drivers, this didn’t present a problem as there were lots of other taxis willing to take a refused passenger.

When 75% of the taxi drivers insist that passengers conform to the Muslim religious standards, I can imagine that it becomes an issue. The obvious follow-up question is whether the Muslim taxi drivers would also refuse a fare if the passenger was carrying a bag that said “pork products”. Seems likely to me.
I wonder whether airline passengers at Grantley Adams International Airport would be forced to conform to Islamic religious standards if Muslims made up 75% of the taxi drivers in Barbados?

Interesting reading…

Don’t Bring That Booze into My Taxi

by Daniel Pipes
New York Sun
October 10, 2006

A minor issue at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) has potentially major implications for the future of Islam in the United States.

Starting about a decade ago, some Muslim taxi drivers serving the airport declared that they would not transport passengers visibly carrying alcohol, in transparent duty-free shopping bags, for example. This stance stemmed from their understanding of the Koran’s ban on alcohol. A driver named Fuad Omar explained: “This is our religion. We could be punished in the afterlife if we agree to [transport alcohol]. This is a Koran issue. This came from heaven.” Another driver, Muhamed Mursal, echoed his words: “It is forbidden in Islam to carry alcohol.”

The issue emerged publicly in 2000. On one occasion, 16 drivers in a row refused a passenger with bottles of alcohol. This left the passenger – who had done nothing legally wrong – feeling like a criminal. For their part, the 16 cabbies lost income. As Josh L. Dickey of the Associated Press put it, when drivers at MSP refuse a fare for any reason, “they go to the back of the line. Waaaay back. Past the terminal, down a long service road, and into a sprawling parking lot jammed with cabs in Bloomington, where drivers sit idle for hours, waiting to be called again.”

… finish reading the entire article (link here)


Filed under Barbados, Religion

Flag Of The West Indies Federation


Click on the flag for the Wikipedia entry for West Indies Federation.

Also see our previous post Failure Of The 1958 West Indies Federation – The Original “CARICOM”


Filed under Barbados, History, Politics & Corruption

Barbados Sunday Drive


Nothing like a little drive on a Sunday afternoon. A chance to take a break, do something as a family…

… Maybe even engage in that great Bajan hobby called “Driving along and tossing out the rubbish by the side of the road”.

Yup…. Island Life. Nothing else like it!


Filed under Barbados, Environment, Island Life

Fooling Around With Figures In Barbados

“Figures Lie and Liars Figure”

We’ve all heard that before, but we had a little fun the other night with the online visitors figures from the Barbados Advocate and the Barbados Free Press.

Check out the Barbados Advocate main page (link here) and you will see a visitor counter at the bottom, that states “The page’s Web Counter says that you are visitor number 2183400* since December 15, 2000” (* your number will be different)

Let’s Have Some Fun With Figures…

If the Barbados Advocate online has been logging visitors since December 15, 2000, that is about 5 years and 10 months – say 70 months.

About 2.2 million visitors over 70 months equals about 31,429 visitors per month over the time period.

I know this is highly speculative, and that the number of visitors per month would be far more now than at the beginning, but it interesting to note that in this little bit of figuring the Barbados Advocate is getting a little over 1000 visitors per day.

The Barbados Free Press does better than that.

Way better!

(Means nothing folks. Just musing a bit on a Sunday morn) 



Filed under Barbados

Not All Victors Write The History: Hollywood Says Only White Boys At Iwo Jima


900 Black Soldiers Absent From New Clint Eastwood Iwo Jima Film

“The Victorious Get To Write History”…

…That is what a good friend of mine always says when we discuss the business of history, but I’ve been considering his statement for a few weeks and I am realizing that things are much more complex than that.

If I can break free from the books for a night, I have an idea for a BFP post on the History of Slavery, but for now our blogging friends at Booker Rising point out that not all the victors get a say in writing history. In the case of Clint Eastwood’s new film, only the white boys are written into the hell that was Iwo Jima.

From Shay at Booker Rising…

Absent From History: The Black Soldiers At Iwo Jima

Nearly 900 black Americans -like Frederick Douglas Gray and Arthur Peterson, the two gentlemen in the photo – fought on the Japanese island, but not one appears in Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-tipped film, “Flags Of Our Fathers”. The film tells the story of the raising of the U.S. flag over Mount Suribachi at the tip of the island in a 35-day-battle. The moment was captured in an iconic photograph.

Yet Sgt. Thomas McPhatter, who went on to serve in Vietnam and rose to the rank of lieutenant commander in the U.S. navy, even had a part in the raising of the flag. “The man who put the first flag up on Iwo Jima got a piece of pipe from me to put the flag up on,” he said. That, too, is absent from the film. “Of all the movies that have been made of Iwo Jima, you never see a black face,” said Mr. McPhatter. “This is the last straw. I feel like I’ve been denied, I’ve been insulted, I’ve been mistreated. But what can you do? We still have a strong underlying force in my country of rabid racism.”…

…read the entire article at Booker Rising (link here)

post by Cliverton


Filed under Culture & Race Issues, History

UPDATE: Barbados Environment Minister Liz Thompson At China Conference

What Happened At China Environmental Conference?

Barbados Environment Minister Elizabeth Thompson has been attending an environmental conference in China for the past week. Barbados Free Press covered the story on October 15, 2006 with Barbados Environment Minister Heading For Coastal Waters Conference.

The only mention of Liz Thompson’s role we’ve been able to find online is the following from the Earth Negotiations Bulletin. From Monday, October 16th session…

Elizabeth Thompson (Barbados) reviewed the outcomes of the group on strengthening national legislative and institutional frameworks, which facilitate the implementation of the GPA. She said the group stressed the need to: incorporate the concept of integrated freshwater and coastal water management; ensure the highest level of engagement and commitment; and strengthen compliance and enforcement.

In the ensuing discussion, delegates highlighted the marine environmental impacts of armed conflicts, and levying households to pay for domestic pollution. (link here)

From Friday’s session…

Elizabeth Thompson, Minister of Housing, Lands and Environment, Barbados, underscored the importance of the marine environment for the Caribbean region’s culture and livelihoods, noting the severe impacts of marine pollution and climate change.

She said poverty eradication and empowerment of indigenous communities should be an integral part of GPA implementation. Lauding GPA achievements, including partnerships such as White Water to Blue Water, and Hilltops to Oceans, and the increasing involvement of the GEF in marine ecosystem-based projects, she: called for increased financial commitment from governments; advocated community-oriented partnerships; challenged industry, civil society, NGOs and financial institutions to invest in GPA projects; supported a UNEP oceans focal point; and encouraged all governments to identify a national focal point for GPA implementation.

(Read the entire online reference here)

We are looking forward to Minister Thompson’s return so we can hear the full story of what was said and done at the conference, and how Barbados intends to implement all the fine words.


Filed under Barbados, Environment, Politics & Corruption

Failure Of The 1958 West Indies Federation – The Original “CARICOM”


New Book Says British Colonial Office Called Sir Grantley Adams “Lazy, Lethargic”

The Trinidad & Tobago Express reviews a new book about the failure of the 1958 West Indies Federation. (link here)

From the T&T Express review of Colin Palmer’s new book: Eric Williams and the Making of the Modern Caribbean

…Adams had been chosen as the Federal Prime Minister principally because both Williams and Jamaica’s Norman Manley did not stand for the federal elections in their respective countries. In Jamaica, Bustamante wondered how can “this insular Adams, who lacks sufficient imagination, do any good for the ten states, having ruled over pauperised Barbados for so long, obviously without realising the state of poverty there”?…

…But the British and the Americans also had little respect for Adams. He had “a somewhat sleepy exterior and is in fact lazy, though he has an agile mind, particularly in a political tight-spot” the Colonial office concluded in 1961, as it prepared for a meeting with him and British Prime Minister Harold McMillan. This, despite the conclusion that he had a reputation for polished urbanity and a rather old world charm. This report also found that after he had received red carpet treatment in Canada, reports had surfaced about his “growing irritability, swollen-headedness and a readiness to take offence”. Generally, the report concluded his position as the federal Prime Minister was “not wholly secure”…

Read the entire review (link here)

Our Take – We Love History, And We Will Read The Book

It is easy to criticize those who have passed on and cannot defend themselves. Indeed, it has become standard practice for historians to rip into dead national heros just to sell books. In the USA, Dr. Martin Luther King is now known as much for his supposed womanizing as – what else did he do? Oh, yes… was there something happened in Selma, Alabama, or was it Mississippi?

In Britain, Sir Winston Churchill’s bathroom and sleeping habits eclipse all else in some historical circles. FDR in World War Two? Ten martinis a day…. and by the way, wasn’t he in some way involved with the Barbados government and the Royal Navy? Had something to say about Pearl Harbor too, I think.


Fifty Years On – The Truth Changes… Or Maybe Just Sees The Light Of Day

The other side of the coin is that forty or fifty years later, people who witnessed history and historical figures can and will reveal all manner of things that could not be said at the time. Sealed documents are opened, private diaries are found and even the people involved in making history can see their own actions in a different light.

And now, especially with the sheer amount of new information available on the internet, each of us can examine multiple sources and make up our own mind.

Was Sir Grantley Adams “lazy and lethargic”? I don’t know, but I suspect that we would be better off if all Bajans today were as “lazy” as Sir Grantley!

The book review by the Trinidad and Tobago Express is well done, and both the review and the book itself are relevant and important today as we in Barbados continue our CARICOM dance.

Cliverton with Marcus


Filed under Barbados, History, Politics & Corruption