“They began to get irate. They told me a woman is not allowed to watch a man in the eye and speak to him. It became very disrespectful. They began to call me a whore. They said I’m a slim Missie Elliot,” Holder said. The preachers insulter her hair weave. “What onlookers saw was a group of men in robes insulting and bullying a woman,” she said.
“A boy, he could have been about 15, was with them and hearing with the men were telling me, he came and said that I was a slut. I told him, ‘touch not the Lord’s anointed’,” Holder recalled. She said that as the cursing preachers grew angrier and a crowd formed to defend her, she began to pray.
Holder said a woman in the crowd turned to a policewoman that if she (Holder) is a whore then the female officer is also one as well. As police officers and soldiers arrived and with the angry crowd facing them, the male preachers beat a hasty retreat, jumping into several cars parked nearby and speeding off.
Holder said she used the unexpected turn of events to minister to onlookers. Revealing that she will be returning to the United States this weekend, Holder said she intends to return to continue her ministry.
“We are in the end times. False prophets will rise up. You can look holy, but you are disrespecting God’s handmaiden who is made in His likeness. That is what we are faced with,” Holder said.
Arouca-based Mordecai Ben-Yacoob, a Hebrew Israelite, distanced himself (and others) from the actions of the roadside preachers saying they left the faith and became a splinter group whose conduct Ben-Yacoob knocked.
“I want to call to apologize for the behaviour of the brethren. I’m a Hebrew Israelite also and that’s not the way we behave. I know the guys were insulting and degrading women. I was so upset when I read the article in Newsday that I came to your office to apologise.”
Ben-Yacoob said the true Hebrew Israelites stand for teaching about the Sabbath, the Messiah and the Most High. “Those guys in Port of Spain are not in line with the teaching of the Most High, Yahweh. They are there to insult women and castigate people in all kinds of derogatory manner. When I read your article, I said these men are making Israelites look bad, so I have to apologise as this is not the way Israelites behave. Calling women whores and calling white men the devil…that is not our way,” Ben-Yacoob said.
U.S. Department of State.
Trinidad and Tobago, a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, is a parliamentary democracy in which there have been generally free and fair elections since independence from the United Kingdom in 1962. Parliament elects a president, whose office is largely ceremonial but does have some appointive power.
When the December 2001 elections produced an 18-18 balance in Parliament between the United National Congress (UNC) and People’s National Movement (PNM), both parties agreed to allow President A.N.R. Robinson to designate the new Prime Minister. However, when the President selected the PNM’s Patrick Manning, the UNC refused to abide by the decision, and the deadlocked Parliament was unable to pass legislation or elect a speaker for 9 months, until new elections on October 7 yielded a 20 to 16 working majority for Manning and the PNM. A 12-member elected House of Assembly handled local matters on the island of Tobago. The judiciary was generally independent.
The Ministry of National Security oversaw the police service and the defense force, rendering them responsive to civilian authority. An independent body, the Police Service Commission, made all personnel decisions in the Police Service, and the Ministry had little direct influence over changes in senior positions. There were credible reports that police and prison guards committed some human rights abuses.
Oil and natural gas production and related downstream petrochemical industries, including ammonia and methanol production, provided the base for the market-based economy. The country’s population was approximately 1.3 million. The service sector was the largest employer, although industrialization and associated plant construction created many jobs in the construction industry. Agriculture, while contributing only 4 percent to gross domestic product, remained an important employer, both at the subsistence and commercial level. Unemployment, at a reported 11 percent, contributed to a skewed income distribution. The economic growth rate was approximately 2.7 percent during the year.
The Government generally respected the human rights of its citizens, and the law and judiciary provided effective means of dealing with individual instances of abuse. Nonetheless, there were reports of police and guard abuse of prisoners. Poor prison conditions and significant violence against women remained problems. Trinidad and Tobago was invited by the Community of Democracies’ (CD) Convening Group to attend the November 2002 second CD Ministerial Meeting in Seoul, Republic of Korea, as a participant.
Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom From:
a. Arbitrary and Unlawful Deprivation of Life.
There were no reports of the arbitrary or unlawful deprivation of life committed by the Government or its agents.