Chamber president explains comments

Chamber of Commerce President James Tibbetts explained comments he made to Radio Cayman about moral issues like same-sex marriages motivating terrorist groups.

Speaking to Radio Cayman after the Chamber of Commerce luncheon last Thursday, Mr. Tibbetts was asked about same-sex marriages. The issue had been a hot topic of questions and comments to Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Meg Munn, who was the guest speaker at the event.

‘We’re not the only ones that feel very strongly about some of those issues relating to moral behaviour of people,’ he said. ‘It’s one of the big significant things that is making a difference between radical Muslims and rational Muslims.

‘A big part of the motivation for things like the terrorist groups and so on is the fact they feel as though the Western world is wiping them out by putting in liberal views for the public to adhere to… and they’re seeing where many of their nations are actually accepting the Western way of life and they see it as, not only an abomination, but they seeing it as wiping out their religious beliefs.’

Speaking about the matter on Friday, Mr. Tibbetts stressed he was not trying to link homosexuals or people involved in same-sex relationships with terrorists.

‘Not at all,’ he said. ‘What I was saying was that a lot of the radical Muslims are motivated by what they consider are loose morals for the West.’

Mr. Tibbetts said the radical Muslims see loose morals, particularly those of America, as a threat to the Muslim faith.

‘They are more worried about the American style of living than the guns the Americans have.’

Mr. Tibbetts said the concepts he was talking about were discussed in a book he read titled ‘The Enemy At Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibilities for 9/11’ by Dinesh D’Souza.

During his introductory address to the Chamber luncheon attendees, Mr. Tibbetts mainly spoke about the way forward for Cayman and the UK in getting a new constitution that would be the best for Caymanians and industry here.

He did, however, touch on some of the moral issues that concern Caymanians.

‘I must advise you… you may hear some strong views today,’ he said to Mrs. Munn in his address. ‘Please don’t take them personally, but issues such as the constitution, a bill of rights and human rights certainly evoke passionate views and positions.’

Mr. Tibbetts also broached the issue of same-sex marriages in his speech, although obliquely.

‘Chamber members are proud to be associated with the United Kingdom, and this position has been stated in no uncertain terms over the years,’ he said.

‘All relationships, however, whether a marriage – that is, between a man and a woman – or between a world power and three small Caribbean islands, must be founded upon mutual trust, fairness, openness, transparency, honesty and deep appreciation for the unique cultural, religious and social differences that exist between an administering power and their non-self governing territory.’

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