It was placed at eye level for the kids
so they could understand that a mother
could not look after everyone. They
understood it was really about them.
SUR I NAME I S L AM I C
A S SOC I AT I ON
fter the abolition of
slavery, the first
Then came workers from
India. They were Hindu,
Christian and Muslim.
Then came the Javanese
from Java, who were
Muslim. We here are
descendants of the first
Indians. They came
before the separation
[of India and Pakistan]
Our mosque is next to the synagogue.
I visited the previous rabbi. They have
a fascinating building. He came to visit
us as well. We have a good relationship.
They allow us to share their parking lot
when we have an event, and they do the
same here when they have something to
celebrate. Not long ago we had a univer-
sal convention, and we invited them to
come and speak.
The theme was “My Perception
of Islam, the Religion of Peace.” The
rabbi said that in the eight years he has
been here, neither of us had thrown
stones at each other. He also examined
the archives and couldn’t find one neg-
ative comment about our relationship.
AUTHOR , H I S TOR I AN
AND DAUGHT E R OF J OHAN
F E RR I E R , THE F I R S T
P R E S I DENT OF SUR I NAME
uriname is a real multi-
cultural country in the strictest
sense. You must accept and
respect each other. If some groups are
just “tolerated,” you are not multicul-
tural because you think you are better.
That’s my definition.
I was invited to give a series of lectures
last year at the University of Berkeley in
California, and one was about Elizabeth
Samson. She was a 100-percent black
woman who was one of the richest people
in 18th-century Suriname, the time of
slavery. She wanted to marry a white man
in 1764, but it was forbidden by law. She
wrote a letter to the owners of Suriname,
the city of Amsterdam and the West India
Company. There was, however, one rea-
son why the marriage should go ahead:
This woman was rich, and if she should