MINISTER of Local Government Faris Al-Rawi on Friday saluted Minister of National Security Fitzgerald Hinds over his Rastafarian identity.
But St Augustine MP Khadijah Ameen later retorted that Hinds as a politician was unjustifiably trying to use that identity.
MPs in the House of Representatives debated a no-confidence motion in Hinds over the crime situation.
It began when Al-Rawi chided the Opposition for allegedly not supporting government moves to deem possession of automatic firearms a non-bailable offence.
He said, "If any member of that side have the guts to stand up and support that law, then they be leaving a rastaman alone to bear a cross by himself – in figurative, in literary or in actual senses.
"I reject this motion and I reject the movers' rationale behind it."
Al-Rawi earlier hailed Hinds as "one of the hardest-working ministers" he knew. Hinds made his way to Al-Rawi to offer greetings.
Ameen was unimpressed. She accused Hinds of a disconnect with vulnerable youth who could not get jobs but who viewed gangsters as a source of livelihood, but then fell through the proverbial cracks.
She hit, "Let me tell you, my father was a rastaman. Using Rastafarianism and a Rastafarian hairstyle to try to appear to be down to earth and appear to be people-centric is so disturbing."
San Fernando East MP Brian Manning rose on a standing order to query Ameen's relevance to say, "The Minister of National Security's appearance has nothing to do with this debate."
In cross-talk, Ameen said, "The member for San Fernando East said it."
Deputy Speaker Esmond Forde ruled, "Member, please. Let's don't bring identity itself into it."
Ameen said, "I am responding to...the Member San Fernando West in his contribution, which I personally found disturbing because it was in reference to the Rastafarian identity of the Minister of National Security, as if that was relevant.
"I personally find it offensive because my father is a Rastafarian. I know my father with long dreads to his knees. And my father was a man of integrity."