INDEPENDENT NEWS

Please Engage with Muslim Community Leaders

Published: Mon 1 Dec 2014 01:04 PM
Please Engage with Muslim Community Leaders.
Former Race Relations Conciliator Gregory Fortuin has today urged the government to respond to the plea of FIANZ president Dr Anwar Ghani to engage with Muslim Leaders in NZ.
Fortuin said “these are responsible New Zealand citizens and community leaders who have been here for 3 and 4 generations, whose apparent crime is having a faith different to mine”.” If we wish to ensure our citizens live meaningful lives free of threats to the Kiwi way of life and the values we hold dearly we cannot embark on an either or strategy that excludes Muslim leaders”. Fortuin said he was flabbergasted we could spend hours discussing strategies of war but snub our Muslim leaders.
“I saw first-hand the fall out and abuse of our Muslim communities following the twin-towers bombing (go and read my report or talk with then Police Commissioner Robinson)” he said. “To hear Dr Ghani say that they have to tolerate that same abuse 13 years later is unacceptable in a country that has just won a seat on the United Nation’s security council” Fortuin went on to say.
Of course our security agencies must continue being ever vigilant whilst operating within the law and above the political fray. Ultimately we have to build strong community engagement to ensure we all play our part in protecting our treasured democracy. We should continue to pro-actively engage all our ethnic community leaders (as the police are already doing) and make them part of the solution. We should also refrain from the ignorant judgments of guilt by clothing apparel, religious affiliations or association.
Let’s be clear, the beheadings and slaughtering of fellow humans by ISIS barbarians are evil - Just as evil as the “necklacing” of alleged informers during the Apartheid liberation struggle. There should be no respite in bringing these evil perpetrators to justice! What we should not do is bastardise our constitutional and human rights or alienate sections of our communities in the process.
ends

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