INDEPENDENT NEWS

Speech at Leaders' Dialogue on Christchurch Call

Published: Wed 25 Sep 2019 09:06 AM
The Islamic Women’s Council of New Zealand joined the Christchurch Call Advisory Network to be part of the discussion on online terrorism and violent extremism.
Acting National Coordinator Anjum Rahman attended the Leaders’ Dialogue event in New York, where she had the opportunity to speak. Below is the text of her speech.
Bismillahir Rahamanir Raheem
Tena Koutou, Tena Koutou, Tena tatou katoa
I acknowledge the indigenous people of this land.
I acknowledge the martyrs of the Christchurch mosque attacks, those injured, those present, and their families. Their deaths have given rise to this initiative. I also acknowledge all lives lost in all countries and all who have suffered as a result of online hate.
I thank the Prime Minister of New Zealand for her strong leadership after the Christchurch attacks, and her initiative on the Christchurch Call.
There are three points I would like to raise.
First, as we look at solutions to online hate, we need to be cognisant of a range of human rights, such as freedom of expression, freedom from discrimination, freedom of belief or the right to not have a belief, right to life and the right to safety. Each of these rights are equal to the other, there is not one that is more important than the other. The text of the Call only refers to freedom of speech, but we request that all freedoms are considered equally.
Second, that solutions to online hate (including legislative, regulatory, policy or community based) must explicitly take into account the power differentials between marginalised communities as compared to dominant communities. Online hate impacts marginalised communities differently, in terms of access to employment, health, education, justice and other matters. A “one law for all” solution will not work – context and ability to respond matters. And these are not equal for all parts of society.
Third, that there is a need for diversity and representation in development of solutions to online hate. Those targeted by hate speech and actions must have meaningful representation. Diversity must be at all levels:
-For governments – at decision-making levels, in senior management, within regulatory and enforcement bodies
-For tech companies – on governance boards, in senior management and among developers
-For civil society and the tech community – each organisation has a duty to ensure that they have representation of a range of demographics
All stakeholder groups must ensure that there is representation beyond specific geographic and regional areas, so that Africa, the Middle East, Asia, the Pacific and Central and South America are involved in the processes by which the solutions are developed. Those countries or regions suffering from invasion and occupation that is facilitated through online hate campaigns must be heard.
Thank you for your time.

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