Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand adds its apology

March 29, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The president of the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand has released a statement saying the view of Ahmed Bhamji suggesting the Mossad was behind the attack on the Christchurch mosques causing the deaths of fo worshippers does not represent New Zealand’s Muslims.

Dr Mustafa Farouk

Dr Mustafa Farouk the president of the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand said: “recent comments by an individual do not represent the views of the Muslims of New Zealand”.

At a time of national mourning when calm and patience os required our focus is on healing and sustaining the spirit of Aroha which has been evident nationwide”

The New Zealand Jewish Council’s president Stephen Goodman told J-Wire: “The New Zealand Jewish Council is pleased that at this stressful time and with the Muslim Community still grieving and coming to terms with the loss of 50 lives that they have taken the time to respond to the lone comments of one person.  As stated we too do not believe that the “recent comments by an individual do not represent the views of the Muslims of New Zealand”.  We hope to move on in a spirit of co-operation to make New Zealand a society that celebrates the diverse communities that live here.”

In the meantime, president of the New Zealand Zionist Federation Rob Berg stated: “At the recent Love Aotearoa Hate Racism (LAHR) rally held in solidarity with the Muslim community, following the horrific terrorist attack in Christchurch, chair of Masjid e Umar in Mount Roskill, Mr Bhamji, made unfounded and dangerous hate remarks, to the effect that “Mossad” and “Zionist businesses” funded the terrorist who carried out the attack on the two mosques. This provocative and baseless claim is deeply distressing and of concern to the Jewish community and the Zionist Federation of New Zealand.

Not only do these accusations have no substance to them, but they are based on hatred and risk inciting physical harm to the New Zealand Israeli ex-pat and Jewish community. The remarks use the same analogies and accusations as many antisemitic tropes and are therefore extremely worrying and offensive. 

It is also disappointing that the leaders of the LAHR have so far refused to condemn and distance themselves from this hate speech. Hate speech has no place in New Zealand no matter who it is against.   

We hope that Mr Bhamji will publicly apologise for the offence caused and retract his remarks and that LAHR publicly distances themselves from these inflammatory and baseless comments.”




2 Responses to “Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand adds its apology”
  1. Ahmed Zaoui says:

    It’s a stretch to call it an apology. They did not mention Bhamji’s name, nor his comments. It’s a non-aology.

  2. Rivka T. Witenberg says:

    Blaming Jewish people for what happened in NZ is shameful. In Theory of Justice, John Rawls argues that “An intolerant sect has no right to complain when it is denied an equal liberty. A person’s right to complain is limited to principles he acknowledges himself” (1971, p. 216).

    Tolerance needs to be about reciprocity – “do unto others” and “love thy neighbour” as exemplified by the Golden Rule. In contemporary time tolerance is about mutual acceptance, respect, empathy and care of others who are different. It not simply “putting up with” or enduring others different from us. Reciprocal tolerances of acceptance respect, empathy and care are applicable to all communities whether they are a majority or a minority within respective societies.

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