Anti ISIS should not be confused with anti Muslim

There is a growing world-while backlash against Muslims following the atrocities carried out by the ISIS insurgents.

But local Muslims are making it plain that they have no sympathy with what is happening in the Middle East.

“In Islamic prophecy, a woman tied up a cat and did not feed it until it died and she went to hell, so I don’t think the same religion will be inviting people in that kill people in this crazy way,” Tauranga Muslim Association president Ahmed Ghoneim says.

“What they are doing is just not right,” he said.

He said he loved Tauranga, had lived in the city for 11 years and had not experienced any fallout over the unfolding events overseas.

Another Tauranga Muslim, Ibrahim Hassan, said Muslims should not be judged on ISIS, because the extremist group did not represent their religion or beliefs.

“They don’t belong to Islam in any way.”

“They are trying to build an Islamic state by killing and threatening people and making them migrate from their cities. It’s very sad and scary. They are just like ‘join us or we will kill you’.”

Tauranga Regional Multicultural Council immediate past president Ewa Fenn said its members had not received any adverse comments about the situation in the Middle East. But they were worried about the on-going conflict and repercussions.

“It’s very concerning because of the implications and the backlash for the Muslims around the world.”

Prime Minster John Key has confirmed New Zealand was assessing its security alert following recent reports of a terrorist plot in Australia and that he was seeking advice about New Zealanders fighting for groups like Isis who want to return home.

The US has not asked New Zealand for support in the air strikes against Isis. New Zealand’s air force no longer has a combat arm.

New Zealand has been named by the US State Department as one of more than 60 countries in the coalition supporting its efforts to counter Islamic State, according to a report in the Washington Post.

It cited New Zealand among 13 allies providing humanitarian aid – New Zealand has given $1 million to the United Nations refugee agency for Iraq since June

Key won’t rule out sending New Zealand’s elite SAS personnel to assist US efforts to counter Islamic State militants in Iraq or even Syria but says that would be done reluctantly as a last resort, if at all.

New Zealand has two options for responding to the growing terror threat posed by the ISIS militants according to  a Massy University academic.

” First, if New Zealand supports the attacks on ISIS, then we ourselves start to fertilise the ground for becoming a target for ISIS sponsored third generation extremists.”

“Second, if we maintain peaceful, prosperous and trust based quid pro quo relations with our migrant communities then we are pursuing the best course towards maintaining a harmonious and safe society,” says Dr William Hoverd  a senior lecturer at Massey University’s Centre for Defence and Security Studies.


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