Muslim NZers stand alongside victims of Paris attacks

The Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand have issued a joint statement with the NZ Human Rights Commission in the wake of recent terrorist attacks in France and Lebanon.

“We stand alongside all innocent victims of terrorism in peace, solidarity and humanity,” said Hazim Arafeh, president of the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand.

“The Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand condemns all terrorist attacks and joins the rest of the world in deep sorrow as we mourn men, women and children murdered by terrorists and extremists.”

The Auckland Council of Christians and Muslims has also unequivocally condemned the recent terrorist acts in Paris, Beirut and Sinai.

They say it is simply not possible to claim religious sanction for such heinous acts.

“The call to be peacemakers in the midst of human division is a central, though frequently forgotten, tenet of both the Christian and Muslim traditions.”

The Council has invited all New Zealanders to reaffirm their commitment to thoughtful and consistent peace making as a primary expression of their humanity.

Asif Koya, president of the International Muslim Association of New Zealand, told the New Zealand Herald that he condemned what has happened and feared widespread and indiscriminate recoil on the Islamic community.

“I’m sure Muslim’s in France will be affected and I wish them well for the pressure they will come under,” Koya said.

“Obviously we are very saddened for all the victims and everyone affected. We condemn any act of violence.”

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy urged New Zealanders to recognise “that terrorism has no religion and that Muslim Kiwis unreservedly and wholeheartedly condemn extremism and violence.”

“The Human Rights Commission stands alongside Muslim New Zealanders in their continued and uncompromising call for peace,” said Dame Susan.

“Hate starts small but so too does hope.  Terrorism has no religion and neither does humanity: we urge Kiwis to stand together in humanity.”

On Sunday about 100 people from the Muslim community gathered in downtown Auckland to protest against terrorist group Isis.

Both young and old gathered at the Aotea Square and called on world leaders to unite against the group Isis.

One woman told the group Isis had again struck its deadly hand on the people of France.

But many other people around the world – including in Afghanistan – had lost their lives to terrorist actions.

“Though 120 people have been killed in Paris and the world is shaking right now, but what about the people, the thousands who have been killed [already]? Whoever knows about it?”

The speaker said now was the time for the world’s leaders to come together to fight Isis’ regime.


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