Islamic Women’s Council not surprised by attack on mosque

not surprised

Anjum Rahman, a spokesperson of the Islamic Women’s Council New Zealand (IWCNZ), says she was not surprised by the attack on the Masjid Al Noor and the Linwood Masjid mosques.

She said IWCNZ has been engaging with both the previous and current government for several years, asking for support.

Rahman said she did not think the council’s concerns had been taken seriously.

“We hear so much about immigration policy and who’s coming into this country and so much of that is targeted against our community and we know that our community is discriminated against because of fears of terrorism.

“Why was this person not monitored? I think the government needs to come back and engage with us, and let us know what they’re going to do, when and how, and it needs to be community-based and community-led.

“About five years ago, the IWCNZ wrote a comprehensive report on the problems we were facing and sent it to the Ministry of Social Development.

“We pushed, but as far as we know, nothing concrete was done with that report,” said Rahman.

She said they had received no significant funding.

“At least five years of solid government engagement took place across a National-led and then a Labour-led government.

“We begged and pleaded, we demanded.

“We knocked on every door we could, we spoke at every forum we were invited to.”

The IWCNZ and other Mulsim organisations have repeatedly expressed their concerns:

  • In October 2016 with the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (SIS)
  • In December 2016 when the then race relations commissioner Dame Susan Devoy convened a meeting with Muslim women
  • In January 2017 with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet
  • In March 2017 the Human Rights Commission and the State Services Commission organised a full-day meeting with heads of government
  • In August 2017 with the Department of Internal Affairs in Hamilton
  • With the Department of Internal Affairs and Office of Ethnic Communities over the next few months
  • In January 2018 with DIA, OEC and two government ministers from the new government
  • In February 2018 at a major security conference

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