New Zealanders urged to live in peace with Muslims

New Zealanders urged to live in peace with Muslims

By: || Updated: 01 Jan 1970 12:00 AM
Wellington: New Zealand's most senior race relations official Friday urged the public to stand alongside the country's Muslims in peace and compassion as terrorist tensions rose in neighbouring Australia.


Race Relations Commissioner Susan Devoy issued her call after the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ) published a statement unreservedly rejecting the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organisation's insurgency in Syria and Iraq, Xinhua reported.


"We must not label all Muslim New Zealanders with a barbarism they have totally rejected. Muslim Kiwis and their families deserve understanding," Devoy said in a statement.


"If New Zealanders want peace overseas -- we need to start right here at home. Human rights begin at home," she said.


"We mourn the tragic loss of lives in overseas conflicts but we must honour their lives by standing for peace and human rights at all costs."


The FIANZ statement, signed by its president Anwar Ghani, said that FIANZ, on behalf of the Muslim community in New Zealand, placed on record "our complete rejection of the actions of those who carry out acts of injustice and barbarity to others who they regard as not being worthy of any respect or mercy".


"We reject without reservations the claims of the group known as ISIS or IS or Daish to be acting for Muslims or for Islam when they engage in beheading, crucifixion and in forced, so-called 'conversions'," it said.


Across the Tasman Wednesday, the Australian government gave the go-ahead for its warplanes to begin attacks on IS militants in Iraq in a matter of days.


It has also stepped up its terrorism alert after a series of arrests in relation to alleged plots to carry out terrorist acts.


New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said earlier this week he was seeking advice on whether to send New Zealand forces to Iraq if the US requested them.

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