The Human Rights Commission is concerned about the wellbeing of vulnerable Muslim Kiwis some of who are being wrongly targeted and blamed for things that they are not responsible for and have vehemently opposed.
We urge New Zealanders to stand alongside Muslim Kiwis in peace and compassion.
Muslim leaders have reported a spike in racial abuse aimed mostly at women and children, many walking to and from school.
Prime Minister John Key has stressed that of the 30 to 40 individuals on a security watch list, none is a representative of New Zealand’s Muslim community as a whole. He has also stressed that as well as making a valuable contribution to our nation, Muslim New Zealanders are as distressed by the actions of terrorists and their violent messages.
Muslim New Zealanders have publicly and unreservedly rejected violent extremism. On behalf of Kiwi Muslims, the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand has rejected ISIS and called for justice, dignity and safety.
Dame Susan Devoy is Race Relations Commissioner based in Auckland.