New Zealand MP: Ban Muslims from flights

Richard Prosser (2)New Zealand First MP Richard Prosser has spoken out in defence of his “Wogistan” rant which has been slammed as racist by Muslim leaders and politicians.

In a column for Investigate Magazine, the Waimakariri list MP suggested young Muslims shouldn’t be allowed to travel on Western airlines because “most terrorists are Muslims”.

“If you are a young male, aged between say about 19 and about 35, and you’re a Muslim, or you look like a Muslim, or you come from a Muslim country, then you are not welcome to travel on any of the West’s airlines,” he wrote.

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Newly elected New Zealand MP calls for ban on veil

Richard Prosser (2)The New Zeland press has been covering the political philosophy of Richard Prosser, one of the eight New Zealand First candidates elected to parliament in the recent elections.

In addition to bringing back military service and arming taxi drivers (“His views sound like those of a redneck to me”, the director of the Taxi Federation responds) Prosser proposes a ban on the “burqa”.

His message to veiled Muslim women is: “This is my culture and my country, not yours. Get some respect and conform.”

Muslim ‘terrorist Barbie’ comments slammed

A Radio New Zealand host’s reference to a “suicide bomber Barbie” doll for the Muslim market has been labelled hateful and divisive.

The comment was made by host Paul Brennan while standing in on Jim Mora’s regular afternoon show last Thursday. Brennan had been discussing niche Barbie doll products for adult collectors when panelist John Bishop said there was “a huge market in the Muslim world” and asked why there couldn’t be “a terrorist Barbie”. Brennan then suggested a “suicide bomber Barbie” that came with a little belt.

Radio New Zealand has cautioned the presenters about inappropriate remarks after receiving 13 formal complaints over the exchange.

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Auckland: Muslim women in bid to lift veil of ignorance

Hijab in the West meetingMuslim women in New Zealand want to lift the “veil of ignorance” surrounding the way they dress. They say women who choose to cover their faces do so out of personal choice, with one comparing it to the veils worn by nuns.

About 60 women gathered at Auckland University on Friday night to discuss “Hijab in the West”, organised by the Young Muslim Women’s Association to discuss the Muslim headscarf and veil.

The women-only meeting was organised before it was revealed last week that a bus driver refused entry to a woman in a veil in May. The Saudi Arabian student was left crying on an Auckland street when the bus driver refused to let her board because of her veil. In another incident two days earlier, a driver for the same company, NZ Bus, told another woman to remove her veil.

Stuff, 10 July 2011

For an example of the ignorance Muslim women in New Zealand are up against see here.

NZ Muslim women ‘regularly’ told to remove veils

Two veil wearing Muslim women, living in New Zealand, say they are often asked to remove them. They were speaking on TV ONE’s Close Up about the case of a woman who was refused entry to a bus because she was wearing a burqa.

The incident happened when the woman, a student from Saudi Arabia, was trying to board a bus in Auckland in May. The student, who was wearing a veil with only the eyes exposed, was left crying on the street after reportedly being shouted at by the driver. However, it was not an isolated incident as two days earlier a driver for the same company told another woman to remove her veil.

In Australia, three non-Muslim women wearing the burqa immediately felt the weight of stares when they stepped out into a city centre, as part of a television programme to gauge the public reaction. In a mall they were subjected to verbal attacks from women with comments like “I’d pull it off you right now” and “We can’t see your eyes”.

New Zealand Muslim woman Farzana Saheb told Close Up the reaction in New Zealand  to her wearing the full burqa and veil varies a lot. “The sort of remarks you can see happening in Australia, that does happen on a regular basis sometimes to us,” she said. “Some people say ‘take it off’ while others will come up to you and say ‘you know you don’t have to wear that here.’ And some people do come up to you and ask nicely ‘so why do you have to wear that?’. And that’s I think the best way to come up to us because we’re very willing to just explain our belief to you.”

Another Muslim woman living in New Zealand, Moveena Rasheed said: “If you’re in a mall or you’re walking people come up to you and say ‘remove that, why do you need to wear that’.” Rasheed said she “totally understands” why people find it disquieting to only see people’s eyes and not their faces. “And so I think it’s important how we react as well. It’s very important when I see someone reacting in a very negative manner that I do have an understanding that it’s something new for him or her. I think we need to take a step to educate ourselves.”

She said New Zealand is a tolerant and diverse country and she was surprised and saddened that the woman concerned had to go through the experience of not being allowed on a bus.

TVNZ, 5 July 2011

Muslim woman thrown off bus in New Zealand for wearing veil

NZ BusA Saudi Arabian student was left crying on the street after a bus driver refused to let her board because of her Muslim veil.

The Consulate-General of Saudi Arabia has written to the Government to complain about the incident, and another, two days earlier, when a driver for the same company told another woman to remove her veil.

NZ Bus said both drivers had been sent on counselling programmes – and had been found to be suffering from “maskophobia”. “Both drivers … claim it’s not religious … but they genuinely have a phobia of people wearing masks, hence why we have not dismissed them,” general manager Jon Calder said yesterday.

Sameer Aljabri, the husband of one of the women, said he would lodge an official complaint with the Human Rights Commission on behalf of his wife, whom he would not name. She had been travelling with the couple’s one-year-old son in Auckland in May.

Dr Aljabri said the driver was opposed to her “full hijab” – a face veil with only the eyes exposed. The driver told her: “I do not want you on my bus but I have to serve you. Take off your face cover because I need to see your face.”

The letter from the Saudi consulate to the Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry said that, two days later, student Gawheer Saud Al Thaubity was left crying on a street in Auckland. “As she stepped on to the crowded bus, the driver shouted, ‘Out!’ She asked why and was told, ‘Because you cover your face’. He insisted that she get off the bus, then closed the door and drove off.”

Stuff, 5 July 2011

Update:  See “NZ PM: Muslim veil no excuse for discrimination”,AFP, 5 July 2011

Muslim woman barred from New Zealand court for wearing headscarf

Yasmeen AliYasmeen Ali was attempting to enter Hastings District Court on Tuesday to support her brother Carlos Manuel Brooking, 22, who was appearing for sentencing on a charge of assault.

Ms Ali, a 25-year-old mother-of-three, was asked by a court attendant to remove her headscarf on entering the courthouse. She refused and took a seat. When she tried to re-enter court after the morning break, she was blocked. She complained to the court manager, who told her she could not enter wearing a headscarf because the judge, Geoff Rea, had forbidden it.

Her brother had earlier been put into custody after refusing to remove a hat while sitting in court awaiting his sentencing, despite being requested to do so by Judge Rea.

Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres today called for reassurance for the Muslim community. ”I can’t imagine a nun being told to remove such attire, and the same should apply to others who wear head coverings for religious reasons, such as Muslims, Sikhs and Jews,” he said.

Judicial communications adviser Neil Billington said the incident was the result of Judge Rea’s “mistaken  assumption of what was occurring in the courtroom”.

“The judge required the removal of the woman because of her association with [her brother] who had just been removed. The judge had mistakenly assumed that her headgear was a demonstration of protest at the court.”

Dominion Post, 3 September 2009

See also 3News, 3 September 2009

Galloway takes on Islamophobia in New Zealand

Mosques and MiraclesChristians are being urged to stand up against what a visiting author says is a Muslim push to take over the world. Pastor Stuart Robinson, Australian author of the book Mosques and Miracles, has drawn about 200 people to a conference in Greenlane this weekend aimed at revealing what he says are the true dangers of Islam.

Meanwhile, rebel British left-wing MP George Galloway is expected to attract about 450 people to a rival meeting in Freemans Bay tonight to condemn Mr Robinson’s “islamophobia”.

Mr Robinson’s two-day Mosques and Miracles conference has been organised by missionary groups Open Doors, Middle East Christian Outreach, Asian Outreach and Interserve, with support from the Vision Network of evangelical churches. He said most Westerners did not understand that Islam taught that peace would prevail in the world only when the Muslim religion predominated.

He said Muslim theology “teaches that war has to be prosecuted against the infidel until the day of judgment when Jesus Christ returns”. Unlike Christianity, which offered salvation simply through faith, he said Islam taught that the only sure way to paradise was to die as a martyr for the faith. “That becomes an enormous recruitment device for a lot of the suicide bombing that we see,” he said.

But Mr Galloway, a Catholic who has backed the Palestinian cause for 32 years, said New Zealand’s 45,000-strong Muslim community was moderate and law-abiding and had never carried out any terrorist acts. “Have you seen any signs of New Zealand’s Muslims launching a jihad [holy war]?” he asked. “Of course you haven’t. These people [Mr Robinson’s followers] are trying to place fear and hatred in the hearts of ordinary New Zealand people against peaceful neighbours.”

New Zealand Herald, 28 July 2007

Venue withdrawn over line on Islam

Mosques and MiraclesThe controversial Christian conference on the “threat” of Islam has lost its Christchurch venue after sponsors expressed unease at the tone of the seminars. The move has drawn scorn from some Christians who see it as kowtowing to political correctness and “Muslim outrage”.

The Mosques and Miracles conference was to be held at Spreydon Baptist church, but negative publicity surrounding the event had caused church management to reconsider. In March, Muslim leaders condemned Mosques and Miracles as “a conference of bigots” after the organiser, Murray Dillner, said Islam made a society “implode” and had a mind-set to “take over the world”.

Spreydon Baptist senior pastor Murray Robertson said sponsor pressure had triggered the decision. “A number of the people who support our community work said they weren’t comfortable with the position. Part of their brief is to not support groups that are intolerant. We had no control over the content of the conference and we felt we were taking a whole bunch of hits for something we had nothing to do with. Spreydon Baptist Church wishes to make it quite clear that we are not anti-Muslim in our attitudes.”

A Christchurch minister, who declined to be named, said he felt the church leaders who made the decision had “wimped out”. “Since when have Christians getting together in Christchurch to discuss world issues of religion and society been dictated to by Muslim outrage? I think it’s very sad and a bit sinister.”

The Press, 17 May 2007

Update:  See also coverage at Dhimmi Watch.