Minister condemns anti-Semitic comments

  • Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga
Ethnic Communities

Ethnic Communities Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has condemned anti-Semitic speeches by an Auckland Muslim cleric and says there is no place in New Zealand for such intolerance.

“Anti-Semitic attacks of the kind made by Shaykh Dr Mohammad Anwar Sahib at an Auckland mosque, and online, are offensive and insulting. The comments are way out of step with New Zealand’s egalitarian values,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.

“The New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 gives everyone the right to freedom of expression, including the right to seek, receive and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form.  But hate speech is prohibited under Section 61 of the Human Rights Act.” 

“Dr Sahib is the secretary of the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand. I have spoken to FIANZ President Hazim Arafeh and he assures me Dr Sahib’s views do not represent the beliefs of that organisation or most Muslim New Zealanders.”

“New Zealand is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world.  We have people from more than 200 ethnicities living here and more than 160 different languages are spoken in New Zealand.”

“It disgusts me that anti-Semitic views are being recorded and posted online. It harms New Zealanders reputation as a tolerant and welcoming people.  It also concerns me that New Zealanders could be influenced by this,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.