Thursday, 12 July 2007

Voices of Peace to counter organised Islamophobia in NZ


RAM ­ Residents Action Movement
Media release on Voices of Peace
12 July 2007

Voices of Peace to counter
organised Islamophobia in NZ

Two huge Voices of Peace meetings will be held in Auckland on 27-28 July to counter the sudden rise of organised Islamophobia in New Zealand. They will be followed by activist workshops. (Meeting details below.)

George Galloway, left-wing British MP & international peace campaigner, will be guest speaker at the Voices of Peace meetings, which are being hosted by RAM, the Residents Action Movement.

"Here in New Zealand we are currently facing the first stirrings of organised Islamophobia, which is a form of racism against Muslims," said RAM organiser Grant Morgan.

"A coalition of extreme right Christians is importing Australian anti-Muslim hard-liners to run Mosques & Miracles conferences in Auckland and Wellington in late July. Over recent months, Destiny Church's bishop Brian Tamaki has made a series of anti-Islamic public statements. Their propaganda about 'evil' and 'foreign' Islam infiltrating our country and undermining our liberties has been uncritically featured by the right-wing Christian newspaper Challenge Weekly which circulates widely inside New Zealand's fundamentalist and Baptist churches. In tandem, Ian Wishart's Investigate magazine has been running long articles on the so-called 'threat' of Muslims in New Zealand."

"We do not want their message of division and hate to poison relations between communities in New Zealand," said Grant Morgan. "We do not want their call for a 'spiritual war' against Islam to escalate into inter-communal conflict. We do not want their sectarian crusade to demonise our Muslim community which has played a positive and peaceful role in this country for over 100 years."

"With the blessing of a broad array of Muslim groups, along with many non-Muslim faith and community leaders, RAM is organising Voices of Peace meetings in Auckland as a positive alternative to Islamophobia. We are uniting against the 'politics of fear' being spread by the preachers of sectarian division. RAM is determined that the values of social inclusion and equal rights for all shall prevail in New Zealand."

"Amnesty International's world report in May 2007 said the 'politics of fear', closely linked to George Bush's 'war on terror' and the US war in Iraq, is fueling Islamophobia and other globalised violations of human rights. RAM agrees with Amnesty International's analysis, and we are doing something positive about it with our Voices of Peace meetings. We are proud to have such a powerful voice as George Galloway standing alongside us," said Grant Morgan.

"Our meetings are open to the public and the media, and there is no door charge."

VOICES OF PEACE
AUCKLAND MEETINGS

GEORGE GALLOWAY will be addressing these two Voices of Peace meetings:

TOWN MEETING
7.30pm, Saturday 28 July.
Auckland Girls Grammar School Theatre.
16 Howe St (off Karangahape Rd).
The three other speakers are:
  • JAVED KHAN, president of Federation of Islamic Associations of NZ.
  • PAUL BUCHANAN, international security analyst & director of the Working Group on Alternative Security Perspectives at the University of Auckland.
  • GRANT MORGAN, organiser of RAM ­ Residents Action Movement.
Limit of 800 seats, so those interested are being advised to get there early. NO DOOR CHARGE. Donations will be accepted.

UNIVERSITY MEETING
6pm, Friday 27 July.
University of Auckland.
Venue to be confirmed.
The three other speakers are:
  • NIBRAS KARDAMAN, young Muslim woman & representative of the Working Together Group.
  • STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE of the campus organising group.
  • GRANT MORGAN, organiser of RAM ­ Residents Action Movement.
NO DOOR CHARGE. Donations will be accepted.

Both meetings OPEN TO THE MEDIA.

WORKSHOPS
There will also be Voices of Peace workshops where topics touching on Islamophobia can be discussed together by Muslims and non-Muslims. George Galloway will give the introduction.
2-5pm, Sunday 29 July.
Fickling Convention Centre, 546 Mt Albert Rd, Three Kings.
Limit of 250 participants, so those interested are being advised to get there early.

2 comments:

SleepyTreehugger said...

I respect your aims in regards to preaching inclusiveness and encouraging diversity, BUT I think you guys are being rather naive in who you are offering your support to as the article of the Investigate Magazine highlights.

I share little in commen with Ian Wishart, but he does reveal a frightening level of ignorance and naivity on the part of many members of your organisation regarding the threat posed by the radical section of the Muslim community.

UNITY said...

"Threat"? Threat to what, and whom?

I'm afraid that anyone who believes the fantasies spun by Wishart is ignorant and naive.