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Minister applauds declaration from NZ Muslims

Minister applauds declaration from NZ Muslims

New Zealand's Muslim community should be applauded for their declaration of peace and goodwill today, Ethnic Affairs Minister Chris Carter said.

"Ten Muslim groups from all over the country have signed a declaration to all New Zealanders affirming their commitment to peace and stability, and to being an integral part of our nation," Mr Carter said.

"I would like to thank these groups for being brave enough to put their heads above the parapet after a very difficult year. There have been several high profile attacks on the Muslim community, which have only compounded the pressure Muslims everywhere have felt since the terrorism attacks in New York."

Mr Carter said he wanted to draw attention to two statements in particular in the Muslim community's declaration:

'We clearly pronounce our commitment to the welfare of our nation, as much as we feel entitled to live in peace, and be respected as citizens of New Zealand. We declare that our commitment to the welfare of our country shall be unquestionable.'

The declaration also reads:

'We, Muslim citizens of New Zealand, feel that we are an integral part of the nation and consider all citizens as partners in the cause of peace and prosperity, irrespective of race, faith, or ethnicity."

"I couldn't agree with the Muslim community more," Mr Carter said.

"The sooner all New Zealanders and all politicians appreciate this simple, just concept, the better our country will be."

DECLARATION IS ATTACHED


NEW ZEALAND MUSLIMS DECLARATION

In the name of God Almighty, the most Merciful and Cherisher of the worlds

WE, concerned Muslims of New Zealand, have continuously expressed our commitment, as an integral part of this nation, to preserve peace and stability. FIANZ (The Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand), for example, made a number of press releases to that effect in the last 15 months. It is felt that the present circumstances warrant a reconfirmation of this commitment by means of this declaration.

DECLARATION

WE, concerned Muslims of New Zealand, being Islamic in faith, feel that it is our duty to announce ourviewpoint regarding recent major world events. We believe that Islam promotes peace and security to all mankind and salvation from fear and terror. It does not allow any lawless action against innocent people, no matter when, where, or under what pretext such action might be taken. Islam denounces all kinds of terrorism at all levels, whether perpetrated by governments, organizations or individuals. This spirit has been clearly shown in the Quran, the holy book of Islam, stating that to kill one innocent person is akin to killing the whole of mankind and calling upon all nations to live in peace and harmony together in this world, being the creation of one and only one God.

These recent events have led many people around the world to consider Islam as a doctrine of terror. The true spirit of Islam is so far from this and it explicitly states to the contrary. The Holy Quran calls upon the Prophet Muhammad to "Call the people to the way of your Lord by wisdom and fair preaching". Islam advocates for peace and invites us to pursue happiness in this world and the hereafter; to resist whimsical desires and encourages dialogue between nations "O Mankind, We created you, from male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another".

Within the context of New Zealand society, WE, Muslim citizens of New Zealand, feel that we are an integral part of the nation and consider all citizens as partners in the cause of peace and prosperity, irrespective of race, faith, or ethnicity. We are determined to honour our obligations to defend this nation and its fabric, well inspired by the spirit of our National Anthem which we aspire to see made true: God of Nations at thy Feet In the bonds of Love we Meet

It is noticed that few individuals, groups and agencies, contrary to the long established traditions of New Zealand society, possibly driven by a wider anti-Muslim sentiment elsewhere in the world, are following a track that is very likely to incite religious hatred and discrimination. It is regretted that this has led to baseless and unjustified attacks on the sacred symbols of Islam: the personality of Prophet Muhammad and the Holy Quran, without any sound knowledge of the matter. The spirit of this unacceptable trend is indeed not much different from that which justifies terror in the name of religion. Both must be considered unfair and harmful. Fuelling anti-Muslim sentiments only serves the purposes of fanatics and extremists more than anything else.

The Muslim community of New Zealand is determined to live in peace and abide by the law. We clearly pronounce our commitment to the welfare of our nation, as much as we feel entitled to live in peace, and be respected as citizens of New Zealand. We declare that our commitment to the welfare of our country shall be unquestionable.

God save our New Zealand

Endorsed in Auckland/New Zealand on the 13th of January, 2003 by: 1. The Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ) which includes: · New Zealand Muslim Association Inc., (NZMA), Auckland. · South Auckland Muslim Association Inc., (SAMA), Auckland. · Waikato Bay of Plenty Muslim Association Inc., (WBPMA), Hamilton. · Manawatu Muslim Association Inc., (MMA), Palmerston North. · International Muslim Association of New Zealand Inc., (IMAN), Wellington. · Muslim Association of Canterbury Inc., (MAC), Christchurch. · Otago Muslim Association Inc., (OMA), Dunedin. 2. Islamic Ahlulbayt Foundation of New Zealand, Auckland. 3. Islamic Information Services, Auckland. 4. Al-Manar Trust, Auckland.

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