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Choudhary's Cross Purpose In Palmerston North

Media Release
25 September 2003

Choudhary's Cross Purpose In Palmerston North

Rt Hon Winston Peters has told the Labour list MP Ashraf Choudhary that he has a cheek joining the debate in Palmerston North about whether the cross should be removed from the city clock tower.

Mr Peters said that it was a bit rich, that Dr Choudhary, a Muslim, should be advising locals to get rid of a Christian symbol.

Dr Choudhary is reported as saying that he had all respect for the Christian faith, but society had moved on and that other religious and ethnic groups might oppose the presence of the cross in the city centre.

Mr Peters said that Dr Choudhary’s comments showed an aspect of so-called multiculturalism that was an affront to ordinary New Zealanders.

“It shows that some newcomers to New Zealand want us to destroy our culture so that they may impose their own.

“Just imagine what would happen to a Christian in a Muslim country if they suggested getting rid of a symbol of Islam. They would be punished severely, possibly even executed in fundamentalist areas.”

Mr Peters said that Dr Choudhary appeared to have little grasp of significant issues.

“People will remember that when the crunch came over legalising prostitution he went missing to help get the law passed. Perhaps he should explain that to the people of Palmerston North instead of telling them to take down religious symbols.”

ENDS

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