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NZ First wants religious law in New Zealand

NZ First wants religious law in New Zealand

“The New Zealand First leader’s opinion that asylum seeker Ahmed Zaoui, a former member of the Algerian Parliament, should not be afforded the protection of the rule of law because he is a Muslim, show that Mr Winston Peters believes that legal rights should only be upheld for Christians,” said Progressive deputy leader Matt Robson.

Mr Peters, it seems, is about to announce a new justice policy which will be based on his own religious beliefs. I am certain that New Zealanders whether Christian, Jewish, Muslim, of any other belief, agnostic or atheist do not want us to move to affording people legal rights only if they adhere to Mr Peters’ particular religious beliefs.

Mr Peters will find his proposal very difficult to sell to the very many Christian leaders who support Mr Zaoui let alone the majority of New Zealanders who support the rule of law and a secular legal system.

Mr Peters would do well to borrow from the library, Robert Bolt’s play A Man For All Seasons wherein Sir Thomas More and Will Roper discuss the rule of law:

ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law ! MORE : Yes. What would you do ? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER : I'd cut down every law in England to do that ! MORE: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned on you – where would you hide Roper, the laws all being flat? This country’s planted thick with laws from coast to coast – Man’s laws, not God’s – and if you cut them down – and you’re just the man to do it - d’you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil the benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake.

For the avoidance of doubt, Matt Robson does not suggest any resemblance between the Devil and Ahmed Zaoui, nor between the Devil and Winston Peters.

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