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Peters: Is There An Enemy Within?

An address by the Rt Hon Winston Peters to Manukau Counties Grey Power, Wednesday, 10 August 2005, Manurewa Football Club Hall, Montfort Park, Dr Pickering Drive, 1:30pm

Is There An Enemy Within?

A funny thing happened when New Zealand First released its “End of Tolerance” speech.

The usual suspects protested that we were targeting Muslims for political gain.

Nothing could be further from the truth – my sources in this matter are moderate Muslims concerned about the impact of fundamentalism in their ranks.

They contacted us – not the other way round.

Some claimed we had no proof – and yet one of the few recognised terrorist experts in this region – Dr Rohan Gunaratna, Head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, said we were right and that there were up to 10 potential Cells here in New Zealand.

We pointed out that an Auckland ethnic TV station Mirchee TV was about to beam Al Jazera into New Zealand.

At first they tried to claim freedom of speech, but then they removed the link from their website when the media started sniffing around.

My office still has the original link offering Al Jazera “coming soon”.

Some claim that we were trying to paint all Muslims with the same brush – that we were claiming they were all terrorists.

We did nothing of the sort.

What we did say was that everywhere large Immigrant Muslim communities exist: In Europe, Asia and even Australia – there is a militant underbelly.

While some may like to pretend this is not the case – the facts speak for themselves.

And when one among their number speaks out, as a Muslim Auckland University student did, and says that there are indeed these elements here, others come out and say there is not.

Now someone is not telling the truth.

One of the more interesting reactions was from a professor of religious studies at Victoria University who claimed that the Muslim community here, being relatively new migrants, were unlikely to have too many extremists among them.

He added that given the Muslim population of nearly 50,000 there was likely to only be around 20 or so fanatical extremists.

He misses the point – that is what we are saying, that the Muslim community has extremists among its number.

The difference is that we want to know who these 20 or so are before they act out their extreme views.

Now we find it incredible that one of the strongest advocates of this community is a gay man – who if he lived in a strict Muslim country would be stoned to death for his sexual orientation.

His sexuality has already, from media reports, caused heated tension among the Muslim community with a very similar pattern to the young man who spoke out against the extremist elements present here.

You see it was all over the Sunday Star Times just a few weeks ago – one Muslim leader saying an openly gay man should not be embraced by the Muslim Community and another saying all is well.

First there was the outspoken militant view, then there was the denial from others in this community.

Some in this community seem to suffer from a schizophrenic personality disorder – either anti-West rhetoric exists here or it doesn’t. Either the Koran is against homosexuality or it is not. Or, some of these so-called Muslim leaders are betraying the true beliefs of their people.

So let them tell the public honestly – does Islam support homosexuality or not?

Does Islam support the West or are we the “infidel” as identified in the Koran.

Now there is another disturbing development in this matter.

My office has been contacted by a man within the prison service, who does not wish to be identified because it may impact on his employment, but who has expressed his concern at a new phenomenon in our prisons – the growth of radical Islam among disgruntled mainly Maori prisoners who are former gang members.

This is the same warning a prison Chaplin at Mt Eden issued late last year.

Now this story also received wide coverage in the media late last year.

It seems the message of radical Islam has fallen on fertile ears among the disaffected in our prison systems.

Leading the charge in our prisons is the so-called leader of the Aotearoa Maori Muslim Association, Te Amorangi Izhaq Kireka-Whaanga.

Indeed, it was only a matter of months ago that this man went to the mainstream media claiming that the attraction of Maori inmates to Islam was that it was “anti-European”, and induced a fascination with al Qaeda and the radical style of African-American Muslim icons such as Malcolm X.

In fact Kireka-Whaanga was quoted as saying:

“The ones coming in, their reasons are they admire Osama bin Laden. They think it's all about fighting Europeans.”

Now there is a sobering thought for my critics.

Kireka-Whaanga went on to make more outrageous claims such as the murderous bombings in Beslan being “Islamically legitimate”.

He travels to prisons conducting dawaa, or preaching visits.

And the frightening thing is that the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ) pays his travel costs to do this.

So while they have the audacity to criticise me – here they are funding this man to spread his hate filled message in our prisons.

This is part of the militant underbelly I was talking about – and yet they all stayed silent about this.

This same man, with strong gang connections, also caused a huge ruckus when he tried to take over his local Muslim community in the Hawkes Bay.

His rhetoric was a fusion of radical Islam and Maori nationalism.

Now it is worth making this observation here.

We have seen Maori nationalists protest in this country before.

We witnessed the Hikoi last year – and have seen several similar marches over the years.

The worst of these protests has been the sight of someone shooting the flag, or maybe baring their rear end, or chopping down trees and denting the America’s Cup.

While this anti-colonial posturing is designed to be threatening – it does not incite the hate-filled violence that is being advocated by Kireka – Whaanga and his ilk.

This new type of hatred is imported.

The seeds of this mindset are planted from elsewhere, based on different morals and ethics.

They are not our morals, they are not our standards.

It is dangerous – and we must act quickly to lance this festering sore from among the disenfranchised of our society.

Because we have seen abroad the devastating effect of such militant views left unchecked.

Today I am calling on Maori leaders throughout the nation to reject this insidious threat to our nation.

Kireka-Whaanga and his kind must be sent a clear message – if they wish to continue to advocate violent insurrection against the West (against New Zealanders) – then they have no acceptance in our society.

Our prisons must be places of rehabilitation – not a cesspool of anti-establishment hatred and insurrection.

Now it is worth making the following observations.

As we sit back here in New Zealand and naively congratulate ourselves on our diversity and multiculturalism, Nations like Australia, Britain and the rest of the developed world are taking this situation seriously.

Indeed, in Australia and Britain the laws are being contemplated which would outlaw violent anti-West rhetoric and allow those advocating such views to be deported.

You see they are finally awakening to what other European nations have discovered – a blind commitment to diversity does not equate to a tolerant society, when the price of diversity is the requirement to embrace the intolerant.

It was only last year in Britain that the Chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality declared “Multiculturalism is of another era and should be scrapped”.

He added that what Britain really needed was “to assert this is a core Britishness”.

Now this was a bipartisan body established in the 1960s to promote so-called multiculturalism.

Why can’t we learn from these experiences – why must it take a catastrophe before we will act.

New Zealand must again be for New Zealanders.

There are such things as New Zealand values, New Zealand ethics and a New Zealand way of life.

A former Australian High Court Chief Justice, Sir Harry Gibbs said in 2002: “A state is entitled to prevent the immigration of persons whose culture is such that they are unlikely readily to integrate into society, or at least to ensure that persons of that kind do not enter the country in such numbers that they will be likely to form a distinct and alien section of society, with the resulting problems that we have seen in the UK”.

We say it is time to get real.

Who says the enemy is no longer without!


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