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Minister welcomes Islamic Awareness week

Hon Chris Carter
Minister for Ethnic Affairs

6 August 2008 Media Statement
Minister welcomes Islamic Awareness week

As part of celebrating Islamic Awareness Week, Wellington students met with Ethnic Affairs Minister Chris Carter in Parliament today for a screening of a DVD celebrating what it means to be a Muslim-Kiwi.

Inspiring Positive Dialogue for Young People aims to generate dialogue about Islamic culture between young people in New Zealand.

Following today’s DVD screening and discussion with students at Parliament. Chris Carter will visit mosques throughout the Auckland region on Saturday 9 August when their doors will be open to the public to help give non-Muslim Kiwis a chance to learn more about the beliefs of Muslim New Zealanders.

Islamic Awareness Week is an annual event organised by the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ). The week offers an opportunity for all New Zealanders – Muslim and non-Muslim – to engage with each other. Today there are approximately 50,000 Kiwi-Muslims.

“Islamic Awareness Week seeks to establish common values between different faiths as well as demonstrating that Islam is a world religion that embraces a huge range of cultures and ethnicities.

“This is a chance to meet Muslim New Zealanders who can trace their heritage from many parts of the world: Indonesia to Somalia, Bosnia to Fiji,” Chris Carter said.

This year’s theme is ‘Strong Families – Better Society’.

“Muslim-Kiwis share the same ambitions for their children as every other New Zealand family. They want their children to succeed in life, to honour and respect older family members and to have a sense of place and belonging.

"I hope Islamic Awareness week will continue to be an opportunity for all New Zealanders to learn more about the peoples and the faiths that make up modern New Zealand," said Chris Carter.


ENDS

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