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Advance NZ calls on Winston Peters to back off.

29/07/2005

Advance NZ calls on Winston Peters to back off.

The NZ First Leader is in danger of eroding his credibility with the public through his extremist approach to the issues around immigration claims Advance New Zealand.

Everyone in New Zealand today is here as a result of immigration, including Winston Peters. People move to new countries primarily for the same reason and that is to find a new lifestyle for themselves and their offspring.

The vast majority settle into their new environment with little disruption to the pattern of the existing way of life and indeed make a positive contribution to the cultural diversity of New Zealand. Unfortunately, as Winston is well aware of given the history of Maori migration, there are a few who bring with them some elements of the problems and prejudices of their country of origin and that, coupled with an unwillingness to 'fit in' to the prevailing Kiwi culture, makes them very obvious targets for people with hang-ups and for opportunistic politicians.

Anyone who has had contact with Muslim immigrants to New Zealand can tell Mr. Peters that they are actually fairly ordinary people with an exceptional belief in and commitment to what their faith teaches them and terrorising non-believers is not part of that.

Mr. Peters is being somewhat disingenuous in making a link between global terrorism and the Muslim community in New Zealand. If he has any evidence of this he has certainly not been prepared to make it public and instead relies on unsubstantiated innuendo to 'prove' his case.

He is however correct in stating there is an imperative on Muslims in NZ to ensure that Islam is not brought into disrepute and it is taking some time for them to become aware of the damage they can do to themselves by allowing the public perception to develop that they are all closet terrorists. They are now becoming more proactive in putting their case before the public.

Barking up the tree of prejudice, fear and hate will not provide long-term benefit to Mr Peter's political ambitions nor contribute to the tranquillity, peace and progress of our country.

ENDS

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