Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Secretary-General: Visit with Muslim community

Secretary-General's remarks during visit with Muslim community

Christchurch, 14 May 2019


As salam alaikum.

I thank this community very much for their welcome – particularly during this holy month of Ramadan.

Every Ramadan I make a visit of solidarity somewhere around the world. Last year, it was in Mali – the year before that, in Afghanistan.

This year, because of the terrible terrorist attack against your community, I wanted to be here with you.

Ramadan is a season of reflection, remembrance and renewal. I am here to express my deepest condolences, my profound respect, and the fullest measure of my solidarity to you, your families and the community.

I know there are no words to relieve the hurt and sorrow and pain.

But I wanted to come here personally to transmit love, support and total and complete admiration.

Like so many around the world, I was so moved by the poignant stories of compassion and grace from Christchurch.

But in many ways, I was not surprised.

This community reflected a spirit that I have always known to be deeply embedded in Islam -- a faith of love, compassion, forgiveness and mercy.

As UN High Commissioner for Refugees, I saw during ten years the generosity of Muslim countries always opening their borders to people in distress in a world where, unfortunately, so many other borders are closed.

This is in line with what I regard as the most beautiful prescription for refugee protection in world history. It is found in the Surah Al-Tawbah of the Holy Quran:

“And if anyone seeks your protection, then grant him protection so that he can hear the words of Allah. Then escort him where he can be secure.”

And protection to be granted to believers and non-believers in a fantastic demonstration of tolerance fourteen centuries ago.

This was revealed to the Prophet, may peace be upon Him, more than fourteen centuries before the 1951 Convention on the Protection of Refugees.

Last month, I visited Al-Azhar mosque and university in Cairo, where I was struck once again by the incredible contribution of the Islamic world to global civilization.

During my visit, I was honoured to meet the Grand Imam, Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb, and thanked him for his recent interfaith meeting with Pope Francis in the United Arab Emirates.

The declaration signed by the two leaders on “human fraternity for world peace and living together” is a testimony of mutual respect, tolerance, compassion and peace.

It calls on people of faith to recognize and respect one another and work together for the good of humanity.

We must stand together in this period of difficulties.

Hate speech is spreading and public discourse is being coarsened. Social media is being exploited as a platform for bigotry. We must all show solidarity in response to this dangerous upsurge in hatred.

I have already set in motion two initiatives: to protect holy sites and to address hate speech.

I have asked the High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, Miguel Moratinos, to develop an Action Plan for the UN to be fully engaged in support of safeguarding religious sites.

I have also asked my Special Advisor for the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, to bring together a United Nations team to scale up our response to hate speech and present a global plan of action.

Hate speech is spreading like wildfire in social media. We must extinguish it.

There is no room for hate speech – online or offline.

As we move forward, I take inspiration from the reminder in the Holy Quran (Surah Al-Hujurat 49:13): “We … made you into races and tribes so that you may know one another.”

I want to thank you for doing what you’re doing to help us better know each other – and see our shared humanity.

In these trying times, I am here to say with a full heart: You are not alone.

The world is with you. The United Nations is with you. I am with you.

Thank you.


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The RWC, And The Op Burnham Inquiry

Testimony was given that damning evidence had been culpably ignored, lost or (deliberately?) mislaid. The systems for handling secret material from our allies were – to be charitable – only loosely observed.

Moreover… vital evidence was only belatedly made available to the inquiry, and former NZDF officers later found to be central to the events under scrutiny were strangely missing from the original witness list offered by NZDF. In short, last week’s cross-examination of the military’s former top brass demonstrated in detail that the NZDF had consistently misled its Ministers (and the wider public) for years, over the impact of our military activities in Afghanistan. More>>

 
 

Guns, Lobbying: National Has Wish List For Arms Bill

National has today outlined the 13 changes we want to see in the second tranche of gun reforms before considering our support, National’s Police spokesperson Brett Hudson says. More>>

ALSO:

Call For Action On Expert Panel Report: Welfare System Needs Urgent Change

If we want New Zealand to be the best place in the world to be a child, the Government needs to increase benefits, remove sanctions, individualise benefits, and fix abatement rates now, says Child Poverty Action Group and ActionStation . More>>

ALSO:

First Data Releases: Mixed External Report On Census Fail Mitigation

The panel endorses the statistical approaches used to mitigate non-response... However, the unprecedented use of alternative government datasets to augment census data raises questions around ethics, social licence, cultural licence, and Māori data sovereignty. More>>

ALSO:

Aitches: Manawatū-Whanganui Region Spelling Corrected

The Manawatu-Wanganui Region will in future be correctly spelt Manawatū-Whanganui Region. The change also means the regional council will be known as the Manawatū-Whanganui Regional Council. Horizons Regional Council is the trading name for the council. More>>

PM In Japan: Jacinda Ardern’s Remarks Following Abe Summit

Today we discussed a wide range of topics. Broadly the themes were: a deeper, high-value trade and investment relationship, greater cooperation in the Pacific; and strengthening our security partnership. More>>

ALSO:

Replacing All But Chair: Twyford Appoints Five NZTA Board Members

Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced the appointment of five new members to the NZ Transport Agency Board... There remain two vacancies on the NZTA Board which will be filled in due course. More>>

ALSO:

Climate Change: Adaptation And Risk Assessment Framework Released

“We are already experiencing the effects of a changing climate such as coastal inundation and increasingly frequent and severe droughts, floods, fires and storms. This framework is an acknowledgement that we must start adapting”, James Shaw said today. More>>

ALSO:

Ihumātao: Mana Whenua Reach Decision On Land

Māori King Tūheitia says mana whenua have finally reached consensus over what to do with Ihumātao - they want it back. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels