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Islamic Women’s Council Of New Zealand Urges Our Government To Act Quickly And Boldly On Hate Speech Legislation

08 February 2023

The Islamic Women’s Council of New Zealand urges the Government led by our new Prime 

Minister Chris Hipkins to take up the mantle, to act quickly and boldly, and to pass legislation to address harmful and dangerous speech this term prior to the election in October.

There is no question that IWCNZ and its membership are disappointed with the withdrawal of the proposed amendment to protect religious communities. While we acknowledge the proposal was not expansive enough nor sufficient to prevent all types of inciteful and dangerous speech, we saw it as a first step in addressing the hatred that has taken and continues to take a disproportionate toll on our community. The withdrawal is a backward movement.

IWCNZ has been advocating for nearly two decades now for the modification and expansion of harmful speech legislation. Throughout that period Muslim women and children have faced an onslaught of hatred. This is not a new issue; however, it is definitely a growing risk that needs to be tackled quickly.

“How many more people need to suffer from hate and for how long before our legislators will have the courage to do what is right?” asks the National Coordinator of IWCNZ Aliya Danzeisen

“There is no more time or consideration needed! The best thing to do would be for the government to adhere to the recommendations of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Christchurch attacks and to follow the steps that the Commissioners laid out in detail to pass the needed legislation.” she adds.

IWCNZ notes it has been more than two years since the Royal Commissions issued its report and recommendations. NZ legislators have shown an ability to pass legislation quickly when urgency is required, and this matter is beyond urgent.

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