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Carter applauds Somali and Jewish communities

28 September 2004

Carter applauds Somali and Jewish communities

Ethnic Affairs Minister Chris Carter today applauded Wellington's Somali and Jewish communities for their solidarity in the face of a letter writing campaign designed to stir up race hate between the two groups.

"It is a tribute to the Somali Muslim and Jewish communities of Wellington that when faced with an insidious attempt to divide them, they stand side by side and draw closer together," Mr Carter said.

"With quiet dignity, these communities have demonstrated that the efforts of those involved in this letter writing campaign have failed utterly. If there was a more convincing reason why these communities deserve the respect and support of the public, I'd like to see it.

"I want Wellington's Somali community to know that a great many of their fellow New Zealanders are shocked and offended that they have been singled out by the person or people behind this campaign," Mr Carter said.

"I'm aware of the struggles many in the Somali community have overcome before arriving in New Zealand, and those struggles demand recognition and compassion, they demand a lot better than the unwelcome attention of a few misfits."

If members of the public have messages of support they would like passed on to Wellington's Somali Muslim or Jewish communities, they can email chris.carter@parliament.govt.nz.

ENDS

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