It is not just an item of clothing it is a costume and a message

As I waited in line at the post office yesterday my eye was caught by a poster on the wall. At first glance, it appeared to show a Muslim family. The mother in a head scarf and flowing robes, the father with tea towel like headgear and a thick beard and the child sleeping peacefully swaddled in fabric that only showed his face. Then it hit me. It was a nativity calendar and the family depicted was the first ever Christian family.

I then reflected on how Christians no longer dress in historical Arab clothing but that many Muslims still wear it even if they are not Arabs and were born in Indonesia or India or another non-Arab country.Even Muslim families where the men dress in western clothes they often grow unfashionable historical style beards and the women continue to wear the historical headscarves from hundreds of years ago. A clear example of this is these two New Zealand converts to Islam. The man grew a beard and the woman covered herself with a head scarf.

Here in New Zealand just last week, the New Zealand herald ran an article featuring two New Zealand converts.

Here in New Zealand just last week, the New Zealand herald ran an article featuring two New Zealand converts.

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Anwar Sahib: Just the tip of the Islamist iceberg in New Zealand?

Mainstream NZ media picked up on the story of Shaykh Dr Mohammad Anwar Sahib after WhaleOil made public a collection of quotes from his sermons that demonised Jews and subjugated women. Dame Susan Devoy came out quickly to condemn the speech but was equally cautious to tell us “these are the views of a single person and are not held by every single Muslim New Zealander”. Just how many of the 50,000 Muslim New Zealanders don’t hold anti-Semitic or misogynistic views, though, and how many are even more radical?

With an election year next year, immigration may well be a hot-button topic, especially if there’s an ‘incident’ – not just a close call. National, Act and NZ First were quick to condemn Sahib. The Greens have also made a reasonable comment. Even they can see the link between hate preaching and murderous rampages. It’s only Labour that can’t bring themselves to think of Islam having a bad side – or maybe they also think Jews are the enemy and women shouldn’t leave the home without permission.

There is a small Muslim sect which seems to be truly against the violent, political Islam that we see most vividly in France, where Islamic extremists have driven over people at celebrations, slaughtered Jews, and murdered cartoonists. Judging by the statement from the Islamic Women’s Council, many of the women disagree that they need permission before leaving the house and were outraged by the anti-Semitic statements.

However, FIANZ (and New Zealand feminists) weren’t as strongly opposed to Sahib. FIANZ did eventually stand down the hate preacher from his official position but their radio interview and initial press release leave open many questions about the sincerity of representatives of New Zealand’s largest Muslim population.

A jihadi expert, Aaron Zelin, has reported on some of those New Zealanders who have wanted to fight for Islamic State. One of those, Imran Patel, was recently jailed for over 3 years for having and distributing Islamic State material. Another Islamic State supporter, Te Amorangi Kireka-Whaanga was named as one of the most influential Muslims in the world. He has recently commented on the 1 News Facebook page about Sahib, that he is “100% behind our shaykh [Sahib] we say what he says and we stand for everything he stands for amen amen”

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The Greens finally denounce the Muslim hate speech preacher…sort of

James Shaw has finally said something about Shaykh Dr Mohammad Anwar Sahib and denounced his actions…sort of.

Last week we were very concerned to hear that an Auckland imam, Dr Anwar Sahib, had been preaching divisive and derogatory messages about Jewish people and women during his sermons.

It was a disturbing incident coming at the end of a disturbing few weeks in politics.

Not long before, ‘Bishop’ Brian Tamaki decided to simultaneously undermine human rights, human decency – and geophysics – by claiming that gay people and deviant behaviour were to blame for earthquakes affecting the South Island.

We are all aware of the dangers in giving people who spout hate more air time than they deserve. These latest incidents were newsworthy because, generally speaking, they are not terribly common occurrences in today’s New Zealand.

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This was not the first complaint to FIANZ about Dr Mohammad Anwar Sahib.


FIANZ did not say or do anything until Whaleoil shone sunlight on the anti-Semitic and misogynistic words of Auckland-based, Saudi-trained, Muslim religious leader Dr Mohammad Anwar Sahib, Imam of the At-Taqwa Mosque. This was not the first time that Shaykh Dr Mohammad Anwar Sahib has been brought to FIANZ’s attention.

In 2001, the Centre for Islamic Pluralism published an article that described Sheik Dr Anwar Sahib as a high-ranking Islamic cleric trained in and funded by Saudi Arabia. A Fiji Indian, he spent 15 years being trained as a cleric by the Saudis and was described as an ultra-conservative fundamentalist. The Wahhabi sect to which Sheik Dr Anwar Sahib belongs is described as adhering to the most extreme form of Islamic fundamentalism. The author of Intellectuals and Assassins, Stephen Schwartz, said of Wahhabism that “it is violent, it is intolerant and it is fanatical beyond belief.”

Sheik Dr Anwar Sahib came to New Zealand on a Saudi-funded scholarship and was exposed as having ties to Osama bin Ladin. The then president of FIANZ, Dr Anwar Ghani, dismissed the concerns, saying he knew of no terrorist fundraising or terrorism-linked activity among local Muslims.

In 2011, FIANZ president, Anwar Ghani, once again dismissed concerns when he met with officials of the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (SIS). The SIS was concerned about reports that at-Taqwa mosque youth were talking about preparing for jihad in New Zealand. Sheikh Dr Sahib continued during this time to be a senior member of FIANZ.

In 2013, there was a report that Sheikh Dr Sahib had been involved in an Islamic conference where other invited speakers also gave antisemitic, misogynistic, and homophobic sermons. And, more recently, in January 2016, the WhaleOil blog revealed that one of the congregants of At-Taqwa mosque, where Sheikh Dr Sahib preaches, has potentially been radicalised and is a known Islamic State supporter. One is left wondering whether radicalisation of Muslim youth is happening in New Zealand mosques.


When finally forced to react to our video and posts FIANZ’s first reaction was a Press release more notable for what it did not say.

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Comment of the Day

My attention was drawn to this comment on Martyn Martin Bradbury’s hate speech blog, where Bradbury gets schooled on issues regarding hate speech and its pernicious effects.

Bradbury had been mansplaining about how it was OK for Muslim hate-speech preacher Shaykh Dr Mohammad Anwar Sahib was really just a silly old man rather than the nasty antisemite  and misogynist he actually is.

This has got to be one of the silliest posts to have turned up on the Kiwi blogosphere for some time, with a fair number of suspects competing for that dismal accolade.

Maybe the most disconcerting thing here, Martyn, is your blitheness about the stress that hate speech causes real people: members of vulnerable minorities; especially young people, and children not least of all. “What’s so controversial about claiming Jews and Christians are the enemies of Muslims?” What’s the matter with you, Bomber? How do you imagine that hate speech, or the wholesale denigration of an entire minority actually works?

A boy of four wearing a yarmulke, assaulted in Mt. Eden last year – because Jews are portrayed by some fanatics as the enemies of Islam and as members of a race trying to take over the world. That’s how hate speech works. A Muslim kindergarten child in the US harassed verbally – and physically – by his TEACHER – because all Muslims are supposed to be terrorists. And one day that child is supposed to grow up to become one. That’s how hate speech works.

You bring up Gaza. Did the Islamic Women’s Council of NZ, who are a thousand-fold more qualified to talk about Gaza then you are, raise Gaza? Of course not. They rebuked Sahib unequivocally and expressed nothing toward the Jewish community but magnanimity and solidarity. Not much sexy contrarianism there, Martyn. But I’m guessing that they know all too well the thing that you’ve completely managed to miss: that children or young people of any minority are not in the least bit responsible for Gaza, for Isis, for anything else – but they’re always the first victims of the radical evil that hate speech is.   Read more »

Are NZ Herald ‘Journalists’ Afraid Of Insulting Islam?

Shaykh Anwar Sahib has shut down the at-Taqwa YouTube channel so it is harder now to see the hate that he thinks is appropriate for even public consumption. The widely (except for Labour and the Greens) condemned Auckland hate preacher was exposed in January by Whaleoil for having known Islamic State supporters in his mosque (masjid).

Before the videos were taken down, we found one more clip of interest.

It shows the radical Shaykh admitting that he knew about contact that was made by a ‘sister’ trying to warn the NZ Herald that the masjid promotes terror. We can only hope that she wasn’t beaten with a hammer when she got home.   Read more »

If they axe Destiny’s charity status then what about At-Taqwa mosque?

The luvvies have laid complaints, outraged over Brian Tamaki’s statements and now the Charities Services is reviewing their charities status.

The Herald, the slowest of all media to report on Shaykh Dr Mohammad Anwar Sahib, reports:

Destiny Church could be at risk of losing its tax-free status after a member of the public complained to Charities Services.

Charities Services today confirmed it will analyse the Church’s tax-free status and see if its guilty of breaching the Charities Act.

The assessment will see if Bishop Brian Tamaki’s church is guilty of any wrong doing.

If anything is uncovered a full investigation will then be carried out.

A spokesperson for the church this afternoon said they have had no communication with Charities Services so would not be commenting on the development.   Read more »

A natural experiment in hate and responses to it

The recent events concerning Bishop Brian Tamaki and Shaykh Dr Mohammad Anwar Sahib have provided a natural experiment in hate, and the response to it. Both religious leaders had videos exposed of them preaching objectionable material. Below is a side-by-side comparison of the speeches and responses. What conclusions do you draw?

What was said?

Bishop Tamaki said that homosexuals were sinners and suggested that their sin causes earthquakes like the one New Zealand recently experienced.

Shaykh Anwar said that Jews were the enemy of Muslims and women should not leave the house without their husbands’ permission.

What does that mean?

Christians need to forgive or try and ‘save’ sinners.

Muslims must fight against their enemies.

Women do not have free will under Sharia law.

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All of the left-wing commentary about the anti-Semitism and misogyny of the Muslim hate-speech preacher

Will Phil Goff say anything about his friend the anti-semitic, misogynist, Islamic hate-speech preacher?

Phill Goff and anti-semitic, misogynist, hate-speech preacher Shaykh Dr Mohammad Anwar Sahib

Phil Goff and anti-semitic, misogynist, hate-speech preacher Shaykh Dr Mohammad Anwar Sahib

I wonder what Phil Goff is going to say about this photo taken with anti-semitic, misogynist, hate-speech preacher Shaykh Dr Mohammad Anwar Sahib.

I guess when Phil Goff said he was going to be mayor for all of Auckland he also meant anti-semitic, misogynist, hate-speech preachers as well.   Read more »