Now that you’re all over the initial shock…

Last week Spanish Bride and I visited a mosque in Auckland, and we both wrote completely different articles based on our experiences.

After years of providing our readers with information about Islam that basically can be summed up as “since we can’t tell which ones to trust, and which we can not, we might as well not trust any of them”, I decided that wasn’t good enough.  We must be more discerning than that.

At the same time, New Zealand has – so far – exactly zero incidences of radical Islam hitting out against Kiwis.

So there is a huge gap between what we fear and what is happening so far.

We have all seen, many times now, that when sufficient Muslims are allowed to congregate in a country, the requirement of these Muslims wanting to turn their own life into one fully dedicated to Allah appears to exclude the concurrent coexistence of those who do not.  Eventually a parallel Sharia law is proposed, at least in small places.  And then it grows.

And as we’ve seen in Europe, that’s not a place any western country wants to end up if it can avoid it, because our values in general do not match those of radical Islam, most visibly when it comes to the highly paternalistic nature of Islam versus our culture, the different kind of dress, and the fact there is no separation of church and state once Islam is implemented in full.

Peaceful coexistence is something of a core Kiwi value.  And by allowing the immigration of people that, once they have sufficient numbers to democratically alter the structures of our society, are duty bound to their own God to change New Zealand to one fully supportive of Islam, we too will be facing the troubles seen overseas.  

And yet, radical extreme Islam is really only a thing since the 1980s.   Before that, Islam co-existed quite well without the danger it presents to Western life.  Allowing for local problems, there wasn’t a world-wide push to start killing cartoonists, perform suicide bombings, and blow up concerts, airports and subways.

As people read my story last week, I received the full gamut of reactions.  This is normal, as among you, there will be the full range of opinions.  The “thank goodness you are doing this, there is nothing wrong with Islam” is just as dangerous a view as “there is no way any Muslim should be trusted and they all present a danger in some form”.

The truth is somewhere in the middle.   And that’s the journey that SB and I are on.   By engaging, we would like to learn about life as a Muslim in New Zealand.  Any kind of Muslim, not just the moderates we visited first.

This blog’s view has consistently been that until we fully understand the problem as a country, then taking our lessons from Europe, we need to urgently review immigration policy to ensure at a minimum we don’t allow more Muslims to immigrate to New Zealand that can potentially turn into suicide bombers and hostage takers years from now.

How can you tell the difference?  Unless our authorities can, we have to assume that by not making that distinction that some of the Muslim immigrants coming to New Zealand are already, or will become, the kind of Muslims that are a threat to our Kiwi values.

Just like we have our security services monitoring a number of people resident in New Zealand with concerns about their intentions and behaviour linked to radical Islam, our immigration policy should reflect that we do not want to make more work for the GCSB, SIS and NZ Police until we have a better handle on the situation.

What you can do is to make sure your local MPs know that’s what you expect a government to do.  It is protecting the safety and future of our citizens, our children and our grandchildren.  This isn’t racist.  This isn’t even about religion.  But it is about defence of the realm and everything we collectively hold dear.

We’ve subsequently been contacted by another Muslim, who identified as Abdullah, but I believe that’s a screen name for now.  He invited me to come see the mosque’s stall at the Otara Markets.  Unfortunately, I had a meeting to attend, but I’ll review popping over next weekend.

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Masjid at-Taqwa at the Otara Markets 16 April 2016 / Facebook

He provided a link to their congregation’s Facebook page, and emailed SB a brochure about the hijab.  He also invited me to a lecture in Glendene that night, but that was all a bit of a rush, so I chose not to go.

I did spent a considerable amount of time taking in all the information, photos and videos on the group’s Facebook page and their web site.   They also operate a YouTube channel.  They have an annual open day, and even live stream their lectures.

My first reaction was that it scared the crap out of me.  I’m just being honest here, and not wrapping it up in flowery language.

It is all so extremely foreign.  The Arabic, the religion’s own jargon, the way that they dress.   It is, literally, a culture shock.

But then I’ve also been in Italian basilica for a full Latin Mass.  And if I compare that, then those people were also dressed funny, spoke  language I can’t understand, follow ritual, and seemed to have only men standing out at the front.

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Leaving the argument about religion in a wider context aside, I realised that what was foreign (and scary) doesn’t necessarily present a threat to me.  Or you.

The Masjid at-Taqwa congregation are clearly trying to communicate outwards, rather than being secretive.  Most videos are hard to follow, and a lot of speakers are heavily accented.   But here’s an example that you can at least understand after the brief opening (prayer?).

On the web site, they invite anyone to ask questions about Islam.

If you have a look, like I did, then the culture shock may be as severe for you as it was for me.  Especially when you realise that this isn’t overseas, this is happening just a few suburbs away.

Yet if you listen to the man, and insert “God” for every time he says “Allah”, then the lesson is no different to:  Judgement is not up to you, but to God.  Do not judge, lest you be judged.

As I spend more and more time looking through the material, some of the fear of the unknown was mitigated.  I’ve listened to some of the lectures.  I’ve looked through all the photos of their events, camps and celebrations.  I’ve noticed that they ask the public to ask questions, they post their lectures (sermons) to the Internet, and they appear to want to be open to the community, rather than hide away.

But yes.

It is still a very different culture.

The biggest difference remains that throughout all the videos, the photos and the web site, I think I’ve spotted one young woman, and one older woman in a hijab.   Everything else is wall to wall men.

This is something that feels upsetting to our culture.  And yet Islam strongly holds the principle that woman and men have equal rights.  This is a conundrum that I’ll let Spanish Bride chip away at.

My objective is to get to know our Muslim New Zealanders.  Our Muslim permanent residents.  And our Muslim Kiwis, with a view to understand them, to share what I see and learn, and to get to the point where I, and hopefully you too, get better informed so we can change our current position from “all Muslims are bad for New Zealand”, to “these Muslims are bad for New Zealand”.

As a country we have a proud history of accepting all sorts of cultures, all sorts of faiths, all sorts of colours.

But we have always done so with the understanding and the social contract that those who come here want to join us in becoming “Kiwis”.  The essence of the threat we feel, much more so than the threat of a terrorist event on our own soil, is that Mulims will change our way of life to the point where we end up like western Europe.

As I said in the introductions, that’s partially mitigated by smart immigration policies:  do not import people that do not value our Kiwi culture.  And the other side of that coin is to get to know, like and support those Muslims that are very much Kiwis in the sense we all understand it.

 

– Pete

 


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  • kereru

    Pete, did they tell you that Islam strongly holds the principle that woman and men have equal rights? I don’t want to strike a discordant note, but It’s possible they were practicing taqiyya, dissimulation.

    http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/taqiyya.aspx

    And yet Islam strongly holds the principle that woman and men have equal rights.

    http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/women-worth-less.aspx

    I’m really impressed by your desire to reach out to our Muslim communities, but please be cautious about what you’re told.

    • I need to refer you back to my stated objectives

      1) influence government to review immigration policy
      2) figure out which Muslims are and will be good Kiwis

      There are TOO MANY ISSUES to get side tracked on. I don’t have the time to debate them all, nor do I have the time to solve all of the world’s problems.

      It is therefore important to me that I focus on my objectives without getting stuck on the “small stuff”. And the small stuff is of course not small at all – however.

      They’re here keruru. They are our neighbours. And if they stick to the laws of the land, there is nothing you or I can do about it.

      So FOCUS and concentrate. This isn’t some arbitrary trip where Pete goes on little trips and tells you all how nice Muslims are.

      These are law abiding, tax paying people. They are New Zealanders. Or permanent residents.

      That’s the basis of quite a challenge wouldn’t you say?

      • kereru

        I know they’re here, Pete, and I treat them as I’d treat anybody else. But the haughty looks from two of the (totally covered) women out shopping last week when I smiled at them was rather off-putting. Aren’t they glad to be here? Thankful to NZ for accepting them, as I have always been and still am after 42 years? Why the disdain?

        On the other hand, the local Muslim pharmacist is friendly, and so was a Muslim woman at the supermarket checkout I got to know. Both had headscarves on, but we were women first and our differences were not so apparent. We also have a recent Muslim convert to Christianity at our church and she is absolutely lovely, beautiful inside and out. Been at the women’s refuge a few times and has come through it all. She’s an asset to this country. Wish I could say the same about a Syrian couple I had dealings with as an ESOL teacher for the wife. But I’m not against Muslims at all, but Islam is highly problematic. And unless we know a little about their methods of argument and persuasion, we’re going to be at a disadvantage, to put it mildly.

    • bristol

      I agree. To emphasize the point, right now in the UK, there is a high
      profile murder case making considerable headlines. It would appear that a Ahmadiyya shopkeeper in Glasgow has been killed by a Sunni Muslim who
      traveled all the way from Bradford in order to carry out the deed. The
      shopkeeper’s ‘crime’? Wishing Christians a happy Easter. Further reinforcement of the animosity between mainstream Islam and the various sects can now be witnessed by further news today that top UK ‘expert’ on Islamist radicalisation, one Shiraz Maher, claims the shopkeeper was ‘not a real Muslim’.
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3544180/Top-expert-Islamist-radicalisation-investigated-saying-slain-Muslim-shopkeeper-not-real-Muslim.html
      Seems to me, when Ahmadiyya ‘ moderate Muslim’ type spokespersons generate headlines with anti-terror rhetoric, it’s being misinterpreted as moderate Muslims speaking out against Islamic terror against non-Muslims, when in fact they themselves are just as likely victims of terror by their own kind. Looking over their own shoulders, so as to speak!
      To put things in perspective, there are over 1.6 billion Muslims, 84% –
      90% are Sunni, and they believe every single word in the Qur’an to be
      the unalterable word of their god, Allah. Any deviation whatsoever
      should be, will be, punished. Furthermore, anyone who thinks the Shia’s,
      who make up 10% – 16%, are more moderate, should think again, they’re
      not – they differ from the Sunnis only inasmuch that they consider
      themselves the true followers of the ‘Prophet Mohammed’ by virtue of their belief they are descended from him through Ali, the prophet’s son-in-law married to Mohammed’s only daughter, Fatima, and their resulting offspring.
      More information here: http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/muslims-adhere-to-different-islamic-sects.html
      Steeped in internecine warfare, conquest and subjugation, Islam is bloody, and always has been since its inception: unless completely eradicated will always represent a threat to the civilised world. The big question is, which nation, or nations, are going to be brave enough to confront the evil, and more importantly, win!

  • Orange

    When I visited a mosque the Imam spent a lot of time explaining the cleansing facilities and why farting was bad. He admitted it would sound silly to me. I could only think of Matthew 15:11 “What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” All that focus on building a religion around themselves, striving to reach past their impossible to count sins, doing uncountable good works, and find their unknowable God.

    • kereru

      And Allah is not only unknowable but is capricious and cannot be known.

      • And Jaweh asked a dad to kill his son to prove his devotion to Him, while He is also all-knowing so already knew the answer.

        These are all pointless side-debates, and I am actually capable of knocking most of them down with Christian examples. Sadly, they have left centuries of bloodshed, torture and behaviour most people would call “plain evil” in their wake in the name of their God.

        So let’s stop these pointless side-swipes.

        1) they are here
        2) there are more coming

        They don’t care about your personal view of Islam and/or Mohammed while they prepare to take over the country and make it an Islamic state.

        What do you think we can DO, within our own laws, today?

  • Orca

    I have to disagree with your statement that: “….New Zealand has – so far – exactly zero incidences of radical Islam hitting out against Kiwis”. There was an alleged assasination attempt at the avondale mosque, by one muslim man against another. And you cannot qualify that by saying that he wasn’t a kiwi, because he is a kiwi, and you have also stated that we should: “like and support those Muslims that are very much Kiwis”.

    • Granted. I’ll qualify it next time by saying “on those outside the faith”.

      But it’s once again pointless to debate the minutiae and prove yourself right on something so trivial, when the bigger issues – the fact that they are here, and they are not going anywhere else – lies in front of us.

      For what it is worth, I am not sure it was an assassination attempt. I’ll look into it. If that was the case, someone would have to have been charged with that and facing court and jail time. I can’t recall any of the latter.

  • kereru

    The difference is that the full-on Latin Mass does not represent most Christian church services, especially in NZ. It’s spectacular and highly ritualistic, I agree, but the clergy wear ordinary clothes outside the basilica.

    • Today. 50 years ago, not so.

      Christianity wasn’t all that flash. I grew up in a town where protestant and catholics were segregated.

      One of the many reasons I am a Catholic on paper only is that I have an issue with most organised religions as it becomes corrupted by man. (and you know what, mostly BY men).

      • kereru

        ‘Christianity’ mightn’t be that flash, but Jesus Christ is – that’s the difference. Many organised Christian denominations, especially the so-called ‘high’ church, is very much corrupted by men. You’re right. That’s why there’s been a desire to identify with the 1st century body of believers, cutting out all the pomp and ceremony and just being part of our communities while obeying what Jesus taught.

  • iera

    In Pete’s account (April 14, 2016 at 1:00pm) of his visit with Spanisg Bride to New Zealand’s largest mosque, he mentions “This particular group of Muslims, the Ahmadiyya, also introduced the first Maori translation of the Koran.”

    and “After the tour, we sat down with the National President of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at New Zealand Inc, Iqmal Mohammed, and the General secretary as well as secretary External Affairs, Eqmal Khan for some tea and biscuits.” This mosque and those using it are Ahmadiyya.

    In this morning’s post, above, you Pete link to a website
    http://www.masjidattaqwa.co.nz/
    If you click on this website’s Search icon and enter Ahmadiyya
    you find lower down the page –
    ” • the beliefs of the Qadianis, also known as the Ahmadiyya are completely outside the fold of Islam
    • those who accept their creed are considered apostates and non-Muslims, and
    • the claim of its followers that they are Muslims is no more than an attempt to misguide and deceive.
    The Council of the Fiqh Academy also declares that it is incumbent upon Muslims - governments, scholars, writers, thinkers, preachers and all others - to oppose this heretical sect and its followers all over the world.”

    This second group who have approached you after your visit to the first are apparently very much opposed to them, the largest mosque in New Zealand.

    To which group are the Egyptian Imams coming to visit and exactly why?

    I respectfully suggest that an understanding of Islam in New Zealand may become quite complex and require considerable research to present something that will be really useful to Whaleoil readers.

    • Graham Pilgrim

      It appears to be extremely complex.

      If the Qadianis, or Ahmadiyya, are “persona non grata” as far as “greater” Islam is concerned, why are they so keen to defend Islam. Muslims all over the world are instructed to oppose this heretical sect, and its followers, so, to me, defending Islam seems to be potentially self-destroying.

      Like all religions, so much of it defies logic, and I would be treading very cautiously.

    • “I respectfully suggest that an understanding of Islam in New Zealand may become quite complex and require considerable research to present something that will be really useful to Whaleoil readers.”

      Please read elsewhere on this page on this.

      I have a very clear plan to keep the complexity out of it. But readers need to be willing to follow that plan.

      Otherwise we’ll get bogged down in side issues.

      The plan is:

      – influence government policy on immigration
      – identify those that are willing to become Kiwis, and those won’t.

      There is no need to like them, to approve of them, to invite them into your home. You may even actively dislike the whole idea.

      But doing nothing, gets you nothing.

      And if I die trying and failed, I believe it’s better than doing nothing and hoping my children will figure it out one day while hoping they don’t get blown up on one of Len’s old trains on the way to work.

  • cows4me

    I can’t understand this need to understand Islam, why ? Why not one of the many other dozens of religions in this country ? Is it because Islam has a knack of bringing the most grief down upon a country and you hope to prove they are just misunderstood? I generally live by one law, do unto others as you would wish to be treated yourself. If they pass that test fine. Perhaps when it’s all said and done you have to ask yourself would I want to be in any part of this, is this is what I would wish for my family and friends, is this religion going to make us a better people. I think you would know what my answer would be.

    • So…

      As a country, we are letting more come and live here without any screening for those that are not intent to “fit in”.

      You ok with that?

      If not, what next?

      • cows4me

        Given whats happening throughout the world when it comes to Islam I believe the people of New Zealand should have a say if they want more Muslim immigration. We seem to only get one side here and that is of the screeching liberals who would bring millions flooding in to the country. At the very least we need a referendum on wether we should be excepting more Muslim refugees, the people of NZ deserve that. There are to many examples of Muslims reaching a critical mass in a country and then it all changes, why do we have to repeat this ?

        • kereru

          Absolutely agree, and far more important that deciding on a new flag. But imagine the howling about ‘profiling’ people and ‘racism’. You can’t even get something done about a dangerous corner on the road until someone is killed. What chance of a referendum to determine where our intake of refugees should originate?

      • kereru

        Aren’t the Government claiming that refugees have been ‘robustly’ screened? Who does the screening – their fellow Muslims at the UN camps? We know that Christians have been attacked in these camps and have had to flee, so they are unlikely to be the minorities most of us would have been happy to help. Why all this secrecy? It would make things much easier if everything was out in the open.

      • rexabus

        I haven’t seen any signs that our leaders would screen any Islamic immigrants apart from ones with security alerts on from overseas and if they haven’t got past form they’re hardly likely to declare themselves rampant jihadists when dealing with our immigration officials. Anyway, as seen with the French terror attacks a lot of these guys are sons of “decent” muslim immigrants too so sometimes it’s a long and unpredictable game that’s being played out.

  • KatB

    Could it be that Radical Islam is not just a recent thing, but just a recent thing in our western world. The Middle East have been “living” their religions, in a way we’ll never understand, for hundreds of years. Maybe it’s just that Muslims have started to spread out into the world only more recently and that is why we are seeing Radical Islam, not just because it’s only just started happening.

  • Tiger

    In your course of trying to understand this religion, please can you get a balanced view by asking women in the faith what they think, preferably when they are not being watched by a male “companion.” Balance would also be achieved I believe if you included those who have left the faith. As any serious investigator would ask a relapsed Scientologist, Catholic, Presbyterian etc of both sexes. Then I might lend an ear.

    • Orca

      Another interesting question would be to ask those who had converted to islam, (other than those who married into it), why they chose to convert? (if they aren’t already fighting in Syria that is).

      • Sailor Sam

        So we could start by asking SBW, he converted, I think because of his manager being muslim.

    • “In your course of trying to understand this religion, please can you get a balanced view by asking women in the faith what they think, preferably when they are not being watched by a male “companion.” ”

      I would love to sit down with Muslim women for a long, long talk. Those who converted, those born into it, those who might want to leave but feel they cann not, and those who are actually completely happy.

      To get such conversations is going to require me to go out there and build relationships. Just a general “I’m looking for a women that will meet me for a chat about Islam” isn’t going to do it I suspect.

      Still, if any Muslim women reading this feel the calling, email me at [email protected]

      • spanishbride

        or ask Pete for my contact details if you feel more comfortable talking to a woman.

    • rua kenana

      May not be easy since some of those who left that particular “faith” may be dead. Death by beheading is the penalty for apostasy under Sharia law.

  • Dave

    In a previous role, I managed a lot of small businesses, mostly run by Muslims. Today, a LOT of our clients are Muslim, and all are really nice prople, i would feel safe to have them in my own home, and around my family.

    That said, they see things very differently. Whilst we westerers, may or may not follow a particular religion, we generally believe in upholding the rules and norms of society above our religion. For most Muslims, this is not so, their religion and religious practices come first. The businesses were supposed to be open almost 24 / 7, yet we found them closed at different times of the day so they could pray, or if they needed to take a bath for religious reasons. They did not follow western hygiene protocol, and still regard the male as head of the household, and if the male says so, thats it, the females must comply.

    We had some interesting times, it was an eye opener, but also enjoyable. My point remains, we see our societal responsibilities very differently to what they do. My caution: This is OUR country, it is run on Western Democratic lines, there will NEVER EVER be Sharia law, our legal system overrules ANY other laws and practices. And, western practices have preference over other cultures norms, practices etc etc. Many are welcome, but don’t expect us to change 100% for your old belief’s.

    • MarcWills

      I would say that many countries, especially UK, France, Brussels, Sweden, Germany would not long ago have believed your last paragraph caution too Dave – but sadly they turned out to be wrong, very wrong. Let’s not make the same mistakes.

      • “Let’s not make the same mistakes.”

        Exactly.

        That’s the driver behind this Whaleoil project. And “Whaleoil” believes that to mitigate the problem, we must first try and ensure the critical mass of Muslim immigration doesn’t put us in the same spot. So, 1) we need to change immigration policy that is sensitive to long term security issues. And 2) we have “a few” here already. They deserve a chance to become Kiwis, just like Dutch, the Indians, the Fijians, the Americans and the French.

        “Let’s not make the same mistakes.”

        I saw what we were doing up to this point, and I didn’t see that as a constructive way to achieve that.

        I’m open to other ideas. But we can’t round them up in Aotea Square and shoot them all in batches. Part of being a Kiwi is that we are looking for a solution that is also very Kiwi in its pragmatism.

        – Immigration reform
        – Embrace Muslims that are “our kind of people”.

        • roblin

          Hi Pete,
          Need to add one more task. How to deal with the left wing socialists which I think much bigger threat to our society now.

          • I think Whaleoil has been dealing with that issue for over ten years. Just because we added another project does not change the course of what this blog is about.

    • Just as a mind experiment, imagine sufficient amount of Maori to adopt Islam as their faith. And then use the Treaty to get Sharia Law through. They already have and receive different standards of law than non-Maori now.

      • Intrigued

        Its a very real possibility – sadly and one we should keep our eyes, ears and minds open to. It would lead to the undoing of the relatively peaceful co-existence we share today as a predominantly (at this point anyway) bi-cultural society.

        • iera

          The Treaty at the moment stipulates “one law for all” (the protection of the Queen thing) and we do not have a parallel Maori system, so it would be rather hard for an even less customary law (Sharia) to be recognized.

          • There are two standards. The one that’s defined on paper, and the one that exists in real life. Maori are not treated like non-Maori in Law (positively, or negatively).

            You may believe otherwise, which is your right, but numerous examples can be given. One: when Maori are caught driving without a licence, they were (perhaps no longer, since it was made public) put through a Maori-only process that wasn’t available to non-Maori.

            But let’s be careful and not go off the track too far.

          • Dave

            Very well put Pete, now I wonder, how I would get on presenting my Ticket for driving without a license to the manauku Police Station, and explaining…….. I’m part Maoriori. One law for all aye.

            ataahua nui מספיק הוגן عادل بما يكفي eadil bma yakfi

            haki ya kutosha

        • Isherman

          It’s real enough that people such as David Rankin have spoken on it, and the position taken by people such as Te Amorangi Kireka- Whaanga who take exactly the view that Maori Nationalism can be advanced by the Tino movement which they see as a legitimate form of jihad, is proof that however small the threat may be, it’s wrong to say it doesn’t exist, and the Maori that were being converted in prisons, were generally not being visited by the like of the Ahmadiyya’s.

      • Sailor Sam

        That is a different argument, when the TOW was signed, maori hd no foreign faiths(s), they lived by their own rules.
        Invoking sharia law by any future maori is as stupid as claiming they have air/space rights from NZ to the moon.

  • Eiselmann

    There are good muslims and bad muslims just as there are good and bad Christians.. We shouldn’t judge a belief based on the behaviour of a single person who follows it ,as if they represent all others with a similar understanding of the world.

    Rather we should judge based on ‘the figurehead/inspiration ‘ without Jesus there is no Christianity, without Muhammed there is no Islam.

    Muhammed was a pedofile , war mongering, lair and deceiver ,not exactly the role model for an inclusive peaceful way off life. In my mind if you believe Muhammed was a good man and an example of how to live your life , then you are a danger to the rest of us, if you don’t believe he was a good man and an example to follow then you really can’t be a muslim.

    I don’t know any Christians who regard Jesus as a war mongering pedo and I daresay if they did , they’d quickly stop referring to themselves as Christains.

    • And yet they are here. As your neighbours. As your shop keepers. As your colleagues.

      You think it’s better to pull up the drawbridge and just hope for the best?

      While government immigration policy allows in more people, the quality of which remains unknown to us in a general sense?

      Just sit in a dark room with the blanket pulled over our heads and hope we personally won’t get affected?

      Hopefully our children and grandchildren will find a way to dig themselves out of a Paris of Brussels if it comes to that point?

      • Eiselmann

        HI Pete, I worked with a Muslim guy from Afghanistan, he got me into Basketball , particularly the NBA which i had mostly ignored before, he was smart articulate and looking at him you would think he was quite intergrated into western culture…yet he was also easily offended by anything that impacted on his faith, demanded and got concessions from a major NZ company about who he reported to, since his manager was a female…often attacked my own faith but screamed foul if I defended it.

        He like many Muslims who believe Mohammed is an inspirational good guy can appear a decent sort and I daresay many who call themselves Muslims are ,(as per your own recent experience) yet as I said without Mohammed there is no Islam if they reject his words and deeds or are selective of those words and deeds how can they be Muslim?

        Me I’m all for controlled immigration , we could do with some good people but I do beleive we need to be selective and be protective of our society and certainly believe that too many tolerate the intolerable when it comes to immigration because their sensitivity courses tell them to.

        The biggest fear I have for the future of this country (besides not destroying gangs) is the fear that we continue to import a problem that will see Auckland turn into Dearborn or Hamilton become Bradford(istan) in fifty years time.

        I’m a Christian , if I found out Jesus lead an army that converted by the sword and was a pedofile I’d say my faith would be shaken so much that I would cease to call myself a Christian, if a ‘Muslim’ feels the same about Mohammed then surely they reject his words actions and teachings thereby ceasing to be a follower of Islam…I just wish they would be honest enough to admit it.

        • Thanks for that.

          I believe the lessons from Europe are clear.

          And unless we get proactive at trying to influence our law makers to start protecting our way of life through implementing the best government policy, things will progress as the have in Europe.

          Added: And BECAUSE we are Kiwis, we also have a strong sense of social justice, so we do not want to tar all Muslims already here with the same brush.

          • Sailor Sam

            But we may not want to tar them with the same brush, but until they renounce violence and terrorism themselves, we are deluding ourselves.

      • Orca

        You ask if it’s better to pull up the drawbridge and hope for the best while government lets more refugees in. What a way to contradict yourself in a couple of sentences! If we pull up the drawbridge, then by definition, that specifically excludes letting more in, and therefore, without possible question, does keep us safe. You have already given up before we try.

        • Metaphorically, I mean us. You and me, and the other readers of Whaleoil. As in, we refuse to do anything about what is happening now and hope it will turn out right while we continue just calling all Muslims unworthy of life in this country.

          • Orca

            OK, that wasn’t what I thought you meant. When I think of “pulling up the drawbridge” it means to stop allowing anymore into the castle, i.e in this case to stop them at immigration.

            Muslims all around the world have been critcising and attacking the western world with the rhetoric that “you can’t build a fortress”. What they mean really is, no matter how you try and stop us, we will conquer you! The lefties totally agree and throw open the castle gates, the muslims win again.

            I challenge the whole argument that “you can’t build a fortress”, that to me is already a declaration of war (you can’t stop us). It confirms that they see it as an attack, and we must defend ourselves. Fortress it must be.

          • We are in a unique position in the world

            1) island nation
            2) far away from most places
            3) Muslim immigration has not reached ‘critical mass’
            4) There is time to learn from Europe
            5) there is time to implement policy preventing the same thing here

            I don’t want to pull up the drawbridge. I want to make sure we only let people over the bridge that we feel are genuinely going to commit to a Kiwi values life style.

            And in the case of Islam, that’s a tough ask. Which is why it hurts my head to think we let more in as a matter of cause.

            Even going the way we are now, we may escape Europe’s problems simply because there are different geopolitical forces at work over there.

            But personally I wouldn’t want to bet my future on it.

          • Orca

            Exactly! Britain 30-40 years ago bet it’s future on it, they lost.

          • Mark

            I think for this to happen we actually need a proper constitution which enshrines “kiwi values” in law. Something akin to the US constitution but that can’t be changed as easily. Otherwise one day a simple majority in parliament could lead to us becoming a “muslim” country if enough come here.

    • J Ryan

      In regard to Muhammad being a paedophile, it was normal practice amongst the population to take young brides. It was normal in this time and age. Yes he was deceitful, cruel, war mongering. He was just a man and nothing more.

    • thesilentmajority

      But maybe, just maybe the good Muslims are actually being bad Muslims and the bad Muslims are actually being good Muslims!

  • Bud

    “And yet, radical Islam is really only a thing since the 1980s. Before that, Islam co-existed quite well without the danger it presents to Western life. ”

    What? I guess if you ignore everything after Mohamed conquered Mecca up until 1980 you could say that. That is a massive chunk of world history to ignore which includes the Ottoman Empire, the Barbary Pirates, the Munich massacre of 1972 etc etc etc etc etc, but sure, without all that everything was peachy…

    • Crusades. Dark ages. Inquisition. Witch burning.

      Pot, kettle, black.

      • Bud

        The subject is whether islamic violence existed before 1980.

        • That your subject. My subject is if Islamist Extremism as we understand it today existed before 1980.

          There is a clear dividing line of the types of violent extremism we see today and times when that didn’t exist. It didn’t exist during the 60s. Nor the 70s. Nobody talks about Extreme Islam as it pertains to WWI or WWII.

          I’m not saying that Islam has not been violent over the last 3000 years up to 1980. And I think you know that very well.

          • Intrigued

            The words you actually used were “radical Islam”. “Islamist Extremism” in the form we see today may be a recent post-1980s phenomenon but its genesis as “radical Islam” is in the Asharite/Sunni teachings of al-Ghazali from the 11th century and there was nothing moderate about it. See my post above. You can’t really ignore the ultimate goal of Islam either – which is to convert the whole world to its ideology – and if not by choice by force and submission. Sadly there is no getting away from that reality and until there is a renaissance in Islam like what happened to the Christian church after the Dark Ages it doesn’t bode well for the future for all of us. I’m all for giving a voice for and supporting the moderate Muslims and the sects that profess and demonstrate peaceful co-existence.

          • Ok, granted. What I said and what I meant were different things. I’ll make sure I will be more precise next time.

          • Intrigued

            Easily done. Some refer to those who ascribe to what we call “radical” as “conservative” or “traditionalists” and following the al-Ghazali philosophy and in that sense they are not modern, but their predominant view in Islam has certainly given rise to the fervent push for a worldwide caliphate and the rise of the modern day violent “extremism” or “jihadism” today. It’s all the same but I get what you were saying about the post-1980s style of extremism in the name of Islam.

          • IKIDUNOT

            A ‘little bit’ of knowledge if often worse than no knowledge at all. In this stage of your ‘journey’ it is probably wise to avoid ‘big statements’. Still, do appreciate your journey as such.

          • I find that dispiriting. This is a forum where we make each other sharper by discussion and feedback. And if I want to say something, I will say it.

            This isn’t about me writing perfect prose. This is about a process. So please, let’s stick to the objective, and let’s not worry about being wrong.

            Nothing wrong with being wrong. Our collective knowledge is ironing it out, and my language will improve because of it.

          • Bud

            So when you said:

            “radical Islam is really only a thing since the 1980s”

            what you meant was:

            “Islamist Extremism as we understand it today (never) existed before 1980.”

            Yes, clearly I am at fault for taking your statement literally, I should have divined your undefined definition. Regardless, even with your newly evolved statement I fail to see a difference in tactics, motivations, and objectives of the PLO Munich massacre of 1972 and the recent islamist attacks in Germany.

      • MoggieManiac

        For a few facts about the Crusades and Jihad, this is the best 5 minute video I have seen.
        https://youtu.be/I_To-cV94Bo

  • Eiselmann

    My understanding , when the term ‘innocents’ is used , that its not the blanket coverage of those who died that we would use when referring to innocents.

    Allah made the world , every part of it is his and there is only one true faith , those who reject the word of Allah as given to his prophet are a corruption, , corruption can not be innocent.

    Therefore the word ‘innocents’ certainly refers to true believers who may have died…the rest of us, not so much.

  • Intrigued

    I applaud the initiative to get to know the moderate and peaceful Muslims (of whichever sect they belong to) living in our society here in NZ and to better understand and maintain open dialogue with them. I don’t ascribe to the view that all Muslims are bad or terrorists either. Ignorance often breeds baseless fear. But like Dave has pointed out below – they do think differently. You also shouldn’t forget about taqiyya either. Islam and their practice of their religion comes before all else. It is that, which will (with sufficient numbers) threaten our society, rule of law and way of life in NZ.

    I take issue with your statement that “radical Islam is really only a thing since the 1980s”. Sure its visibility in modern Western society in Europe, the US and Australia is relatively recent. But historically, the beliefs that are now being fervently pushed by Daesh and the various sects that impose the Sharia in its acute forms actually dates back to the 9th Century when the Asharites and rival sect Mutazalites engaged in bloody wars and philosophical disputes over the purpose of God, the Quran (whether it was simply created at that time or revealing the word of Allah). The Asharites who believed in the Quran as the revealed word of Allah became the dominant force for Islam and out the window went all reason and cause and effect for the majority of Islamic sects the world over – ever since. Their much revered imam al-Ghazali (d 1111) considered “reason” to be the enemy of Islam and to be a good Muslim you must demonstrate unquestioning submission to the “will” of Allah. With no cause and effect or reason, everything that happens – including that suicide bomber that murders hundreds of people in a busy market – does it because it is the will of Allah. This philosophy also extended to jurisprudence and the law. When the predominant Islamic view of Islam was that of the Mutazalites (c.7th-10th centuries) the interpretation of law was subject to study and amendment (ijtihad) and they were able to adapt the teachings of the Quran to the reality of Muslim societies at that time. Unfortunately, under al-Ghazali’s Asharite/Sunni philosophy; as he put it, “the gate of ijtihad is closed” and he forbade new interpretations of the law. This is what Sunni maintain and have done since the 11th and 12th century and they have been the dominant sect in Islam the world over – ever since. What was considered halal or haram in Cairo or Baghdad back then is what must be imposed today under Sharia. Modern day examples of this “radical” view of Islam are common before the 1980s. Think of Lebanon – a modern and thriving westernized society enjoying a democracy until the war in the 70s when the Muslims outnumbered non-Muslim. Think of the 1948 war in Israel. Going further back – think of the Gates of Vienna and the Muslim invasions into Europe. Islam’s domination of the world as a goal is not the preserve of the 21st century jihadist and we mustn’t forget that this started all the way back with Mohammed himself. There’s nothing radical about this view at all when its 1400 years old.

  • It is my intention that at some stage we will open up some Q&A or AMA type process. But it is too early for that now.

  • Brad

    This mosque is nothing to worry about, but only because they don’t read and interpret the Koran literally. In fact I’d go as far as to say that ISIS and Daesh are closer to being ‘true Muslims’ than these moderate ones, as they follow the Koran word for word… Left-whingers will argue that Islamic terrorists and members of ISIS have been radicalised, when really they are just doing what the Koran tells them to do.

  • Orca

    Sorry to sound so cynical, but to be honest now, and despite great intentions, do you sincerely believe that 3 people from whaleoil, talking to a handful of muslims in New Zealand, are going to achieve what no one else has been able to achieve in the last 1500 or so years? You don’t think that every country in Europe for example, hasn’t thought to sit down with the muslims for a cup of tea? Britain did, Germany did, they have had plenty of chats over the years. They are now all unanimously screwed.

    • Everything that humanity has ever done has started off with one person. One idea. People always think “but what can I do?”. Well, Hitler managed, as did Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Peter the Great (had to put that one in ;), Hannibal and Caesar.

      I’m not here to solve the world’s problems.

      I am however here to try and protect the New Zealand I love, and I one day leave behind for my children, in a state that I feel is better than where we are heading if we do nothing.

      If we try and fail, we tried and failed. If we don’t do anything at all, it will be up to others to try.

      In the end, someone has to do something.

      Whaleoil does have access to ears and minds. We have the ability to get people thinking, people talking. Of that there is no doubt.

      It is my wish that collectively we can stop sounding like the world is going to end, take a reasonable assessment of the situation and the potential threat to our way of life, and then set to influence those that do have the power to make a difference: politicians, legislators and bureaucrats.

      • Orca

        Hitler was killed, after huge effort, because he wanted to do precisely what muslims want to do first, exterminate the jews. Gandhi was assassinated because of tensions between Islam and various other religions, because people thought he was being too accommodating to Islam. Yes, even Gandhi died because of Islam. The others were way too early to be involved.

        My concern is that you seem to be taking exactly the same line that has failed before, i.e “surely we can all just work this out over a cuppa”. That has been tried for one and a half Millenia, it failed, move along people. We need a new strategy, and it must be a strategy of defence. You can’t fight what is clearly a massive attack, with a cup of tea.

        • If you continue to drag the conversation sideways, I have no use for you here.

          My objectives have been clearly stated, it is you that’s putting up side issues, then when I address them, try to use those to drag the conversation away from where it has been clearly defined.

          – one person can’t make a difference? yes one person can. negative or positive wasn’t the point
          – you can’t talk about stuff you don’t know about. we all do, and we all start off from a position of knowing nothing
          – you can’s solve the worlds problems. not trying to
          – Islam is (bad), you shouldn’t even accept any of it. that doesn’t solve our own problem, or, tell me a better way
          – you shoud/should’t. and what have you done/ are you doing?
          – whaleoil has no influence. ok. then who cares what we are wasting our own time?

          To repeat

          – change immigration to this country to filter out those that wish us harm
          – to embrace Muslim New Zealanders who are “our kind of people”

          • J Ryan

            The culture, their beliefs and devotion to the Koran and the inability to mesh into the population makes this a hard call. It means we have to adapt to their way of doing things in our lands. They demand segregation in swimming pools. Its just the start. I mean you are in our house and you don’t want to bath with us? . I can and do relate to many various cultures. They all came here with their own distinct culture and over time it blends into being Kiwi. But Islam is so committed to their Koran, full of such violence and in all truth is very effective to keep there followers under control. The sad thing is they fall for it, twisting reality and suppressing millions to a life that will never let them gain their full potential.

          • The Old Testament is full of violence, anger and spite. Lot of killing and smiting going on. Not to mention banishing and punishing.

            Point: The books alone doesn’t form the basis for writing off the whole religion.

            (and my position, as you may recall, is that almost all religion is corrupted)

          • kereru

            With respect, the OT battles are historical accounts of events around 5000 years ago and mostly to do with the Israelite conquest of Canaan. They are purely descriptive of a time and a situation, not prescriptive, as is Islamic teaching on jihad. The book in Islam contains something like 150 verses mandating violence towards non-Muslims. That most Muslims ignore them does not invalidate them. You will not find anything like that in the Bible.

          • rexabus

            i don’t think any of our leaders are prepared to put up that sort of filter and I don’t believe any immigrant who has potentially dangerous beliefs is going to declare it at our border. Some of the recent European terrorists were sons of decent integrated muslims so who’s to say who will work out ok. There’s a rogue percentage in any muslim population who go berserk and what the stats show us is the greater the muslim population, the greater the chances of bad stuff happening. If it’s not terrorism then through force of numbers it’ll be pushing at our beliefs and free and easy way of living. It’s the nature of this religion – trouble follows it in some form or another. Nz is a beautiful special little country but I find it hard to believe even with our unique blend of cultures and egalitarianism that it could withstand this religions followers establishing a large population here

          • “i don’t think any of our leaders are prepared to put up that sort of filter and I don’t believe any immigrant who has potentially dangerous beliefs is going to declare it at our border. ”

            You may well be right.

            Any other ideas?

          • kereru

            A good start would be a movement to insist that the NZ Government choose refugees who will be most likely to appreciate living in NZ – the majority of whom are Christians in today’s world. Japan gets away without censure and it accepts very few refugees of any persuasion. It is hard to gain citizenship in Japan. Let us start to use Japan as our model. After all, who is controlling NZ and making the decisions for us? The UN?

            Furthermore, we need to be able to revoke citizenship for acts endangering our security, and re-introduce the Law of Sedition under urgency to enable us to do so. We could also look at having a longer probation period before granting citizenship in the first place. It’s all very well claiming it is sworn under oath – but an oath that can be ridiculed as unIslamic is no oath at all.

  • MoggieManiac

    Redeye, I have read many times in articles about Islam that the only “innocents” are Muslim. If you are not a Muslim then you are not innocent and therefore killing you is not forbidden.

  • kereru

    Pete: ‘The plan is:
    – influence government policy on immigration
    – identify those that are willing to become Kiwis, and those won’t.
    These are law abiding, tax paying people. They are New Zealanders. Or permanent residents. That’s the basis of quite a challenge wouldn’t you say?’

    A very great challenge, I agree. You have to get inside the head of a multi-headed hydra, which is no mean task.. Many have spent their professional lives trying to get to grips with the complexity of Islam, and its effect on different peoples who live under its domination. There is still no consensus on how to tackle the problem of Islamic immigrants in Western nations. Communication has to be a two-way street, but that is not happening except on the smiling surface. It’s usually a one-way street of demand and concession, demand and concession, in slow increments. Today swimming pool concessions – fine! Prayer time concession – er okay. Sharia court for marriage problems – you sure? Well, I guess it can’t hurt, it’s only something like counselling.

    One of the difficulties (and there are many) is that the Qur’an is utterly contradictory, its text opaque and confusing. All we can realistically do is to draw on the scholarship of those who have lived in the ME, speak Arabic and have studied Islam great depth and detail. The various schools of thought are also in disagreement with each other, but when quotes are given from the Qur’an, Hadith and Sira, how can the layperson dispute them? Those Muslims who could possibly be nominal either don’t know the Qur’an or are ignoring it. But that could change tomorrow if they hear some inflammatory rhetoric from the latest Imam.

    As you know, Islam is an all-encompassing political ideology which is totally dominant in a Muslim’s life. If they are saturated in Quranic teaching they can no more understand what it means to be a true Kiwi than fly. They might be law abiding, pleasant people, hospitable and good company, but I would not like to have to decide who is going to be loyal to this country and who is not on that basis alone. I would surmise that Muslim professionals with wives who are not wearing head coverings are the best bet. Meanwhile, I would suggest a moratorium on Muslim immigration until we can get to grips with those we already have. Perhaps it’s time we asked them to compromise a little in order to integrate with the majority of New Zealanders and see where that gets us.

    I wish I could say with hand on heart that ‘they are New Zealanders’ when we have no insight into what they really think about us. That’s why I am cautious about taking them on face value without understanding their cultural and religious obligations to obfuscate and deceive their non-Muslim neighbours. It’s an intractable problem which I wish we did not have to deal with. I take my hat off to you and SB for trying, but you will need to have your red flag antennae well tuned.

    Apologies for long post but I love this country and its people to bits.

  • thesilentmajority

    Pete, I know you care about womens rights but not as much as is needed when confronted with Islam. Your posts are rapidly turning me off reading this blog. For example “The biggest difference remains that throughout all the videos, the photos and the web site, I think I’ve spotted one young woman, and one older woman in a hijab. Everything else is wall to wall men.

    This is something that feels upsetting to our culture.” FEELS upsetting?? That is too much of an understatement, please treat womens rights more seriously than that. It doesn’t feel upsetting, it IS hugely upsetting! And you say “And yet Islam strongly holds the principle that woman and men have equal rights.” I didn’t read that in the Koran that I read. I must have read the wrong one. And so must have Ayaan Hirsi Ali and the other ex Muslim women who speak out.

    • Abdullah

      If Islam oppresses women, why there are more Women reverting to Islam than Men? Have a look at the couple of the videos here. Why someone like Jamie chooses Islam when she was at the pinnacle of American dream?

      Have a good night guys!

      • thesilentmajority

        They are not reverting. They are converting.

    • I care about human rights. And perversely, I care about the right of anyone to choose to follow Islam. Or any other faith, life system.

      However, when we look at Europe, we can see that they have a problem where Islam and non-Islam isn’t getting on under certain circumstances.

      If I am to have any kind of meaningful engagement with Muslims, I must at least treat them with respect. And that includes not walking in with bottom lines and demands.

      As someone pointed out, what on earth am I hoping to achieve? And as someone else pointed out, do I really think I can solve problems that the rest of the world have not been able to?

      I’ve more or less invited myself over for a cuppa. You don’t go into their place and tell them how it’s done.

      I understand that readers may have specific issues that they feel strongly about, such as women under Islam. And that’s a significant issue. But that is minor when we compare to potentially filling the country up and heading to a future like Europe.

      The focus is on the bigger objective, and if you think I’m doing a disservice to women by parking that sideways for the moment, then I can’t help that.

      Spanish Bride is also working on this, as a woman, as a feminist. As Team Whaleoil this is approached at a number of levels.

      But I am about to enter a highly paternal environment, and if I do so as a feminist demanding and denouncing, there will be a lesser chance of a conversation that can be anywhere near meaningful.

      And if, after some time, I find that none of the conversations are meaningful, I can assure you I’ll stop.

      The objective remains the same
      – alter immigration policy to ensure we do not allow people in that do not plan to integrate as Kiwis
      – discover Muslims that have integrated as Kiwis and embrace them.

  • kereru

    Of course, in Islam even the word ‘martyr’ has been altered from it’s true meaning. A martyr, correctly understood, is a person who voluntarily chooses death as the penalty of refusing to renounce their faith. Islam twists the word as being the one who kills himself while killing non-Muslims. That is the only way of attaining Allah’s approval – but even that depends upon the mood he is in when you face him.

    I think of the estimated 100,000 child soldiers who were sent to ‘clear’ minefields during the Iran-Iraq war. All were given a plastic key to heaven to hang around their necks. We should call it what it is – sheer barbarism.

  • Abdullah

    Hi everyone – all of you have great question(s) but if I were to reply to all of them, I may still be sitting in front of this desktop until tomorrow morning. Fortunately, others have compiled an app trying to put the common Q+A with regards to Islam. If anyone here interested to delve a little bit about Islam and read the Quran, please have a look at this app – “Donate Quran”

    Android – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.donatequran

    iOS – https://appsto.re/gb/669Aab.i

    • kereru

      Do you accept the Ahmadiyya as true Muslims?

  • rexabus

    To me, there is no way around the fact that islam is a virus or parasite that the tolerant western spirit may try to embrace and welcome but once installed and secure will attempt to overthrow its host society. I’ll keep reading whaleoil but concerns me that whaleoil may be contributing some handy public relations quite necessary for islam to penetrate and secure its position in its host country.

    • Scary, isn’t it?

      So I ask you what I have asked others? What do you propose?

      There are law abiding, tax paying citizens and permanent residents.

      You can’t round them up. Some are even born here.

      Right now, without “my help”, it is what it is. In the sense that no matter how much you or I are uncomfortable about it, our current government (and the ones before) are not making kind of distinction and letting anyone in that meets the immigration requirements, including those that follow Islam to a degree where it is incompatible with Kiwi Values.

      So let’s say Whaleoil “does nothing”.

      Where does that get us?

      Whaleoil’s objectives are

      – Influence immigration policy so Muslims that are a threat to our values are no longer allowed to come here
      – discover which Muslims, already here, that share our Kiwi values and embrace them rather than isolate and vilify them.

      As for

      ” I’ll keep reading whaleoil…”

      We had the same thing around Marriage Equality. Remember this blog pushed for Marriage Equality and a fair number of our readers were less than impressed.

      Don’t read “me”, if it helps. Or don’t read “Whaleoil”.

      I know this is scary. How do you think I feel?

      • rexabus

        Yep, I know. Good on you for trying to engage with it. Perhaps it is better to do that than continue being stuck in the frustrating catch 22 situation our leaders seem to want to put us in with this

  • kereru

    Any other ideas?

    Pete, a good start would be to demand that the NZ Government choose refugees who will be most likely to appreciate living in NZ – the majority of whom are Christians in today’s troubled world, many of whom face being wiped out. Japan gets away without censure and it accepts very few refugees of any persuasion. It is hard to gain citizenship in Japan. Let us start to use Japan as our model. After all, who is controlling NZ and making the decisions for us? The UN?

    Furthermore, we need to be able to revoke citizenship for acts endangering our security, and re-introduce the Law of Sedition under urgency to enable us to do so. We could also look at having a longer probation period before granting citizenship in the first place. It’s all very well claiming it is sworn under oath – but an oath that can be ridiculed as unIslamic is no oath at all.

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