I spent a lot of last week with New Zealanders who are former refugees, migrants and followers of the Islamic faith. It was a week like no other.

So, are none of the refugees that we are helping Christian? Why is that? They are the ones most persecuted and in need of our help. Why was the refugees’ religion even mentioned? Shouldn’t she be talking about the different races we are helping since she is the RACE Relations Commissioner?

After a gunman opened fire in a crowded gay nightclub in Orlando murdering more than 50 people, Muslim Kiwi leaders moved quickly, issuing a joint statement with my colleague, Human Rights Commissioner and LGBTI rights advocate Richard Tankersley. Together they condemned hatred, homophobia and intolerance.

Why on earth was a Race Relations Commissioner involved in this? Islam is not a race – it has nothing to do with race and everything to do with an ideology that is extremely dangerous for our gay community. Homosexuality is punishable by death in only Muslim countries. To condemn homophobia and intolerance is to ignore that Islam has no tolerance for homosexuals at all. In fact, intolerance is too weak a term to describe what Islam has for homosexuals.

Some Christians are intolerant of gays but their intolerance runs only skin deep as was demonstrated by a self-described homophobe recently. He didn’t renounce homophobia and intolerance. He grabbed Milo Yiannopoulos (a gay journalist) and kissed him in public, saying at the same time, “F you Islam!” Even a Christian homophobe knows who the real danger is to the gay community and it is not people like him.

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They did so because even though no one really knew the gunman’s motivations, some people – like NZ First leader Winston Peters and US President hopeful Donald Trump – want us to think that we need to fear refugees, migrants and followers of the Islamic faith. They want us to believe that people coming to live here are more likely to break our laws, even though this is not borne out by the statistics. These hysterical claims are more about drama and less about data.

Seriously Susan? There is so much data available showing what happens to a country once the Islamic population increases that only a person deliberately blind would be unaware of it. We don’t fear refugees and migrants and followers of the Islamic faith. You are deliberately playing dumb saying that. Why can’t you spell out the truth? We only fear Islamic cultural and religious values held by exclusively Muslim refugees and migrants. We have no concerns about non-Muslim migrants and refugees.

A relative of mine is a Syrian migrant who has lived in New Zealand for decades. She is a very compassionate person and invited a fellow Syrian into her home who was new to New Zealand. He paid no rent because she wanted to help him. He repaid her with violence and threats. She feared for her safety and had to change the locks and move out. He was Muslim and his attitude toward women was very different to the attitudes of non-Muslim Syrians whom she has helped over the years.

When politicians demand that refugees salute our flag and culture, their cries make me angry. They’ve obviously never been to the Mangere Refugee Centre where our newest Kiwis cry their eyes out when they proudly sing the national anthem in te reo and in English or when their youngsters burst on to the stage to perform a waiata and a haka.

Yes, and Susan has obviously never read about the many Muslims refusing to salute the American flag, or sing the national anthem in school. She must be blind to the many articles from Europe where teachers report Muslim students cheering when there has been a terrorist attack and refusing to observe a minute of silence for those slaughtered. She must have missed the many articles where Muslims have demanded halal school dinners to the point where pork is removed from the menu altogether even though they are the minority in the school. She must have missed the many cases where Muslim criminals have refused to stand for a judge in court, or follow dress regulations when employed. More importantly, she must be blind and deaf to not have noticed the rape epidemic in Europe, and the sexual segregation in Germany in trains and swimming pools in an attempt to protect German women for sexual abuse and rape.

*Trigger WARNING: Muslim culture is inferior to our culture.

I used to feel uncomfortable saying that but now I realise that we have to be prepared to tell the truth no matter who it offends because it is the only way to protect the culture of equality and democracy that we treasure here in the west. Muslims who are ‘progressive’ are progressive because they have taken on some of the values of the West. Our culture is a very, very good one. Our culture not only treats people well, it is conducive to peace and prosperity.

Towards the end of the week while I was walking to Parihaka with Andrew Judd and others on the Taranaki Peace March, news came through from the UK that a British MP who regularly stood up for the human rights of migrants and refugees had been murdered by a man who allegedly shouted “Britain first!” before stabbing and shooting her.

When a Muslim terrorist attributes his actions to Islam and ISIS, Susan says his motives are unknown and calls him a gunman, refusing to even acknowledge that he is Muslim but, when a news report that has since been dismissed as incorrect (he didn’t yell Britain First), she chooses to believe immediately that the attack was because the dead politician helped refugees even though there is no evidence to support this claim.

Needless to say, New Zealand’s British community leaders have not made a public statement condemning his extremist, violent actions. Neither are any of our politicians calling for all British people to be screened before they enter New Zealand – even though the overwhelming majority of migrants on work visas are coming here from the United Kingdom and Europe not China or India.

That is an incredibly nonsensical comparison to make. Why would they? Britain’s community leaders do not have as part of British law a death penalty for politicians who support refugees and migrants. They do not teach hatred or ‘intolerance’ of politicians who help refugees or migrants. There is no need for them to make a statement saying that they are progressive poms and do not follow British law to the letter.

However, this past week has made me feel very proud to be a New Zealander as thousands of Kiwis and scores of NGOs have taken to the streets and to social media to continue to remind us of our own humanity. Standing up for others when no one else will, demanding that others less fortunate than ourselves get a fair go, embracing ethnic diversity and not being scared of it: these are New Zealand values.

When our grandchildren look back in years to come, my hope is that they immediately recognise that these things represent our identity as New Zealanders.

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I stand up for our gay community, Susan. I stand up for our New Zealand culture of equal rights for women and for our democratic laws. I do not feel proud that we are not helping those most persecuted by Islam. Where are all the Atheist and Christian refugees whom we are helping? Islam is the oppressor and gays, children, women, Christians and Jews are its victims. Maybe one or two sects of Islam are peaceful but the majority sects are not. It is way past time that we had compassion for their victims: the people we should be putting all of New Zealand’s limited resources into helping. The race will remain the same, only the ability for them to assimilate into our culture will change. You are the RACE Relations Commissioner, NOT the Religious Commissioner. It is time you realised that.