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.
But then he starts digressing.
But in the wake of the U.S. election, it seems to be even more important to reaffirm our commitment not to stand by as some people fan the fires of hatred to suit their own purposes.
And there is significant evidence coming out of the U.S. of verbal and physical attacks on Muslims, Latinos and other minorities in the weeks since Donald Trump successfully completed his vitriolic campaign for the Presidency.
Well actually, that statement belies the overall hate crime statistics, which show that Jews are grossly disproportionately targeted.
The world will always have those with hate-filled opinions of others. But when people in positions of some authority – the imam, the bishop or the presidential candidate – use inflammatory language and spread insinuations and lies about other people, it legitimises and emboldens those disturbed individuals who share those opinions.
I wonder if the Green Party would equally apply this to the inflammatory language of Marama Davidson when she joined the ship of fools attempting to break the Gaza blockade. Surely “Israeli Occupation Forces”, “kidnap”, “hostage”, and “siege” is language that is inflammatory. Or is the mirror that the Green Party looks into one with a rose tint?
At least they have made a public comment and acknowledged the harm that can come from unbalanced rhetoric. Will Labour follow suit?
– Green party