The Truth Behind the Avondale Mosque Stand-off


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Recent NZ Herald articles have done a good job at scaremongering the New Zealand public into believing that the Avondale Mosque has been preaching ‘jihadi’ sentiment and extremism. As a member of the Avondale mosque congregation, I feel compelled to give the other side of the news, the side that the right-leaning NZ Herald has failed to give.

If the saying “cut the nose to spite the face” could be associated with any religious group then it surely is Muslims. Many followers of Islam are letting the religion down throughout the world. Take note that I make a deliberate distinction between Islam and Muslims.

The BBC TV series Citizen Khan gives an unfortunate but accurate description of people that run many mosques in immigrant communities around the world. The protagonist of Citizen Khan spends his time asserting his status as a “community leader” in an almost comic manner, with no real substance to his leadership. He expects that the community will automatically give him respect without the knowledge, compassion and concern for others that leaders should exhibit. People like Citizen Khan are mainly from the Indian Sub-Continent and have the assumption that their brand of Islam is the only legitimate form of Islamic practice.

This lack of appreciation of diversity is the root of the problem at Avondale mosque and the underlying reason for the headlines the conflict has attracted in the last couple of weeks.

The New Zealand Muslim Association (NZMA) was founded by mainly Indian migrants. My own great grandfather was one of its founding members and in the late 1950s contributed to building the first mosque in the country in Ponsonby. The NZMA has three branches, Ponsonby, Ranui and Avondale. Their historic and valuable contribution to our community has been overshadowed by the recent harmful actions of the association.

Four years ago a local member of Avondale mosque stood to be elected as the chairman of the mosque with plans of offering free Quran classes against a group who wanted to build a $4 million mosque. Two years after winning the election he had cleared the debt of that mosque and stood for re-election. At this point he was overthrown and a group unpopular with the local community was put in his place by the NZMA. Two months later this group was also overthrown causing the tensions between Avondale mosque and NZMA to increase.

Because NZMA officially ‘owns’ the mosque, they took it upon themselves to threaten and intimidate key people within the local administrative committee with trespass notices if they stood up to the NZMA.

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Two years ago they created a new committee at the AGM which was meant to resolve all such issues. However, after the chairman took stress leave, NZMA appointed one of their own as the caretaker to fill his place despite the convention that this position should be filled by the Vice Chairman. To rub salt into the wound, this caretaker threatened the Sheikh by telling him that he would call the police if he led the prayers at the mosque.

The Avondale mosque committee did everything within their power to settle the issue in a civil and private manner. Since then there have been very few issues at the mosque with the NZMA retreating and the local congregation getting on with their work and worship.

Then in early May seemingly out of the blue, six local members of the congregation including the Iman had trespass notices writen for them. Apparently one of the trespass notices was issued because a member of the congregation raised $8000 for humanitarian causes in Syria. This was somehow deemed to be an unsavory and extremist action. Other accusations include training people to fight in Syria, something that is vehemently denied. While there is no proof to this claim, they used it as leverage to justify their bullying. These accusations have caused significant hurt within the local population leading to an unknown person regrettably assaulting an NZMA leader.

After this unfortunate incident, rather than attempting to resolve the recent issues internally the NZMA took this story to the press, both print and radio, gifting sensationalist content to the right wing media and blogosphere. It sadens me that our own “community leaders” are fuelling right-wing Islamophobia, and avoiding civil and responsible conflict resolution.

Over the last few years I’ve tried to come to terms with what the underlying issues are and my conclusion is that the NZMA fear difference. The difference they fear comes from the realisation that the congregation isn’t made up of people like them. The congregation at Ranui are of the same racial, ideological and socio-economical ilk as NZMA leaders and are therefore allowed to operate independently. This is in contrast with the Avondale congregation, which is rich with refugees, recent converts to Islam and people from outside the Indian sub-continent. If the Citizen Khans that run NZMA embraced the diversity that exist in Islam throughout New Zealand we will be out of the headlines and be free from having to defend ourselves from accusations of extremism.

It’s useful to know that no new mosques in the Auckland region have affiliated with NZMA because this once respected organisation no longer has much credibility or respect. While Avondale were building ramps for the disabled, NZMA were avoiding the issue of access. While Avondale were feeding and housing the homeless, NZMA were going on national TV and calling the homeless ‘a bunch of idiots’.

In reference to the latest sensationalist article in the NZ Herald, no one declared ‘jihad’ at the security guard. What actually happened is that the security guard was smoking inside (which is against the law) and walking in the mosque with shoes on, something that is unacceptable in a mosque (similar to a marae). When someone told him that he shouldn’t be doing that, the security guard made up a story about threats of jihad to take attention away from him disrespecting the mosque.

While such people cry ‘terrorism’, there are groups of Muslims throughout New Zealand whose actions contradict this claim. These groups conduct Sleeping Bag and Blanket Drives during the winter, create food banks, set up domestic violence shelters for Muslim women and children and so much more. These groups expect no praise; they continue with their hard work purely with the intention of helping those in need. Why? Because contrary to the mainstream narrative, Kiwi Muslims love this country and want to make a meaningful contribution. Its interesting that these have been created independently from Auckland mosque establishments. On a more positive note smaller Muslim communities around the country have taken a more community approach in their centres rather than being all about power and control.

When this story came out, I wasn’t going to feed into the media frenzy, but when people tell me to ‘go back to where I came from’, I have a right and responsibilty to defend my community. I refuse to allow racism, both external and internal to remain a sleeping beast. I hope the association of my great grandfather can remember its true purpose of supporting their community, not relentlessly bullying and intimidating people.


  1. Good article Latifa.

    I don’t believe it is about racism, rather it is about conflicts in religion.

    How about you all adopt the local religion of Christianity.

    Believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and worship Jesus in a local Christian church. Then you can learn to love your neighbours as you love yourself – all of them – without any ‘religious’ requirements.

    I dont think any NZers want to see religious battles here like the ones that happen in your countries. You are all safe from that kind of life here, and it will be very bad if you were to start disharmony and fighting between yourselves here in NZ, because that is not what NZ is all about.

    You all need to take a seriously good hard look at what will happen next if this behaviour worsens. It may cause some of you to be deported if you are charged with a serious crime.
    And surely your immigration documents are clear about the kind of behaviour that is expected.

    All violence is wrong, and the culprit of the beating needs to be brought to justice so he cannot commit any more assaults.

    We can pray, in love, for you all to live in harmony and peace with each other, in Jesus name. Amen.
    God bless you all.

    Opinion and belief.

    • Thank you mistery, though the last Prophet after Jesus, Muhammad, preached the same message and completed the religion of God, the religion of submission to God (or in arabic it’s called Islam). Not that he plagiarized Jesus, but all Prophets of God carried the same message, since they all commanded by God to carry the same message. Muhammad confirmed that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah) and reminded to the people the same message that Jesus have taught to the people before, and we Muslim try to adhere to that teaching. So, the teaching of Jesus of loving your neighbours is nothing new for us Muslims 🙂

      • What about our apostate neighbours? We’re meant to kill them if they were raised Muslim and rejected it – perhaps we should kill them in a loving way?

        • Psycho, that’s a really brief and frankly un-constructive comment – what exactly are you hoping to achieve?

          • Pointing out the lie in propaganda is constructive. Whenever someone’s telling you how Islam is all ‘love your neighbour’ just like those religions that aren’t also totalitarian ideologies, remind them how Islam tells them to go about loving their apostate neighbour – it helps to bring the discussion back from the realms of fantasy.

            • @psycho milt
              speaking of apostasy, 30% or so of British Muslims believe that death is a suitable punishment for apostasy.

              • You mean, a neo-nazi website told you that, and you believe it without question, because you want to.
                Hurrah for your attack on critical thinking!

                • @cinesimon, you can research such things for yourself using google and keywords such as ”pew report” ”gallop” etc and the Muslim attitude you’re interested in. You could even convert to Islam and find out the truth for yourself. I don’t know anybody personally who did that . Oh , wait a minute…yes, I do.

    • @Mistery
      I’m an atheist but I love your comment. Such chutzpah. If the article had been by a Christian and your comment had come from a Muslim extolling Islam, I doubt that Frank Macskasy would have lept out of his chair like that. But why ? The love affair between the left and Islam is one of the great mysteries of the modern era.

      • Robert, it’s a ‘love affair’ with not reflexively hating anyone different. It’s been common to the left for a very long time, kiddo.
        Hard to understand for the current crop of right wing, reflexive haters such as yourself, I know.
        Just know that you’re not going to solve your self loathing issues by projecting such hate into others.

        • You presume an awful lot about me from very little information. I suspect that I’m several decades older than you for a start, kiddo. ( moderater, if this guy can be pastronising to me I’m hoping you’ll let this reply through too even though it adds as little to the discussion as his comments)

          • Gee what a surprise: a wannabe victim makes no attempt to deal with the substance of the rebuttal – yes, kiddo: you’re very wise. All those presumed decades of extra life over me must mean you know it all. Hence your bizarre, childish, and laughably ignorant charges against “the left”. Because you know it all. You really, really do! Your ego demands it must be so.
            Again: we don’t reflexively hate entire groups of people. You make it overtly clear that you do.
            And you pile on your own inability to deal with he world, by claiming that because “the left” doesn’t reflexively hate all Muslims, that MUST mean we commies have a love affair with Islam.
            America’s tea party would welcome such brainlessness with open arms.

            • I don’t hate Muslims at all. I have some in my own family for goodness sake. You presume far too much with no evidence ( as far as I can see anyway)

              • continued… and your attacks against me personally are bizarre. Why does the left appear to support an ideology which is about as far from being progressive as one could imagine? A perfectly reasonable question. Your first answer was superficial and told us nothing we don’t already know and your replies to everyone you disagree with are brimming with anger and personal insults.

    • Well, fuck me…

      I take it you didn’t actually read the article.

      Also, I believe there exists Christian churches that have “religious requirements”. Heterosexuality is one example I can think of.

      • @Sarah, I can confirm that I did read the article and, indeed . several other articles here and elsewhere about this saga in Auckland. As for the rest of your comment I’m not sure how it relates to my comment. ”Also, I believe there exists Christian churches that have “religious requirements”. Heterosexuality is one example I can think of.” ….. and what? What is your point?

        • Oh, Robert. You really are that detached from reason, aren’t you kiddo?
          So stuck inside your own head, the world is simply not allowed in.
          Poor little child.

        • @Robert.

          Mate, not everything is about you. As Richard clarified for you, my comment was directed at Mistery. I guess I should have clarified to whom my comment was directed at, but since it was outside of the above thread I assumed readers would make the connection.

    • In other words, Mistery, you ‘praised’ an article that you clearly didn’t bother to read, then proceeded to hurl a whole lot of ignorance at the world.
      How sad for you.

      • @Sarah

        I certainly did read the article. It was a very good article – hence my comments.

        Your exceptionally foul gutter language did nothing for this article at all, by the way.

        May God bless you with His very best of everything good.

        Opinion and belief.

        • @Mistery, please may your god allow you to read this and take heed. My apologies for the novella, but I feel this all has to be said.

          Fuck is a word, and I personally don’t find it loaded. If you are simply using the term “gutter language” to condescend (which it appears you enjoy doing) then I really pity you. If you were genuinely offended by the word, then you may have my apologies. I was angered by your insolent comment and regrettably turned to a profanity for loss of better words.

          But, guess what? Now that I have your attention, I have found them.

          I try to avoid commenting on forums due to the fact that usually commenters are set in their opinions, and, thus, arguments tend to run circles. I am guessing you too, have narrowed your mind to exclude the advice and suggestions of others, but despite this, your comments have moved me to respond (well done, I guess).

          I am all for everyone having the right to believe in whatever they choose to believe in, but my hackles rise when one person has the arrogance to put their beliefs above someone else’s.

          Clearly the writer of this article is a devote Muslim, who doesn’t want their beliefs confused with hate or violence. Did you stop to think for a single second that your comment might therefore be unhelpful and unwarranted? No, of course you didn’t. You don’t sound like a thoughtful person. Please, prove my hasty judgement wrong.

          The writer has produced this article to give the “other side of the story” in response to the NZ Herald’s sensationalist article, and she is doing so in a gentle and intelligent matter. No where here, does it seem as though she is questioning her own beliefs and is looking for grounding in a new religion. She is addressing an important issue in New Zealand, and your belittling comment requesting her conversion is very, very unhelpful to the dialogue taking place.

          I am an atheist (I dislike using that term since so many have given it a hate-filled reputation) yet, on behalf of my Muslim friends, I found your comment to be very condescending and insulting. Hence my loss of temper and the use of an extremely horrible gutter-word fit only for peasants.

          Now, if you are confused as to how you were condescending pay close attention to the following:

          “I dont think any NZers want to see religious battles here like the ones that happen in your countries. You are all safe from that kind of life here, and it will be very bad if you were to start disharmony and fighting between yourselves here in NZ” You said this… Anyone with a decent education, and I mean an education outside of reading hyped up Western mainstream media, can see how utterly insulting and belittling this comment was.

          You have no idea what her “countries” are, and I would hazard a guess and say you have not lived in whatever area of the world you are referring to. You also load her into a boat with all ‘other’ nationalities by using the plural “countries” as if this world is only made up of two kinds of people; ‘my nationality’ and ‘everyone else’. For all you know she could be born in NZ. IN FACT, IF YOU ACTUALLY DID READ (and I don’t mean skim through) THE ARTICLE YOU’D ACTUALLY HAVE FOUND OUT SHE IS BORN HERE, AS WAS SEVERAL GENERATIONS OF HER FAMILY (see reference to her great-grandfather’s mosque).

          She has as much a right to be here, with her religion, as you. And before you start farting on about “Christains were here first”; NO… no they weren’t; Maori where here first. All peoples where, at some point, immigrants but if they’ve been here several generations, actively contributing to the country then ****-it, they are a part of the country, and its history by my definition. Or, perhaps I’ve been wrong all this time, is it instead, that in order to be a native in this country you have to oppress the previous people living there? If so, I have never been so wrong in my life.

          The religion of the peaceful writer of this article is not the cause of the attack mentioned in the article, nor the cause of the disagreements. They are instead the result of a few narrow-minded people who fear change, and hold their own personal perceptions of their religion over others. As someone who has belief in a religion that is shrouded in violence and IMPERIALISM, I really would have thought you’d understand that. Surely, as a Christian, you don’t want to be associated with the negative things individual Christian people have done throughout history (google Africa). Every religion has its followers who have done bad things and followers who have done great things. Yours is no exception to this. Do not judge NZ’s Muslim population on the things you think happen in their “countries”.

          Before you think I hate Christian people, I will say here, I have befriended many accepting and open-minded Christians, who have respect for the beliefs of others. If you claim to have respect, tolerance and love, and you want people to believe this, then I advise you to think more carefully about how your comment is framed next time you post. I have no problem with you offering your beliefs to those who ARE interested, but your comment was condescending and unwarranted and is giving Christians a bad name.

          My digs in this response are not a direct attack on your beliefs, they are simply snarky little reminders that even your grand religion has been misinterpreted and misused in history.

          Also, many Catholic and Christian churches have religious requirements. If the Church you attend doesn’t well done for finding such an open and accepting place; if only you would follow suit.

          I can only hope you actually read this reply instead of skimming over it and making some vague and insolent response.

          My opinions and beliefs right back at cha.


          • @Sarah:

            A very angry person you appear to be. I hope you feel better for getting all that off your chest.

            This may be helpful for you to read:

            “Satan be gone from Sarah, in Jesus name! Go on, get out of her!!!!! In Jesus name be gone!”

            I will pray for Jesus to knock on your door – the handle will be on your side of the door.

            It is not wise for an unbeliever to speak as if they know how to be an agent for Jesus.

            Hopefully you should feel better now that you have read my words here. Maybe the veil can be removed from your eyes, and you will see clearly now – if you open the door.

            Jesus loves you you know.


            Opinion and belief.

        • Oh well, as long as you don’t swear – you can advocate as much hatred and ignorance as you like, right?
          Hitler didn’t swear, either.

    • “Then you can learn to love your neighbours as you love yourself – all of them – without any ‘religious’ requirements.”

      You mean the way the Catholic Bishops of Uganda are loving their GLBTI neighbours, making them fear for their lives? No thanks.

      • @Hugh Young:

        No. I mean the way that NZ Christians love their neighbours, and the way that NZ Muslims are trying to be able to love their neighbours – free from the persecution of those who know no better!

        And the people (like Latifa and me) who have heart beliefs in God verses the people (like atheists) who have no heart beliefs of God.


    • The Pope has just talked about people having the freedom of religious belief in the Holy Land. You can love your neighbor no matter your belief system.

  2. Thank you for that clarification – sober, balanced, reasonable and unlikely to sell any newspapers.

  3. This article is crap….

    Abu Abdullah’s supporters think its okay to go around and beat people up, threaten people and get their way by doing things that are not so islamic.

    Do you think that what they are doing is correct? You obviously seem to support him wrong doings.

    You wouldn’t feel the same way if it was your family that was threatened or beaten up

    • If you read the article properly, I said that the attacked were regrettable and I do not condone them at all.

      My family are the ones who are being accused of being terrorists.

      • @Latifa:

        We do not have terrorists in NZ.

        It is time to forgive, and move on from this debacle, with love.


        • Unsolicited proselytizing is out of order.

          If the multitudinous varieties of ‘Christianity’ would first get their disreputable houses in order and follow their Book…

          Ah, what’s the use.

          ‘Christians’ – the people who gave us witch hunts and inquisitions.

          Hush now. “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”, or something.

      • AA
        Where did you get knowledge of a committee leaving debt building $4million mosque. This is false and that committee you talked about had in fact left new committee 3 rental properties which has been returning an income of at least $1,000/week.
        Still this new committee offering free Quran classes could run AIC smoothly.

      • Hi sister Latifa, thanks for the article. I have to say you provide some interesting facts & insights to this issue. But some of your facts are incorrect.

        In particular your assertion that the Ranui branch is a radical, ideological and socio-economical ilk as NZMA leaders. What facts do you have to substantiate such claims?

        I can tell you I am a local at the Ranui mosque and have been attending the mosque since it opened in 1995. The mosque has not only embraced diversity but pioneered many activities in NZ that other mosques are following now i.e. monthly family night programs, weekly newsletter with full Khutba translation over the past 4 years (over 360 editions) and strong youth and women programs. The committee has always comprised diverse background affiliates

        This is the only mosque that has NEVER had any power struggles unlike BHB & other mosques in Auckland which has a history littered with issues. Ranui has never held elections, never had to issue trespasses to any Muslims and a community in such big growth that the mosque will be undergoing an extension and new centre opening in Massey

        I can also correct you in some other facts should you want substantiated data and facts to deliver a truly accurate blog on the issues at hand

        Instead of everyone wasting time on what has happened we should focus on the solution because the fact of the matter is BHB has issues it. If it didn’t it would never end of on the media.

        Many Thanks

    • We do not condone any form of physical violence and maintain a zero tolerance towards any type of violent behaviour we equally dislike and take exception to Mr Haidar Lone’s terrorising and intimidating the congregation at Avondale with the aid of the police.

      He has been doing this for the last four years with many people being victims to his bullying behaviour. A lot of patience has been showed by the congregation up till this recent incident.

      His intimidation and terrorizing has included sending the police to the businesses and homes of people he opposes and has trespassed, putting the Imam in jail for a night and threatening people outside of social functions.

      Members of the congregation, whilst disappointed in the violent incident towards Mr Lone are not surprised that this eventually happened.

      • It is good that you are using the NZ police to help you sort this all out.
        I hope you have had him trespassed by now.

        Bless you all with peace and love.

  4. Hi Latifa

    Thank you for this interesting article, but I do have a few points and questions.

    Calling people concerned about an ideology ‘racist’ is a prejudiced and libellous accusation. I think this should actually be tested in law, because it stops people talking about islam in the analytical way we have worked through christianity. It doesn’t matter what colour someone is: if their ideology opposes, for instance, gender equality and gay rights, it does not belong in modern New Zealand.

    You mention “domestic violence shelters for Muslim women and children”. Would you take this opportunity to tell the world exactly what you and other NZ muslims feel about sura 4:34: “But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance – [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them. ”

    In your experience, do NZ muslims believe that this sura is:

    1. Incorrectly translated and does not mean domestic violence?
    2. Does encourage domestic violence but should not be applied in modern times?
    3. Does encourage domestic violence and should over-ride NZ law?

    You could also comment on the homosexual punishment in this hadith:

    “If you find anyone doing as Lot’s people did, kill the one who does it, and the one to whom it is done.
    — Sunan Abu Dawood, 38:4447”

    This is actually HAPPENING in some islamic countries, right now. So do you think this hadith should not apply, ever, in modern times?

    I hope things like this can be discussed constructively, without calling people ‘racist’ for bringing them up.

    • Nadine I find myself a bit out of my depth with this issue but your comment doesn’t strike me as that of someone trying to be helpful. I’m familiar with people in christian circles taking small quotes out of the bible and presenting them with no context as you have done with those quotes – and it tends to be because they have an axe to grind. Certainly you have ignored the main issue the article presents which is about the misreporting of an incident and also intolerance.

      You say you hope the issues you raise can be discussed constructively but despite your polite language your actions are actually quite aggressive. We’ve just heard from someone who is calling for peace and reconciliation and suddenly you’ve turned up trying to make her answer questions on behalf of her entire religion and cherry picking information that puts that religion on a bad light.

      I’m sure I could pull some quotes out of the christian bible and draught a similar comment about christianity but that doesn’t negate the fact that there are a great many christians devoted to serving their community and an even greater amount who live very conventional lives in our community – just like most people in New Zealand. Could I suggest you get down from the hobby horse.

      • You are making right-wing attacks on me. I am a feminist, atheist and supporter of gay rights and have had plenty of discussions about these issues with Christians. I am about as liberal and progressive as possible, and I care what happens in NZ about women’s rights, gay rights, atheist’s rights. We need no ‘blasphemy’ nonsense, and we need to be able to analyse, discuss and even criticise every ideology.

        Latifa should be able to answer my questions, just from her experience. That is not too much to ask.

        Here are the questions again, not difficult to answer at all:

        “In your experience, do NZ muslims believe that this sura [4.24] is:
        1. Incorrectly translated and does not mean domestic violence?
        2. Does encourage domestic violence but should not be applied in modern times?
        3. Does encourage domestic violence and should over-ride NZ law?
        You could also comment on the homosexual punishment in this hadith:
        “If you find anyone doing as Lot’s people did, kill the one who does it, and the one to whom it is done.
        — Sunan Abu Dawood, 38:4447″
        This is actually HAPPENING in some islamic countries, right now. So do you think this hadith should not apply, ever, in modern times?”

    • Nadine you’re clearly a very lazy person – and very happy to think all Muslims are full f hate and death.
      Oh but you just want to be put right, huh? On a comments page. Because making an actual effort beyond cherry-picked sentences, is just too much work.
      Easier to just pretend They’re All The Same.
      And clearly it’s too much for you to even bother reading the above article.

      • Cinesimon, I have made no attacks on you, but will now tell you that you are making right-wing attacks on a feminist, just for daring to ask questions about what Latifa’s impression is regarding domestic violence and killing of homosexuals. You might not care, but these things are HAPPENING in some Muslim countries, not because I’m just ‘cherry-picking’ some ancient and long-ignored text.

        The fact that these things are happening in some Christian countries is something I discuss with Christions, don’t worry. I will always ask these questions, of every ideology.

        If you’re as progressive as you seem to think you are, you should also ask those questions.

        Nobody in NZ should believe wives should be beaten, for whatever reason, whatever ideology. Why don’t you think this is important?

        I certainly hope NZ Muslims are not full of ‘hate and death’ as you put it. I don’t know why you would believe such a thing.

    • @ Nadine – Hmmm, trawling through religious texts to just to “convict” a particular religion is not particularly clever.

      One could equally find similar texts in the Bible, which had a fondness for stoning adulterers, gays, witches, Green Party supporters*, kids who disobeyed their parents, etc, etc.

      Considering these things were written thousands of years ago, it would surprising if 21st century liberal values could be found in any of the writings. (Though a couple of them did have some cool things to say about loving each other).

      So, Nadine, your comments were not helpful and indeed, revealed an undercurrent of judgementalism.

      (* Ok, I made that one up.)

      • Frank, Aaron and Cinesimon, perhaps you are all hetero males and don’t care about women being beaten up and gays murdered. I understand that, but you can’t pretend to be liberal or progressive, because you are about as right-wing as it gets.

        I analyse all ideologies. As a feminist, atheist and gay-rights supporter I’d ask anyone to say what they feel about misogynist and homophobic aspects of their religion. I have often discussed such issues with Christians.

        I was genuinely hoping for a helpful answer from Latifa: I really, genuinely hope that NZ Muslims take a modern, progressive view on some of these texts, as indeed most modern, progressive Christians have about unacceptable parts of the bible. I don’t think that is too much to ask of any religion.

        If you consider that ‘cherry-picking’, it was a good opportunity for Latifa to say that she rejects those particular rotten cherries!

  5. I had the good fortune to tutor an Algerian Muslim and thus met a good few NZ Muslims – a very diverse group, and in general better Christians than many Christians I know.

    One of the things he taught me was that jihad means striving. It is a duty to strive in every area of our lives. This can be uncompromisingly severe in warfare, rather like the Bushido code – but if the Key government were striving to resolve the housing crisis, or to create the promised 170 000 jobs and wage parity with Australia that might be a very good thing.

    We are fortunate to have the Muslim community.

    • Well said, Stuart.

      One thing I left out in my earlier post above, is for Latifa.

      When bigots parrot their brainless cliche of ‘go back to where [you] came from’, my response is this; our muslim fellow Kiwis are home. New Zealand is their home.

      This is an issue close to my heart. Being from an immigrant family, I recall my mother being abused by ignorant young morons who said precisely the same thing to her. How “brave” these thugs were, surrounding a young mother with four young children in tow and abusing her.

      I know who I would rather have as neighbours – and it ain’t racist bigots.

      • I disagree Frank (and Latifa), “go back to where you came from is” not evidence of racism.

        I well remember it being used against UK migrants in the past, in that case it was a class warfare term (anti-Union/shop stewards – the “pommy whingers ruining the economy” bullshit). That wasn’t racism but a cynical dog whistle to xenophobia for political purpose.

        The current use is in an anti migrant, xenophobic context. I’d say with a fair amount of anti religious (Islam) sentiment mixed in as well . But to frame as racism is to misuse the term.

        I’m not saying it is the case here but imo perfectly legitimate criticisms of Islamic doctrine are far too often shouted down with accusations of racism. It serves to avoid addressing the criticism and demonize those making the criticism. Unfortunately it happens often in my favourite political blog.

        • “perfectly legitimate” cherry-picked bits of ignorance – yeah that’s totally “fair”. Your judgement based on ignorance is a reflection of YOUR issues, not that of the Muslim community.
          Of course, Richard – you know the Muslim community MUCH better than they know themselves. That’s just logic and reason!
          You’re a brave, anti-PC hero. I kneel before your massive knowledge-of-Muslims bank – that you clearly spent all of ten minutes absorbing.

          • “perfectly legitimate” cherry-picked bits of ignorance – yeah that’s totally “fair”. Your judgement based on ignorance is a reflection of YOUR issues, not that of the Muslim community.

            Yes Cinesimon, perfectly legitimate criticisms of Islamic doctrine such as concerns over judicial mutilation in Sharia penal codes, death sentences for apostasy in Sharia penal codes, death sentences for being an atheist in Sharia penal codes, death sentences for preaching Christianity, inclusion of stoning to death in Sharia penal codes, death sentences for homosexuals in Sharia penal codes, prison sentences for women going unveiled in public, prison sentences for women who drive cars, denial of educational advancement to girls and banning of consumption of beer.

            • Richard, Cinesimon is so right-wing that he doesn’t even think NZ Muslims care about them.

              He even states: “Your judgement based on ignorance is a reflection of YOUR issues, not that of the Muslim community” How can terrible things happening in the name of Islam not be an issue for the Muslim community?

              I think those of us with genuine concern about human rights under sharia law, who would like to know that NZ Muslims have moved on in a similar way most of Christianity has, have a right to ask our questions.

        • Richard Christie says:
          May 24, 2014 at 6:59 pm

          I disagree Frank (and Latifa), “go back to where you came from is” not evidence of racism.

          Au contraire. It is about as racist as you can get without donning a white robe and burning cross on someone’s front lawn

          When you’ve been on the receiving end of hate-comments like that, Richard, get back to me. I can tell you from first-hand memory-experience that it is a vile experience.

          • I agree that it is a vile experience. When living in another country, I was on the receiving end of this kind of racism all the time. And it was very clear what it was intended to mean.

            • We’ve all experienced it when living in different countries. It’s only ‘racism’ when we’re a (supposedly) different race (many scientists believe there is no such thing anyway). When I lived in Europe and experienced some comments, it was xenophobia or some other reason, but not racism.

          • Frank, I adhere to the dictionary definition of racism.
            discrimination or prejudice due to race.

            Not prejudice due to nationality.
            Not prejudice due to culture.
            Not prejudice due to religion.


        • I believe what makes this clearly a religious matter, and NOT a racist matter, is the fact that the word used is Muslim, not the name of the country they come from – Iraq or Pakistan or France, or wherever this group of Muslims (that attend this Muslim Mosque) happen to originate from. And the disturbance was at the Mosque.

          There may even be Kiwis attending services at this Mosque – so it cannot be racist, but rather religious conflict!


          • @ Mistery.

            If you read the article you’ll notice the writer is a Kiwi. -.-

            Also the group is not collectively from one place. They are all from different origins, which I suspect is part of the problem this article addresses.

            The issue that is being referred to as racist is the sensationalist angle the NZ Herald article took – To me it seemed to reinforce Islamaphobic ideology for ‘infotainment’.

            @Richard Christie

            You raise good points, but I think you are being a bit pedantic. Aren’t nationality, culture and religion often very strongly connected to race?

            When people speak of certain nationalities, cultures and religions, racial imagery would certainly come to the average person’s mind. Words can be a bit ambiguous at times.

            Of course, it is very warranted that any religious doctrine that does not meet the virtues, ethics and morals of modern time be addressed, but there is a respectful and helpful way of doing it.

            “Go back to where you came from” can probably be separated from constructive and critical dialogue on the matter. The receiving end of such statements can be very painful.

            Just my thoughts on the matter. 😉

            • I take your point Sarah, race and xenophobia are indeed often associated. I’m just concerned over loose use of the term racist, for the reasons I gave.

              Btw, earlier, in reply to another, you stated that you “respected the beliefs” of others. I think that is commonly said but put loosely too. Some beliefs don’t merit (my) respect. I certainly respect the right to different beliefs but many cultural and religious beliefs are out of place in modern civil society, I don’t respect them and exercise my right to express that. Too many people died over the centuries ridding our culture of barbarism to start “respecting” similar beliefs now.

              • I do understand your points. I can see how “That’s racist” can be problematic in certain discussions. Say, if it is the only reply given to legitimate, critical questions. But at the same time, it is very hard to convince people to listen and share your ideas, or to get them to coherently explain their own, if you have offended them (And boy, don’t I know that). Engaging in discourse on a touchy subject is a fine art.

                And yes, you are correct in saying when I said I respected the beliefs of others I was using the term quite loosely. There would certainly be some beliefs circulating in this world that I could not respect, due to collisions with my own.

                For a chance to clarify what I meant; I try to respect all beliefs of all people, provided they do not harm others. Emphasis on the try. 😉

                I personally think the dialogue taking place in this forum is important and very engaging, and I guess it wouldn’t be taking place if there wasn’t friction between people’s ideologies. I’m an advocate for freedom of speech; people have the right to say what they like, be it kind, critical, rude or, yes, even racist. But it also means the listeners get to say what they like in response.

                Unfortunately, in the heat of it all, most of us take short cuts in our speech, and use ambiguous words and loose-terms (or just straight up misuse a word), which of course can cause a lot of misunderstanding. It’s the perpetual problem of language.

              • Richard, I totally agree: “Some beliefs don’t merit (my) respect. I certainly respect the right to different beliefs but many cultural and religious beliefs are out of place in modern civil society, I don’t respect them and exercise my right to express that.”

                And yet when we express that, because some beliefs oppose all the basic liberal/progressive things NZ has built up (human rights, gender equality, gay rights) WE are called ‘racists’.

                I think the ‘racist’ accusation for discussing an ideology is libellous and should be tested in court.

  6. Thank you Latifa for your contribution, explaining the issues causing concern in this matter.

    Most religions, including Judaism and Christianity have their factions, which don’t agree with mainstream beliefs, so Islam is not alone with internal conflict. It’s part of human nature and in some respects, the desire to dominate and take control, outweighs the reason of faith. Pity really, because what I know of most religions, peace seems to be the main feature. However this message doesn’t seem to be getting through, due conflict of interpretation of belief. It’s the intolerant human factor which is the problem.

    Unfortunately regardless of religion, (culture or politics), hate in its extreme is the worst form of terrorism in this world and it doesn’t belong to one particular section of the religious community either!

  7. Meh. Adherents of ideologies are always engaging in vehement disputes for incomprehensible and apparently pointless reasons, and Muslims are no exception. I guess reporters are more interested in disputes involving totalitarian ideologies like Islam, because of the potential threat to life and limb, but most people will shrug it off.

    • “Always”. In the fever dreams of those who watch too much TV, and spend little time in the real world.
      I bet you think the entire middle ages took place in the handy TV-friendly period of 48 minutes, too.

        • Yes, I’ve noticed that about Cinesimon. He got very angry at me for daring to ask feminist and gay-friendly questions about how NZ Muslims interpret some of their texts.

  8. Thanks for that well written and reasoned explanation, Latifa…New Zealand is all the better for its ethnic, cultural and reigious diversity and, for the greater part, tolerance and respect.

    It’s always very interesting to see how unreasonable that (normally reasonble) people can become when it comes to differences in religious beliefs.

    I was raised as a Catholic – altar boy, holy communion, mass, confessions, Catholic schools, the whole RC nine yards. I do not “practice” at all, but do not begrudge those who do, if it brings them inner peace, support through trying times, and helps them to live a good life, love and help others etc.

    But I have no time for anyone who tries to force their own religious views on others, who choose to treat others with cruelty and contempt based on which God they choose.

    “Each to his own” is my credo, as long as they show respect and goodwill to their fellow man.

    I have no doubt that the vast majority of Muslims in NZ live their lives accordingly. There will always be a small but vociferous minority of racist rednecks who feed off misinformation and hype in our noddy press, but rest assured that we are not as easily lead, and will stand by you, as I am sure you would for us.

  9. It has become a commonplace in contemporary society to attack religions, it is a Huxleyite trope, and I believe unhelpful.

    There are two roles that religion is particularly useful for: helping individuals to become better people, and organising communal responses to societal problems.

    The self-improvement is generally recognised as good, but the communal response is highly political and thus is discouraged by the authorities, who generally create or tolerate the problems.

    NZ doesn’t seem to have produced a great religious leader since Ratana, but sincere religious people are obliged to engage with crucial social justice issues and as inequality worsens it is entirely possible that one will arise to take the lead in restoring the decent society.

    • Being an Atheist I also use morality for “helping individuals to become better people, and organising communal responses to societal problems.”

      It’s not as if one has any choice: if one doesn’t believe, it can’t be forced!

      But I can look at various forms of morality, including the golden rule, some of the information about Buddha and Jesus, and decide that those are good ideas to follow.

  10. If anyone really thinks that anti Muslim opinions expressed in this country aren’t also racist, you need to give yourself an uppercut !!

    How many white Muslims do you know of, compared to dark skinned ones?

    And just because some Muslims overseas Muslims practice their beliefs according to stricter adherance or interpretation, doesn’t mean that all Muslims in NZ ate as extreme, in the same way that I wouldnt class all NZ Christians as fire-breathing, homo-hating, bible bashing evangelists!

    Live and let live, FFS ! Don’t get sucked in by the hate brigade !

    • I don’t know what religion most of my friends follow. When I meet someone, I don’t ask them what religion they follow and what their sexual orientation is. It’s totally irrelevant to me.

  11. ”When someone told him that he shouldn’t be doing that, the security guard made up a story about threats of jihad to take attention away from him disrespecting the mosque”
    Is there proof, which TDB intends to supply , that the security guard was lying? Has he admitted it for example? And why would a non-Muslim security guard in NZ care so much about ”disrespecting the mosque” that he made up lies to cover his tracks? Only a devout Muslim would care that much.

    • Many people have difficulty admitting they make mistakes.

      To hear the current PM tell it, for example, his government has yet to do anything wrong in five years, though if pressed he might (very grudgingly) concede that the Psychoactive Substances Act legislation was not parliament’s finest work.

      Misunderstandings between different cultures and religions are to be expected, and generally speaking it is better to play them down than up.

  12. Hi Latifa – –

    Thank you for this brave piece. It’s difficult to write about something that is so close to you and knowing that people may criticise you, so I really commend you.

    Keep writing like you are.

  13. Thanks for this insightful report on matters, Latifa, you are certainly doing a job that the useless MSM would never be able to deliver, and I am with that not even touching on the issue of bias.

    We need more insightful reports from members and insiders from all kinds of communities in New Zealand, to get a better picture of what goes no.

    You put the NZ Herald to shame with this piece of contribution!

  14. This article distorts the facts. For example, it says “These accusations have caused significant hurt within the local population leading to an unknown person regrettably assaulting an NZMA leader.” Firstly it makes an excuse and then glosses over the incident without any detail. The victim spent ten days in hospital and the attacker(s) are ready to strike again. That’s serious and there have been more threats.

    Abu Abdulla seems to qualify as a hate preacher. He clearly hates the institutions of NZ — even it’s flag. This article does not address what he has been preaching, which seems to be the main issue at stake. NZMA doesn’t want hatred being spewed on its premeses.

    Most NZ muslims are outstanding members of the community and have every right to call themselves Kiwis. However, religious hatred and intolerance are foreign to NZ and people who preach those ideas have no place in NZ.

    • The use of violence against Mr Lone was unacceptable and I hope that the perpetuators are bought to justice.

      However, I’d like to address a few of the points in your comment.

      A considerable number of people in New Zealand dislike the New Zealand flag and what it represents. That’s why in Northland many people fly the United Confederates Flag and the Tino Rangatira flag is used by Maori activists. That doesn’t mean that these people “hate” all the institutions of New Zealand but that they recognise that many of these institutions are problematic in some way or another. It means that some people find some things problematic. In a democracy no one has to whole heartedly accept the institutions of the state. We are perfectly entitled to debate these institutions and what they mean.

      If what Abu Abdullah had been preaching had been the main issue at stake then perhaps he should have been trespassed by the NZMA. However, it doesn’t follow that his two young sons and three other members of the congregation should also have been trespassed. There’s no evidence that these five other individuals have been involved in “spewing hated” on the premises of the NZMA.

      From my understanding the people involved are contributing members of New Zealand society, all actively educating their daughters and participating in worthwhile community activities outside the mosque.

      I’m finding it hard to make the connection between these seemingly ordinary people and the accusation that they are supporting the preaching of extreme hate and religious intolerance in New Zealand.

  15. Herald Journalist who publishes the articles about Avondale mosque is a liar anyway. he comes at mosque with a note book, escorted by a camera man, take people’s photos and make up false stories. I couldn’t expect a journalist from Heralds to tell lies to Kiwis, he comes already fed with false information. he should make proper investigation before printing such horrible stories. Muslims are part of New Zealanders and love peace.

  16. This is utter bullshit and scapegoating indians. You should not have brought race in at all. Pretty sure FIANZ is multicultural and the current president is not indian. If anything, FIANZ is useless at including muslim women. I miss the awesome community feeling of mosques when I was younger, now it seems to be divided on racial and sectarian lines. It’s unfair to blame NZMA when they own the mosques, they should have the final say. It would be interesting to see the fundraising effort for these mosques broken down by ethnicity- I’m recall it was the Indian community driving it. Anyone complaining should fundraise for their own mosque. It lacks the community spirit but atleast it would avoid shitstorms like this in the future.

    • Sara oh Sara. You are obviously an NZMA official disguising yourself as Sara. Firstly you say there is no racism then all your comments spew racist messages.
      Firstly you say FIANZ is multiracial – why then in the last 30 years there has been no non Indian President of FIANZ.

      You yourself say that you miss the awesome community feeling of mosques because its divided into sectarian groups. I am a university student from Saudi Arabia and have contacts in the Saudi Government and from my research I have concluded that Arabs cannot be leaders of any Muslim organisation here in NZ. I will be reporting this to the Saudi Government.

      I have been told that the Al-Madinah school was funded by Saudis but it is run by Indians, the Airport Mosq was funded by Dubai but the Arabs have been kicked out and is now run by Indians.

      So because Arabs funded the Ponsonby Mosque as well . Should we now go and claim the Ponsonby Mosque, Al- Madinah School and the Airport Mosque.
      Don’t be silly. There is no distinction made in Islam on racial grounds. Latifa I applaud her for bringing this in the open. Indians need to know the true meaning of Islam and not worry who is in charge as long as they Muslim.

      Yes if you do breakdown the fundraising of Mosques according to ethnicity that speaks volumes about you. You are a racist through and through. Everybody is a Muslim and equal. Read the last sermon of our beloved Prophet

      • ”I have concluded that Arabs cannot be leaders of any Muslim organisation here in NZ. I will be reporting this to the Saudi Government. ”
        What would you expect the Saudi government to do in regards to changing the leaders of Muslim organisations in New Zealand ?

        • Mustapha may think they will probably try and stop imports of New Zealand products? I would not put it past them either!

          But we may be jumping to conclusions here. Fact is, that Saudi Arabia, or at least organisations there, do fund or subsidise a lot of mosques and their activities worldwide, in various ways.

          Some say though, that with that also often comes an expectation to teach and spread Islam as the rather conservative Saudi government, or Saudi based organisations, (generally Wahhabis in their belief) prefer(s) it.

          Wahhabi movement:

          (I am not sure how well Wiki explain it)

          But this is not always clear cut, and from country to country there are different laws and practices they have to deal and work with, so MUSTAPHA may just be fooling himself, by thinking he can influence more than he realistically can.

          In any case, it just proves to me again, that whatever religious movements you look at, they all have their various groupings with their interpretations of their beliefs, and then adhere to sometimes quite different practices.

          Rivalries and worse exist everywhere, based on religious and/or ethnic backgrounds, whether in Northern Ireland, in the Middle East, or even in New Zealand.

          I am glad I am not part of this, and just mind my own self and what I can and prefer to live with.

          Give peace a chance!

          • Yes what we doing is we taking a delegation to all Arab consulates. What the Pres of Fianz whatever his name is said that they did not agree with the teachings of Abu Abdullah. What the Prez of the Muslims in NZ is saying is in effect he does not believe in the teachings of Islam. He should step down and give way to an Arab or Somali or Afghani because we will be more multiracial then you Indians.

            The Arabs buying meat from NZ is what keeps FIANZ going from commission and it is this money that FIANZ and NZMA use to persecute Arabs and other minorities in NZ.

            Watch this space.

            • Mustafa, please continue to explain how you’re going to change the situation. It is great that you have inside contacts with the Saudi and other Arab governments and thus the power to effect change in New Zealand.
              Are you wanting that a correct Islam more in line with that taught in Saudi Arabia be taught in New Zealand?

            • @Mustafa
              ”The Arabs buying meat from NZ is what keeps FIANZ going from commission”
              Could you explain this too please? How does the FIANZ manage to get a commision on sales of meat to Arab countries?

      • @Mustapha.

        Now, you are clearly being racist.
        Remember where you are, and the opportunities NZ has given you by allowing you to be a guest here at university.
        We do not need you going off trying to cause racial hatred or unrest in NZ thankyou very much!

        You must forgive, and show respect for NZ, especially while you are here.


        • Mistery, I think you need to learn more about Islam, just like many other commenters here. As a non Muslim NZer , your opinions about how Muslims should act in NZ are of very little, if any ,interest to a proud Muslim.

          • There is not really much more I could learn about Islam really. I am quite well schooled in this area. However, I am open to anything further regarding Muslims that I don’t already know.

            I have not spouted off about any of the bad traits of Islamic behaviour at all.

            I am sympathetic to anyone who faces violence, and I am very patriotic to my country NZ, and do not wish to see any racial or religious violent activities happening here, in the name of Jesus of Islam.

            • I was just making the point that Islam teaches Muslims that they are superior to non Muslims. No offence intended.

              • continued… to pre-empt angry retorts from others I should add that that statement does not imply that such notions are unique to Islam.

                • @Robert:
                  Yes Robert. I agree here.

                  And this is one of the reasons why I find this article so very interesting.

                  It is hard to be any kind of God believing Christian, Muslim, Catholic, Hindu, Church of England, Presbyterian etc in NZ, because there are so many atheists around.

                  However, speaking for my own personal beliefs, as a born again Christian, I do feel sorry for these Muslims in NZ.

                  To start with, the laws of NZ prevent them from being Muslims the same way they are Muslims in ‘say’ Pakistan – where it is an honour to be chosen as one of the many to die while detonating a bomb, and to glorify themselves by executing Christians.

                  We don’t carry on like that here in NZ, as, and because NZ law will not allow it.

                  By being a Muslim in NZ, they are restrained in the application of their religious beliefs. And I believe that NZ law in this matter can only make them better Muslims and people.

                  Killing people for religious beliefs is not allowed in NZ, and it is a good idea to keep it this way, the way it is right now – peaceable, and non-violent.

                  I feel it is most important that this truth is brought home to Muslims and all other religions here, so that none of them are tempted to go off the deep end, in the name of their God, and cause catastrophic religious events which involve killing people with bombs etc.

                  Because in NZ these things are not glorified at all, of course.

                  I would not be able to go to eg Pakistan and speak anything to do with Christianity, as I would be captured and executed, according to their law, which is all religion based, and completely different to NZ law. I think 185,000 Christians were killed in Pakistan last year? I may have the number a bit out here, but it is a huge amount of dead people who worshipped God, and got killed for their beliefs.

                  This situation cannot be allowed to get out of hand in NZ. Muslims must be encouraged to worship peacefully, within their religion, and within the law of the land they are practicing their religion in.

                  Opinion and belief.

  17. What i understand from all my own investigations i have conducted, the truth is that NZMA leaders are conmen who goes around in the four Mosques, asking for charities and Friday collections and bank on their accounts without knowing that this money belongs to the Moslem community. NZMA uses people’s money to buy the mosques and this the truth, as far people give their cash to NZMA they should be allowed to know what is going on inside, mostly when it comes to decision making, accountability, voting for right leadership and choosing the Imams of these mosque because without contribution from people, these properties, couldn’t exist, Its total wrong NZMA to think that these properties belongs to them instead of the public who give much of their money to buy these properties and this where all the problems in Avondale starts because NZMA tends to hide the all truth from community mostly when it comes on issues on how the money is spend. It should be better for New Zealand Moslem’s association [NZMA] to tell truth instead of all these Comedies we see in news papers.

  18. The only fact I do understand from what is happening around me, that if u want to take something it is not yours, you can just take it by the human law and accuse the owner of that thing that he is a terrorist, this what happened with me and our peaceful community members at Avondale Islamic center, NZMA members they have bank corruption, they took our donations, our youth and kids money to cover their corruption, we have been living here in NZ as citizens for years practice our religion in peace,…….. now NZMA discovered that we are terrorist!!!!!!!!, what did we do !!!!!!!
    Please for every one! use ur mind!!! use the fact around you!!! How many Muslims around you? How many new converted Muslims? what did u see from them? How are they dealing with you? …………….

    • @Muhummad:

      What are NZ Police doing about this?
      Have you all laid fraud or theft charges against the NZMA?

      If what you say is happening, is really happening, then the NZ Police will have to sort it out for you.

      Have you done this?
      If you haven’t, then why not?


  19. I love how the prosletising Christians and grumpy atheists are using this as an opportunity to speak anti-Islamic bigotry like no Christian or atheist has ever behaved in a violent or sectarian manner. It’s perfect comedy.

  20. What an interesting thread! …in a rather scary and disturbing way. They say that the right are more united than the left mainly because they have one common goal, for which they are prepared to put aside their minor differences ; the preservation of wealth and power.

    If the above is anything to go by, religious tolerance is definitely not something that binds the left together.

    I’m not too concerned though, I’m a great believer that our children will be better than us, that as generations pass, racism, homophobia, bigotry and any forms of intolerance will gradually die out. Yes, I am a hopeless optimist !

    • Hopefully. But some people seem to think that ‘religious rights’ are as, or even more, important than human rights. What when gender equality and gay rights conflict with some religious text?

  21. Some interesting things being said here lets address the issue holistically:

    1. Abu Abdullah who I’ve known for years has never prescribed himself to a madhab (school of thought) in fact stating “why should we follow a madhab when we have Quran and Sunnah”
    – this is the Wahabism/Salafist mentality.

    2. There is no doubt that is openly an act of character assassination by Lincoln Tan and NZMA.

    3. Abu Abdullah has made some shocking statements whilst being “imam” at the Avondale Islamic Centre, however those who have put him as a community leader are also responsible for the chaos taking place.

    4. No one should be trespassed from the Mosque, but violence is not the answer.

    5. Committee members take things too far when things don’t go their way – yelling and screaming to have their voices heard and then make up lies, spread emails and organise assaults on those they disagree with and don’t like.
    Beating up someone because of the their actions is not having mercy.
    That is Islam’s underlying message: Mercy.
    There is no Prophetic mannerism that take place at these meetings, and these are the people who want to run the prayer spaces.

    6. If you got trespassed from the Avondale Islamic Centre, know that there are two other Prayer spaces 5 minutes away – New Lynn and Mt Roskil.

    7. Both young men who planned to go to Syria for Jihad were in fact students of Abu Abdullah – although he might not have instructed them to go, but his teachings advocate for such actions.
    **Side note: Have a jihad with your self before going out to fight in another country: Fix yourself, Fix yourself, Fix yourself.
    3 things you should do before going on Jihad in another country
    i) Pray the night pray every night
    ii) Have a daily litany
    iii) Visit the cemetery weekly (at least)

    8. Both sides are to blame for the mess happening at the Avondale Islamic Centre, and both parties for the sake of community and Muslims in New Zealand should just step away and let a 3rd party organisation come in.
    Because the two groups have had rivalry since Eid in the Park days in year 2001.
    Because of ego’s and long history of feuds they will never come to a peaceful agreement. So let it go. Move on.
    Establish yourselves elsewhere if you really want a place.

    9. @Latifa Daud – No one is calling your family terrorists here:
    It is Abu Abdullah who has the fingers pointed at him – whilst the committee members who put him in place are sitting around drinking kava Abu Abdullah is making headlines.

    As for NZMA – time they got revamped: It’s revolving around the same little group who elect within themselves. There are plenty of young people who make great leaders – use them, they have the energy – let them do their thing and coach them from the side.
    – You guys have a very bad reputation across the country – do something about it.

    • @Ahmad:

      As long as you do whatever you do within the bounds of NZ Law, and then take the consequences if you are caught doing otherwise.

      NZ Law is not based on your former countries ways and beliefs, it is based on NZs ways and beliefs. You must all learn to live within our Law of the land.

      I suggest mass prayer at your mosque, to ask God to sort this out for you, and also if anyone breaks any NZ Laws, then inform the NZ Police.

      Do not incite religious hatred, as this will only harm your church!

      That is all you can do, and you know everything is Gods will anyway.



    May 26, 2014 Huffpost Religion
    Edition: U.S.

    Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, Pregnant Woman Sentenced To Death For ‘Apostasy’, Won’t Renounce Faith, Husband Says
    The Huffington Post | by Dominique Mosbergen

    Apostasy Daniel Wani Meriam Ibrahim Video Christian Woman Sudan Sudan Apostasy Sudan Pregnant Woman Apostasy Meriam Ibrahim Apostasy Pregnant Woman Sudan Apostasy Sudan

    Even in the face of death, a pregnant woman in Sudan says she will not renounce her Christian faith.

    Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, who is in her late-twenties, was sentenced to death by hanging earlier this month after being convicted in a Khartoum court of “apostasy.” According to the AP, Ibrahim, who is eight months pregnant, was given four days to renounce Christianity and escape death, but she refused to do so.

    Ibrahim’s husband, Daniel Wani, told Fox News this week that his wife’s position has not wavered.

    “She said she is not going to convert to Islam,” Wani, an American citizen and Christian, told the news outlet. “And let them do whatever they want to do but she is still a Christian and she is a Christian since she was born.”

    Wani has also been quoted as saying that his wife, who is behind bars with their 1-year-old son, spends her days “shackled” in prison, per Fox. “I’m so frustrated. I don’t know what to do,” he told CNN. “I’m just praying.”

    CNN says the Sudanese court also convicted Ibrahim of adultery and sentenced her to 100 lashes. Her 2011 marriage to Wani, a non-Muslim, is “considered void” under Shariah law, the news outlet explained.

    The international community has decried the brutality of Ibrahim’s sentence, with Amnesty International calling it a “flagrant breach of international human rights law.”

    “The fact that a woman could be sentenced to death for her religious choice, and to flogging for being married to a man of an allegedly different religion, is abhorrent and should never be even considered,” said Manar Idriss, the organization’s Sudan researcher, per a news release.

    The National Security Council, the U.S. State Department and some U.S. lawmakers have also raised their voices to demand Ibrahaim’s prompt release, while thousands around the world have rallied online to demand that the execution be stopped.

    The conversion of Muslims into other religions is punishable by death in Sudan, where Islamic Shariah laws were introduced in the 1980s, according to the AP.

    Ibrahim, whose father is Muslim but mother is an Orthodox Christian, reportedly told the court that she was never Muslim and was raised Christian.

    According to Amnesty International, a date for Ibrahim’s execution has not been announced. “Sudan won’t hang Meriam while she is pregnant,” the organization wrote on its UK website. “The Criminal Code states that she must give birth first, and nurse her child for two years before her execution can go ahead.”

    Ibrahim has reportedly been held in prison for more than three months.

    Save Meriam Ibrahim From A Death Sentence | United Nations …

    Condemned to Hang, Pregnant Sudanese Doctor Meriam Yahia Ibrahim …

    Father reunited with toddler son being held in Sudanese jail with pregnant mother

    Sudan lawyer warned to drop appeal against mother’s death sentence

    • Just curious what religion was Adolf Hitler. What religion was Jozef Stalin, what religion was General Pinochet, what religion was Ariel Sharon. What religion was George Bush. Between them how many people have they killed.

  23. This thread is one of the most negative and racist ones I have ever came across. I wish I never read some of the comments here from both sides. The media focuses attention on negative aspects of life…have you ever heard an urgent news about anything positive or good!

    I am a kiwi Muslim and proud to be. My dad worked in the NZ army. I pay my taxes and I serve my community like the thousands of Muslims across Aotearoa. Look at the hospitals flooded with Muslim doctors. Look at all the Muslim university lecturers and school teachers. See the glass half full!

    Islam is the fastest growing religion in NZ whether you like it or not. We teach our kids love and peace and if there is a minority doing otherwise then it’s not our fault.

    I don’t know this Shaikh but I heard good things about him.

    O Allah, allow us to see the truth as truth, and grant us the strength to follow and abide by it; and allow us to see falsehood as falsehood and grant us the strength to remain away from it.


    • Why get so angry though? Instead of calling people ‘racist’ when they ask valid questions about issues such as gender equality, gay rights and atheist’s rights, why not discuss the issues?

      NZ has a strong gender equality and gay rights history. Many of us would like to know how the growing religion you mention will fit in with that.

      These are valid questions, and questions that aren’t some kind of attack on you.

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