Using Muslims to justify new terror powers



It seems like there has been another attempt to isolate the Muslim community in New Zealand. Being able to spy on someone’s property without their knowledge for 48 hours is a level of insanity that no one in their right mind would agree with.

Personal privacy and dignity will be out the window for my community in order to fight a domestic threat that doesn’t even exist. To add salt to the wound, this legislation is going to be passed in a rush in order to heighten the sense of fear amongst the New Zealand public and push the National government’s war-happy agenda.

According to Bill English, this is the ‘most transparent government New Zealand has ever seen’. After the shady business that has been going on in the past six years, I find that very hard to believe. Passing a legislation as serious as this in a hastily manner confirms all apprehensions. Not allowing for any time for critical debate or opinion shows that they’re not too concerned for what is in the country’s best interest.

As a Muslim myself, I’m nervous. This isn’t because I’m hiding anything. I promise if you go through my Internet records, you’ll see pointless conversations about relatable memes and brainless banter. The MySky is full of movies and documentaries that no one is ever going to get around to watching, as I imagine would be the case for the ordinary Kiwi household. I’m nervous because what I do within the privacy of my own home is no one’s business but my own, yet I know this is going to be compromised.

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I know the general response to that is ‘if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about’. That is so easy to say when you’re not part of the targeted group and you know for a fact that you’re not going to be snooped on. That’s easy to say when most of your family members haven’t been “randomly selected” at the airport, sometimes causing them to miss their flight.

The way things are going though, I get the sense that anyone with a Muslim sounding name who criticises the government’s counter-intuitive tackling of terrorism is a target. You would think that by now they would’ve realised that the alienation of minorities is the most damaging response under these circumstances. The scary rise of Muslim fundamentalism in the UK in the past 10 years should be proof of this. The fact that the government is refusing to see this should worry us all. Its time to learn from past mistakes.


  1. This hasty insane legislation by our “transparently corrupt” government is not just against Muslims, but against any one who is challenges the government so is really a move into NZ becoming a totalitarianism country. Just as the GCSB was used in arresting an NZ resident for the US film industry – their actions and the law was misused for political and economic reasons. The NZ ‘muslim’ threat is just another manufactured attempt to suck more power into the incumbent power hungry PM’s pocket and to curry more international favor and connections. It will be used to manufacture dirty smears on rivals including other politicians that stand in the way or activists, Maori, environmental or any change agents that disagree with the status quo.
    In some ironic twist it is removing basic democratic rights for western citizens in NZ under the idea that Muslim countries must be reformed.

    The reality is that legislation will not be able to stop any threat and is more likely to create it, by giving the already lazy and inept SIS more ‘busywork’ to do on ‘private’ projects rather that their main duties, while at the same time driving any real threat underground in this country rather than happily posting their views on Facebook making them very easy to identify and spy on already. When people face discrimination and injustice (like Muslims) it is more likely to politicize them. Therefore it is a stupid road to go down if eliminating threats is the issue. Which in this case it isn’t. Instead just using buzz words like ‘terror threat in NZ’ to get the government salivating like Pavlov’s dogs and rushing out to do their puppet master’s bidding on this legislation, which is fundamentally and completely against Kiwi’s human rights and all the things people expect from society.

    • I totally agree that this is rushed legislation, and this morning on a television political Q and A programme we heard from a former National president “Mischelle Boag” that this legislation should be rushed through because of the cricket world cup coming to our shores in a couple of months and that’s the reason why we should have constitutional change to our laws. Frankly I find her quite repulsive that we should change our constitution for a cricket game.

      • I concur, Errol.

        Also, if Labour were in power and enacting thgis kind of legislation, we’d be hearing hysterical screams of “Nanny State! Nanny State!” from the Nats.

        But when the Nats do it, National and it’s sycophants are comfortable with ever-increasing State powers of surveillance. That’s the Right for you – they like their fascism casual and only from their side.

        I hope an incoming Labour government follows through on their previous promises to hold a full review of spy-agencies powers and legislation.

        It’s time to wind back the clock. 1977, when the GCSB was first formed and legislation enacted, will be a good starting point.

  2. You rightly outline the discrimination inherent in using the Muslim community as some kind of bogeyman to scare the New Zealand public into accepting rushed legislative changes that remove constitutional safeguards.

    As well as the effects you’ve described this legislation also acts as a limit on free speech. When people are aware that their conversations, even in their own homes, could be monitored at any time without even so much as a warrant, they become less inclined to discuss their views freely if they differ from the party line.

    So, we have a change being rushed through parliament by a lying politician with no evidence given that there is any need for it. The change would provide powers to the State’s spy agencies which would unfairly discriminate against the Muslim community, limit free speech and remove the Human right to privacy of all New Zealand citizens…and it won’t even achieve what it is purported to be for.

    It’s a total sham.

  3. Predictably blogposts like this seem to attract racists like a candle draws moths.

    I have already consigned several obnoxious posts to the Trash, and have no hesitation in deleting any others that follow.

    Persistent violators will be given time-out or even permanent bans.

    Reasoned debate is welcome. Racist diatribes are not.

    I will be ruthless on this issue.

    Carry on.

  4. “I know the general response to that is ‘if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about’.”

    Funnily enough, Latifa, I think you’ll find that most of the right wingers who use that justification to support ever-increasing surveillance by the State, themselves use pseudonyms on internet fora when voicing their views. ( )

    Funny how they value their privacy. I assume they have something to hide…?

  5. If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about – these words were first uttered by Goebbels, the propaganda minister for Hitlers fascist regime, just sayin…

  6. To the best of my knowledge, the new legislation ( which I despise, btw) makes not a single mention of Muslims or Islam. Perhaps you do protest too much?

      • Frank, it’s aimed at terrorists. Unfortunately most terrorists today are Muslim. That’s not racist, just a statement of fact. And because of those terrorists Govt’s will use our safety as an excuse to limit our freedoms. It’s a sick cycle.

        • NW,
          So way aren’t we asking why so many Muslims have become terrorists?
          If people are unjustly treated they may raise up. In Northern Ireland we even saw Christians raising up against the injustice perpetrated against them by other Christians.

          • Muslims are all over the world. Islamic terrorists are all over the world. Are you suggesting there is some nasty conspiracy at work that has been singling out Muslims for injustice? Muslims are persecuting people of other faiths the world over. This isn’t just about ISIL. I have zero sympathy for them. They won’t help their cause by beheading journalists, that’s for sure.

            You pushing the boundaries of discussion and verging on racism, Nehemia. Keep it up and you’ll be looking at time out. – ScarletMod

            • I appreciate the feedback, Scarlet, but I’m not sure when stating facts transversed into racism? I have friends and neighbours who are Muslim. They are great people, who I trust implicitly. But everything I wrote above is supported by facts.

        • Actually, most terrorists who’ve committed acts in Aotearoa have been French and probably not Muslims at all. The government claims to be wanting to protect us here. They should stop French tourism in that case.

          • Funny that the government of the day made no moves to “toughen” the powers of the SIS, GCSB, Police, etc, after the Rainbow Warrior bombing. There was no attempt made to implement a Terrorism Alert Level (or whatever the feck it’s called). No mention of planting cameras in peoples’ homes. No warrantless surveillance.

            No hysteria at all.

            The cops just got on with the job.

            Unfortunately, there are no “foreign fighters” or bombers or suchlike, and the populace may be starting to wake up to the fact that Key is (once again) having us on. Wouldn’t it be ironic if the fallout from this proposed legislation is another dent to Key’s credibility. With his teflon gone, the dirt is sticking…

          • Virtually all terrorism across the planet is caused by Muslims at the moment. If they want the attention to stop, they need to stop the violence.

            • Funny thing, Nehemia. No Muslim army has invaded another country. The same cannot be said of the American Empire which has invaded two countries (Iraq and Afghanistan) and is supporting a client state (Israel) to occupy and repress another state (Gaza).

              It’s a shame you can’t see cause and effect, instead of just focusing on effect.

              • That’s not correct Frank. Muslim armies were responsible for centuries of invasion of nation states from around 650AD to around 1400AD. But that’s by the by. The world has moved beyond the transparent form of warfare you describe. The greater threat today is terrorism, a silent and insidious threat driven by ideology rather than nationhood. And like it or not the ideology that supports most terrorism today is Islam.

                • And Christian armies responded in kind, invading the Middle East; each other; and then the New World (no, not the supermarket). When it comes to imperialism, Europe excelled. When it comes to warfare, very few are exempt.

                  So pointing the finger at one specific group when European colonial powers were busy slaughtering each other; muslims; American Indians; Aboriginees, Maori, etc, etc, etc, erc… Please, spare us the redacted history.

                  By the way, IS have filled a vacuum left by the American Empire’s meddling in the Middle East, including an illegal invasion based on non-existent weapons of massless destruction. Ponder that.

                  • ‘Responded’. Yes indeed. But the point is your claim was wrong Frank. Not only that, but you compare two centuries of British colonisation with almost a millennium of Muslim invasions. Hardly comparable.
                    Further, the U.S. actions in the Middle East were the direct result of the actions of radical Muslim terrorists. Without Bin Laden et al the U.S. actions would most likely never have happened. Cause and effect Frank.

                    • Pray tell, Nehemia, what “radical Muslim terrorists” were involved in Iraq, that merited the US invasion?

                      Without Bin Laden et al the U.S. actions would most likely never have happened. Cause and effect Frank.

                      If you’re going to talk about “cause and effect”, Nehemia, it behoves you not to be selective. Because things happened before 9/11, you understand, don’t you? History isn’t a convenient thing that starts at a point that suits you, and anything else inconvenient is irrelevent. If you’re going to be selective in “cause and effect”, you’re fooling no one but yourself.

                    • “what “radical Muslim terrorists” were involved in Iraq ”

                      I’m not sure if you are referring to the first war of the second. But either way, Iraq has sheltered terrorist cells for decades. The evidence is very easy to find, if you look.

                      “Because things happened before 9/11, you understand, don’t you?”

                      Sure. Here’s a list dating back to 1972 in the US alone…

                      It was you who first raised cause and effect Frank.

  7. To pick on muslims because of some vile lies is painful beyond belief,and also to know, that its just an excuse to spy on all of us, in the name of security against terrorism is such a joke.Humanity on this planet has been,manipulated and controlled for many hundreds of years at least.
    We need to Wakeup! Become detectives and “Question Everything”
    To make us all safer,lets have 24 hour surveillance on our politicians in power, that might help keep the real terrorists under control!

  8. Thank you Latifa for keeping this contentious issue out there.

    My old cynical perspective is this. The haste in which this legislation is passing through Parliament, won’t be enough for this government.

    Using Kiwi Muslims as an immoral excuse to pass through unethical laws, is not only divisive and bigoted, but also I can see it as being a forerunner to extending security legislation to include other non conformist NZers to suit government “requirements”.

    Government won’t be satisfied until the next round of “national security” measures is pushed through at speed, designed to:

    -lock up ANY perceived dissenters:

    -passport confiscation of ANY Kiwi who challenges or questions Key and/ or ministers:

    -target and close down alternative news media and blog sites, such as this, considered a threat under new security laws, in the guise of national security.

    These moves will keep any challengers to Key et al out of the way, allowing him to “rule” unhindered on his own anti democratic terms!

    I don’t like to think of such awful goings on in NZ. However I feel the way, through government’s abuse of security services to fit its personal agenda, is being paved for fascism to raise its ugly head and take hold.

    Kiwis need to begin organizing and work as collectives to confront and get the message through to this noxious government, that we are NOT prepared to forfeit our democratic freedom without a challenge!

    I really can’t see any other way than acts of civil disobedience and passive resistance, because there doesn’t seem there’s anyone on our side to take up the battle for us ordinary folk! It’s all up to us to preserve our basic human rights.

  9. Prejudice against Muslims runs deep in the political right because religious conservativism in NZ is rooted in Christianity. Mohammed hadn’t even been born when Paul wrote against the descendants of Ishmael. If Christians knew the truth about Paul they would leave the Church in droves.

    • Christians do know the truth about Paul. His authorship of vast swathes of the New Testament are a bit of a giveaway, don’t you think?

      • Religion is for people without hobbies. Get a life, and/or get a hobby. Motorsport is good if you do not mind people telling you that you are responsible for the ozone layer depleting. If this does concern you then go to the gym, tale up jogging, golf, poker (available online) or whatever. In any event, family comes first, and no religion is more powerfull than family.

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