Māori Muslim calls for aroha toward Islam whānau

By Kayne Peters

Tyla Harrison-Hunt and his wife Saba. Image supplied by Re: News / Rediscovering Aotearoa: Aroha episode. 

A Ngai Tahu descendant who converted to Islam eight years ago says the Christchurch terror attacks were an act of hate and Māori should be more understanding of what the country's Muslim community has been through.

Tyla Harrison-Hunt and his wife Saba lost family members during the mosque attacks last year. And although Māori have a long history of trauma due to racism, he says this should make Maōri empathetic to the discrimination the Muslim community faces.

This comes after Te Ao Mārama published a story yesterday with Kiwi Muslim advocate Guled Mire expressing concerns about his community feeling unheard and still feeling the brunt of racism despite yesterday’s release of the Royal Commission of Inquiry report into the mosque attacks.

Harrison-Hunt says, “We are on one waka. At the moment we are just paddling in different directions.

“It would be nice to know we could all go towards something as one,” he says.

"And I think the inquiry highlights things that affect not only Muslims but actually also affects everyday minorities also – including Māori and Pacifica."