Muslim advocate says his community ignored and racism persists

By Kayne Peters

Members of the Muslim community says it feels as though their voices have not been heard following the release of the Royal Commission of Inquiry report into last year's terror attack in Christchurch.

The racially fuelled attack on March 15 saw 51 Muslim Kiwis massacred and many more injured.

Muslim community advocate Guled Mire says although members of the Muslim community were interviewed for the report, many more were left out of the inquiry.

“We weren’t consulted on the development of the terms of reference for this investigation,” he says.

“I don’t want to dwell on it but I just want to note that we’ve been saying we’ve been ignored and we’ve been consistently ignored.”

He says, “the report itself has some really solid recommendations to a certain degree and I think it’s imperative we implement them as soon as possible.”

The report has scrutinised New Zealand’s laws addressing hate crime and hate speech. And it states, “New Zealand’s legal framework and New Zealand Police practice need to be improved.”

Mire says as a public figure he often receives hate speech and trolling online.

“There have been instances where I’ve received threats and I’ve reported these incidences to authorities who are still of the view that this stuff is opinions of another person.”

“We have a lot of work that we need to do in that space and, at the same time, we cannot ignore the elephant in the room, which is institutional racism.”

Mire says no matter what laws are added, if Aotearoa doesn't address its racism problem then the problem is not being fixed.