Has Jacinda Ardern gone too far? Some now think so. Troubling issues are arising.
An issue not being raised in the mainstream media is that questions are very much in evidence among New Zealanders at large about whether Jacinda Ardern’s naivety has affected her judgment – not only in donning a hijab, regarded by so many Muslim women forced to wear this head covering as a symbol of patriarchal oppression. The highly respected Spectator https://spectator.us/jacinda-ardern-hijab-muslims/ highlights what The Gatestone Institute has also drawn our attention – to “ A female lawyer who courageously defended Iranian women who removed their hijabs to protest the Iranian regime’s misogynistic treatment, was sentenced recently to 33 years in prison and a flogging of 150 lashes. https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/13912/uk-bans-hezbollah
Given the long association with the hijab imposed upon Muslim women in oppressive male patriarchies such as Iran and Saudi Arabia today, the question of whether the hijab recently donned and extensively worn by the Prime Minister was appropriate, even given her obvious attempt to express the sadness and horror felt New Zealanders nationwide at the shocking massacre of a Muslim people in Christchurch?
And from a concerned expatriate comes an important question – after viewing the photograph that went around the world of a young police officer wearing a hijab with a red rose, she asks – shouldn’t the police be more a-religious? That is, regardless of the religious and ethical beliefs of individual police members, are our police not required to act in a secular capacity, without fear or favour in carrying out law enforcement duties, preventing crime, maintaining public order and protecting private property – treating all citizens impartially and with respect? Reportedly police officers dotted around Christchurch also wore green ribbons pinned to their chests as a sign of peace and solidarity. Another puzzled New Zealander says doubtfully that he is not sure the rose is appropriate for an officer on duty. Another concurs, in relation to the wearing of the hijab. “Agreed. These events smack of virtue-signalling as well as over-eagerness to appease members of a religion whose extremists are unfortunately associated with violence elsewhere.”
While this attack on a peaceful Muslim group in Christchurch profoundly shocked and was deplored by the whole country, New Zealanders are not naïve and know that Islam itself is involved with violence worldwide – even turning uponmoderate Muslims to achieve its aims. There is little doubt that while New Zealanders’ reaction to the dreadful killings in Christchurch has been one of total support to all involved, some troubling issues have emerged.
Chief among people’s concerns have been what is seen as the opportunity for inappropriate knee-jerk reactions by Jacinda Ardern’s government. Governments never lose any opportunity to increase their power, and many from the conservative majority in this country, people working to provide a future for themselves – concerned at the constant intrusion of government into all our lives – may now feel that the fringe extremist groups – to which successive governments have long given listening priority _ will be working to make the most of this opportunity to gain even further mileage.
There is no doubt that most New Zealanders feel disenfranchised from the decisions made by our political parties and their all-controlling hierarchies in relation to issues which very much determine the directions in which we are going. While our media’s love affair with Ardern extends to all her decision-making, many New Zealanders are questioning the suitability – (or rather the lack of appropriateness) of broadcasting the Muslim call to prayer over our national radio – and centres-taging a Muslim prayer in parliament – given that any references to Christianity in our House of Representatives have been high-handedly removed – in spite of very strong protest.
When he was appointed Speaker of the House, the left-wing, former Labour MP Trevor Mallard took it upon himself to remove from Parliament our traditional prayer, and references to the Queen. Predictably, he provided for a vague prayer to be made to a God in te reo Maori – (now regarded by many as having been so substantially reinvented and elasticised that it bears minimal relationship to the genuine Maori language). Equally predictably, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern supported Mr Mallard – even in the face of the Deputy Prime Minister, Winston Peters, and other MPs saying that this is a decision that should have been left to the whole House – not just to one person.
What has gradually happened in this country is troubling very many New Zealanders – as is the question of whether our police are moving towards more activist statements and positions – even give the worthiness of current issues – (or not, as the case may be). This question came to the limelight when Police Commissioner Mike Bush favoured showing support for the fringe event of the Hero Parade staged by the LGBT community and its various subcultures – when police were actually encouraged to take up an activist stance by marching in this parade. Incredibly enough, a police car was painted in rainbow colours and police encouraged to wear pink shirts. Viewed by many as a concerning partisan stance, it also raised eyebrows about whether it showed questionable judgment.
This is an interesting issue, given no indication of similar extra support showed to conservative Christian groups in this country, or to pro-life organisations speaking for the rights of those most vulnerable of all New Zealanders, the unborn children… or even to extending extra support to the Falun Gong against Communist Chinese displeasure at protests by these brave people trying to draw New Zealanders’ attention to the removal of vital organs from their fellow countrymen in the horrific practices by Communist Chinese.
Many will also recall the then Prime Minister Jenny Shipley’s order for New Zealanders peacefully protesting in Christchurch about China’s invasion of Tibet to be removed further away by the police – with buses placed in front of them to obscure them from the sight of a visiting Chinese delegation.
How much our police are controlled by the government is an interesting issue. And when MPs were told into 2015 by Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully that they were to avoid events involving the Falung Gong late in May because the Chinese Embassy would monitor them and lodge official protests, Labour Foreign Affairs spokesman David Shearer, to his credit, said such a warning had no place in a free society. The leaked email was aimed at National MPs, but sent in error to others. As Shearer remarked , “New Zealand has a proud history of free speech, freedom of religion, and an independent foreign policy. It should be Kiwis, and Kiwis, only who should decide where they go and who (sic) they should associate with. He added that this should not be dictated by McCully and his ministry because they felt it might upset another country, and that, “It was further evidence of a government that had lost its way, as well as its moral compass, and the principles on which New Zealand was founded”.
One of these important principles is that of free speech – and this is an area where many New Zealanders now feel they are being threatened and monitored – with a resulting consequence that they can be accused of the nebulous “hate speech” – simply by speaking their mind honestly and truthfully about what many see as growing divisions, by no means accidentally fostered, within our society.
The politically correct constant claim about the need for diversity, for example, ignores one very important point. So-called diversity leads to divisiveness, and divisiveness leads to divisions. Yet a country divided against itself becomes destabilised. Shouldn’t we be asking ourselves who stands to benefit from this.
© Amy Brooke – See www.100days.co.nz and https://www.facebook.com/100daystodemocracy?ref=br_tf
And a must read – see below.
The Chilling Crackdown on Freedom and the Uncritical Elevation of Islam Following Christchurch. From the Australian commmentator, Bill Muehlenberg (edited).Mar 24, 2019
If you are reading this article – or this website – you are doing well. I really do not believe both will be around a whole lot longer – not the way the crackdown on free speech is going. Throughout the West the forces of intolerance and bigotry – yes, the secular left – are doing all they can to stamp out all points of view but their own.
And leading the way here is how the left is seeking to make all criticism of Islam illegal. Demands have been made for decades now that all criticism and critical assessment of Islam become verboten, and after Christchurch this is ramping up even further.
The Islamic war on freedom, free speech and the West – aided and abetted by the left – is now moving along very nicely, and anyone with eyes wide open has good reason to be very concerned. Daily now we see moves to restrict our freedoms and constrain free speech.
A few recent examples can be noted here. Recently in the UK an African street preacher was arrested for simply proclaiming the gospel in public. As I wrote on February 28, “A black street pastor, believed to be a Nigerian man, was arrested in London on 23 February apparently for an alleged ‘breach of the peace’ as he preached the Gospel outside Southgate Underground Station.”
When the Muslim mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, was asked about this worrying case involving Oluwole Ilesanmi, he could not give a straight answer, but mumbled about the importance of free speech. When asked if street preachers could freely read from the Bible on the streets of London, he simply said that he had not read all of it. Andrea Williams, head of the Christian Legal Centre, said this about the case:
“Street preaching in the UK has a long, storied history. Open air preaching is the only way to guarantee that all the public is given the opportunity to respond to the love of Jesus Christ. But despite laws that theoretically support the freedom to preach in public, in practice, police officers are quick to silence preachers after any suggestion (often false) of Islamophobia or homophobia. This is not only unjust, but chills free speech through self-censorship. We want to see police officers protect the freedom of street preachers by only using their powers when truly necessary. “
But let’s look further at the fallout from the Christchurch shooting. I have already mentioned some of them, including how one New Zealand book chain has pulled the best-selling book 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson simply because he dared to pose with some fan who had a t-shirt on which was critical of Islam.
A private business is free to do what it wants I suppose, but the rank hypocrisy here is sickening. As has been pointed out, while Whitcoulls has ditched Peterson’s book – which has sold millions of copies and helped so many people – it is still happily selling Hitler’s Mein Kampf!
Consider also some political fallout from this. On Tuesday March 19 Islamic prayers were heard in the New Zealand Parliament in a further “show of solidarity.” Um, whatever happened to the separation of mosque and state? Recall that over a year ago New Zealand dumped any mention of Jesus in its parliamentary prayer. As one report said at the time:
Mentions of Jesus and the Queen have been removed from Parliament’s Te reo karakia, or prayer. A consultation period for the new karakia isn’t over yet but the Speaker of the House, Trevor Mallard, has already adopted it, RNZ reports. That’s been causing concern amongst some in opposition, but Mallard says he’ll consider any feedback before a final decision is made.
And on Friday Muslim prayers were broadcast around the nation with full, official government support and backing. Not only that but many schools were strongly encouraging their female students to wear a hijab in support. But I thought education in NZ was supposed to be secular?
Many are now wondering if the aim here is the eventual Islamisation of New Zealand. If so, not bad, considering only one per cent of its population is Muslim. While Christians make up around half of New Zealand’s population, it seems they have nowhere near such influence.
And recall that the previous Friday various newsreaders for the evening news in New Zealand had donned the hijab for yet more ‘solidarity’ and ‘identification’ with the Muslim community. Wow. Talk about falling over themselves in an attempt to appease Muslims while effectively slapping the faces of those in the Christian community and other faith-based or even non-faith-based groups in NZ.
And even more frightening was this recent headline: “Hijab wearing police officer’s photo makes powerful statement in wake of Christchurch mosque shootings”. I offer the photo of this above.
And the NZ shooting is also having quite an impact overseas. Consider a case in Canada where an atheist – not a Christian – who happens to be an ex-Muslim, has had his speech cancelled because of the NZ shooting:
An ex-Muslim who is now an atheist and secular activist says Mount Royal University is overreacting by canceling his talk that was planned on campus for Thursday. Armin Navabi, who lives in British Columbia, was being brought in by the Atheist Society of Calgary to share his journey and discuss the reasons he doesn’t believe the Islamic faith can be reformed. But now he says he’s disappointed he won’t get a chance to engage in some passionate discussions with staff and students, including those who still practice Islam, because of MRU’s last-minute decision.
“What do they want? Do you want to have less conversation? Isn’t less conversation exactly what leads to people having extreme radical positions,” said Navabi. “I mean the less words exchanged between us, the more fists and bullets are going to exchange between people. Having more conversations is exactly what you need in the face of some tragedy like this.”
But wait, there’s more. Get a load of this one: “A petition started in France is circulating online for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for her response to the shooting massacre in Christchurch.” Wow! Let’s just go all the way and proclaim her to be the Messiah!
Plenty more examples of leftism spiralling out of control, and the curbing of various freedoms as well as free speech could be offered here. The horrible NZ massacre – as chilling as it was – is now being used all over the world to push something Muslims have been keen to push: the end of all criticism of Islam.
Indeed, Muslims have long sought to shut down all criticism of Islam by any means possible. There are far too many examples of this to recount here. Let me just offer a few. A decade ago this was even being pushed at the UN level. The Organization of the Islamic Conference pushed U.N. Resolution 62/154, on “Combating defamation of religions.” It sought to have Islam be officially shielded from any criticism.
Countless other such calls have been made over the years. And following the Christchurch massacre we are again hearing such calls, loud and clear. Let me give just one more as an example, this time back here in Australia. As we have heard so often before, Islamic leaders are again calling for the end of critical commentary on Islam. As one report puts it:
The Grand Mufti of Australia and New Zealand Ibrahim Abu Mohamed has called on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to push for new laws to greater protect Muslims against Islamaphobia. Dr Mohamed met with Mr Morrison following Friday’s Christchurch mosque massacre which claimed 50 lives.
He told SBS Arabic24 that he brought three items to the table during the meeting, including his request for the introduction of new laws which would make it an offence to discriminate against Muslims. He noted that such laws would be similar to those in place in numerous countries which protect Jews against antisemitic speech.
Section 18C of the federal Racial Discrimination Act prohibits actions, including what is widely called hate speech, that “offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or group of people” based on their race. However, comments directed towards Muslims are said towards people who adhere to the Islamic faith, not at a racial group. He also asked Mr Morrison to ensure that the Christchurch attack was “documented” in a way that it would “go down in history as a terrible massacre”.
Section 18C has of course already been a disaster when it comes to free speech, and this Muslim leader wants to make it much worse. We should be getting rid of 18C altogether, not adding more to this draconian piece of Australian law – a case that I have made elsewhere.
By Bill Muehlenberg (edited).