A NZ forced marriage

January 30th, 2012 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

A ghastly story at Stuff:

For months, in an ordinary house in a Wellington suburb, a 17-year-old Pakistani was held hostage, trapped in a marriage forced on her by her parents and threatened with death.

The woman, who does not want to be identified, was married in 2010 without her consent or knowledge after her Muslim parents learned she had a Hindu boyfriend and became concerned she was too westernised.

If they think she was too westernised, they should not have moved to New Zealand.

The Wellington teenager refused to go ahead with the marriage, despite months of family threats of deportation and violence.

Then her parents took her to the Internal Affairs Department to sign what they said were visa documents but which she later found were marriage papers.

That night a ceremony was held at her parents’ home. She was told it was an engagement ceremony and, if she did not attend, she would be deported. After the ceremony she said her father told her she was married and was to go to her husband’s house in Newtown with him that night.

“I was crying all day and night. I didn’t want to get married. I don’t think any 17-year-old girl would want to get married.

“I was freaking out. I was still in shock and told the guy not to touch me. He was trying to be forceful to me sexually but, when I warned him about the police, he backed off.”

Smart girl. Smart guy also for backing off, realising we have rape laws.

For two months she was held in a kind of prison with her husband and his family. They would not let her leave the house or use the phone and always supervised her. They demanded she sleep with her new husband and have a baby.

Her own parents visited once a week but barely spoke to her.

She finally did escape, and went to the police and ethnic women’s support organisation Shakti. Her marriage has since been annulled and her parents have gone back to Pakistan.

Before leaving, her father told her he would kill her if he saw her again. “I wanted to die. My dad was saying that to his own daughter, I couldn’t believe it.”

I’m glad the parents have left, as they should be deported if they had not. I also think her “husband’s” family should be checked out. There is no room in New Zealand for people who condone forced marriages.

I don’t think our laws should discriminate on the basis of religion (well except scientologists :-) but I do think we need to make very clear to potential immigrants that there are certain aspects of New Zealand culture and laws which are important to New Zealanders such as separation of state and religion, equal rights for women, no forced marriages, democracy, freedom of expression etc etc. And equally the message should go out that if you have a huge problem with any of these things, then you might not want to live here.

I just hope the poor 17 year old girl prospers in New Zealand, despite being abandoned by her family.

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49 Responses to “A NZ forced marriage”

  1. Steve (4,553 comments) says:

    It is probably the best thing that could have happened to her. Separation from a violent family can only be good

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  2. Manolo (14,224 comments) says:

    Savages! Even some animals wouldn’t do this do their offspring.

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  3. Pete George (23,864 comments) says:

    Nasty business, bad to see forced relationships anywhere let alone in New Zealand. Very good that the girl knew her rights and stood up for them, getting the necessary support and legal outcome when she could.

    It’s a big thing to efffectively lose your family but she is better off without them.

    There are some here who might suggest she doesn’t belong in New Zealand either due to her family/ethnic/religious connections and upbringing.

    Instead I welcome the girl into the wider New Zealand family, I hope her will to be independent and her willingness to stand up for herself are widely recognised as commendable attributes in this country, and I wish her all the best here and hope she can enjoy being a Kiwi without prejudice.

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  4. Joel Rowan (99 comments) says:

    “If they think she was too westernised, they should not have moved to New Zealand”

    I was glad to read this. We have liberal academics telling us that people (in Australia) who fly the Australian flag are more likely to be racist because 91% of them “expect immigrants to Australia to adopt Australian values” – when you move to New Zealand, you don’t get to establish your own Little Lahore – by all means, hold on to your culture, but there are certain things we should never tolerate immigrants bringing to our shores. When you move here, you should be buying into our way of life.

    Someone should not get the benefits of living in New Zealand, without a little give back.

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  5. Brian Smaller (3,969 comments) says:

    I don’t think our immigration laws should discriminate on the basis of religion (well except scientologists :-) but I do think we need to make very clear to potential immigrants that there are certain aspects of New Zealand culture and laws which are important to New Zealanders such as separation of state and religion, equal rights for women, no forced marriages, democracy, freedom of expression etc etc. And equally the message should go out that if you have a huge problem with any of these things, then you might not want to live here.

    How racist. I mean, cultural relativism tells us that those social/cultural mores such as you described above are not bad and inimical to the NZ way of life – just different and should be embraced as part of our rainbow, multi-cultural land.

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  6. ben (2,281 comments) says:

    Ah, religion.

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  7. hmmokrightitis (1,596 comments) says:

    Thanks ben, exactly what I was thinking as well.

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  8. Weihana (4,621 comments) says:

    Surprise surprise, parents from Pakistan reflect the backward ideals of the country they came from.

    If we can’t discriminate on the basis of religion then just do it in a round-a-bout way. Identify those countries with significant human rights abuses and discriminate on the basis of that.

    Oh whoops.. That would mean no to the Chinese. :)

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  9. samtheman (40 comments) says:

    That 2nd to last paragraph is the wisest thing I’ve ever heard you say David. If they come to our country they need to abide by our laws. However, we must be careful to ensure they have the freedom to retain their culture and values, as the law allows. They are perfectly within their rights to “establish [their] own Little Lahore” if they want to, provided no laws are broken. While we would prefer they integrate more into our society, we should not attempt to force them to.

    To put it another way, you can wear the burqa whenever you want, except when we need to identify you.

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  10. Scott Chris (6,178 comments) says:

    Easy solution:

    Arranged marriages are legal in this country, so all we need to do is pass a law that requires an independent assessment of the willingness of the marriage participants to unite. Kinda like euthanasia in some ways…. User pays of course. Follow up checks would be desirable.

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  11. samtheman (40 comments) says:

    In other religious news, the US Supreme Court just unanimously ruled that the Establishment clause means that churches aren’t bound by equal employment law, so a Lutheran church can’t be sued for discrimination.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/13/opinion/the-ministerial-exception.html?_r=2

    Awesome

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  12. Pete George (23,864 comments) says:

    If they come to our country they need to abide by our laws. However, we must be careful to ensure they have the freedom to retain their culture and values, as the law allows.

    I agree, but (as implied) I think it goes further than “as the law allows”. Everyone should have the unhindered right within our laws to look how they like, dress how they like, eat how they like, behave how they like, worship how they like etc as long as that doesn’t hinder another person’s rights.

    Everyone should be given a Kiwi fair go when it comes to expressing individuality.

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  13. RRM (10,104 comments) says:

    Good luck to her. Sounds like she is well shot of them.

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  14. markra (200 comments) says:

    that is the danger of bringing people from countries with primitive customs or laws. I feel sorry for the poor girl. I believe that when people come to New Zealand from other countries they sign a contract that they will abide by our laws. Even if the do become citizens the contract remains.
    That also includes shunning forced marriage, female circumcision, underage marriage, honor killing, acting or inciting treason, ie hate speech or inciting violence etc.
    If they break any of these rules at any time, their contract will be broken and they will serve the relevant jail terms and then be sent back to the countries they come from. It should also include those that support or coverup, ie wives of husbands, family members who honor kill or anyone else who support or try and coverup. Coming to New Zealand is a priviledge and not a right.

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  15. RRM (10,104 comments) says:

    when you move to New Zealand, you don’t get to establish your own Little Lahore

    Well, you do actually ;-)

    there are certain things we should never tolerate immigrants bringing to our shores.

    Correct – you don’t bring things that break NZ laws.

    Quite a few people on this thread seem to think this story shows our immigration system is broken, I’m not sure it is…

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  16. Put it away (2,872 comments) says:

    Religion of peace.

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  17. Other_Andy (2,676 comments) says:

    Yep David, Pete and samtheman, that will work.
    Muslims can come to New Zealand as long as they don’t practise their religion.
    Great solution.

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  18. Bevan (3,232 comments) says:

    @ Other_Andy, these guys were practicing their religion too…

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10782140

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  19. tristanb (1,127 comments) says:

    Who would have thought that a “religion of peace” (based on the life of a warmongering paedophile) would cause situations like this?

    How to stop it?

    Punish the offenders. Each involved member of that husband’s family should be locked up – the costs for this can come from their assets, and if they haven’t yet got residence then send them back after punishment. Her parents need to never be granted any type of visa to enter NZ. We should share info like this with Aussie too, so we don’t get their rejects and vice versa.

    We don’t want that type of crap here. We’ve got enough or our own social problems.

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  20. gump (1,686 comments) says:

    stuff.co.nz said:

    In the past two years Shakti has dealt with more than 25 cases of forced marriage in Auckland and Wellington.

    Spokeswoman Priyanca Radhakrishnan said that, for each woman or girl who sought support for forced marriage-related issues, there was anecdotal evidence of many more in a similar situation.

    ————————

    This was the saddest part of the article.

    I hope that these women can get the support that they need.

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  21. samtheman (40 comments) says:

    Other_Andy – Of course they are allowed to practice their religion, so long as they break no laws doing so. Otherwise what’s to stop me starting a religion and claiming my holy text gives me the right to break laws too?

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  22. kowtow (8,957 comments) says:

    Daily we ,the citizens of New Zealand are exhorted by our glorious leaders ,of all political and religious hues, to embrace multiculturalism and to celebrate diversity. They even try to talk it into our largely unwritten constitution.

    Well folks ,this is a practical example of multiculturalism and diversity, so why aren’t we celebrating,why are we surprised?

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  23. Viking2 (11,741 comments) says:

    Canada has got it right as of today

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/6334001/Guilty-verdict-in-polygamous-honour-killing-case

    Guilty verdict in polygamous ‘honour’ killing case

    A Canadian jury has found an Afghan father, his wife and their son guilty of killing three teenage sisters and another wife in what the judge described as “cold-blooded, shameful murders” resulting from a “twisted concept of honour”.

    The jury took 15 hours to find Mohammad Shafia, 58; his wife Tooba Yahya, 42; and their son Hamed, 21, each guilty of four counts of first-degree murder in a case that shocked and riveted Canadians from coast to coast.

    After the verdict was read, the three defendants again declared their innocence in the killings of sisters Zainab, 19, Sahar 17, and Geeti, 13, as well as Rona Amir Mohammad, 52, Shafia’s childless first wife in a polygamous marriage.

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  24. peterwn (3,346 comments) says:

    One issue not covered. It was not clear whether it was a registry office marriage (done by a registrar) or done by a marriage celebrant. AFAIK the registrar / celebrant should have refused to complete the marriage if there was something fishy as would probably have been apparent in this case. If a registrar, seems a kick in pants is needed, if a celebrant then licence should be revoked.

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  25. Pete George (23,864 comments) says:

    this is a practical example of multiculturalism and diversity, so why aren’t we celebrating,why are we surprised?

    The answer to that is obvious. Just like we don’t celebrate thugs of street. Or child murderers. Or people who rip of investors. Or people who can’t tolerate anyone not exactly like themselves.

    There’s plenty of introduced multiculturalism and diversity we can celebrate. On Saturday night I had a very enjoyable meal at Circa. With wine. And yesterday I enjoyed nice Turkish in Manners Street. Not so long ago if you went out for a flash feed there would inevitably be someone complaining about there being no stea and chips on the menu. And a decade before you only had steak (beef) and eggs or steak (ham) and pineapple on the menu. No liquor allowed. Our cultural diversity has come a long way in half a century.

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  26. Manolo (14,224 comments) says:

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/01/29/jury-finds-afghan-family-guilty-in-honor-killings/

    The jury took 15 hours to find Mohammad Shafia, 58; his wife Tooba Yahya, 42; and their son Hamed, 21, each guilty of four counts of first-degree murder. First-degree murder carries an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years.

    In the pathetic NZ justice system these savages would probably get five years and restorative justice crap, after which they would be out on the street after 2 or 3 years ready to kill again.

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  27. Other_Andy (2,676 comments) says:

    @samtheman

    “Other_Andy – Of course they are allowed to practice their religion, so long as they break no laws doing so. Otherwise what’s to stop me starting a religion and claiming my holy text gives me the right to break laws too?”

    I was being cynical sam. Maybe I should have used the /sac on and /sarc off tags.
    Honour killings, arranged marriages etc. are part of their religion, they follow their ‘perfect example’ Mohammed.
    Look it up.
    Your women are your fields, so go into your fields whichever way you like . . . . (MAS Abdel Haleem, The Qur’an, Oxford UP, 2004
    . . . Wives have the same rights as the husbands have on them in accordance with the generally known principles. Of course, men are a degree above them in status . . . (Sayyid Abul A’La Maududi, The Meaning of the Qur’an, vol. 1, p. 165)
    You either give them the freedom practice their religion or you don’t.
    You can’t have it both ways.
    And sam, for a Muslim Sharia law trumps secular law always, every time.

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  28. F E Smith (3,310 comments) says:

    Manolo,

    that is rubbish and you know it. In NZ they would be sentenced to life imprisonment, and I would expect a non-parole for each starting at about 20 years.

    On topic,

    I am sure Luc Hansen will be along soon to tell us that this is all propaganda and that the truth is very different…

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  29. Put it away (2,872 comments) says:

    F e smith – clearly a mossad false flag op. Most likely organised by sarah palin.

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  30. F E Smith (3,310 comments) says:

    pia,

    :D

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  31. Pete George (23,864 comments) says:

    This is bad in 21st century New Zealand, but although this case is fairly extreme the coercion to marry used to be not that uncommon in Kiwi culture.

    Not so long ago we had a term ‘shotgun marriage”. That usually meant pressure was put on a father to be to “do the decent thing” and marry someone he may or may not have had much of a relationship with and may or may not have loved. It was family and societal pressure – often with a heavy religious influence.

    But there was worse than coercing the bloke to church. Some very young women were put in the position of getting married – or they couldn’t keep their yet to be born baby. So they not only had strong societal pressure to conform and comply, they also had the threat of something that could hardly be more emotional as a mother to be.

    We’ve since learnt to apply basic human rights and freedom of choice to multi-generation Kiwis. The least we can do is give more recent Kiwis a fair go as well, no matter what race, ethnicity, country of origin or religion, as long as they share similar hard earned rights.

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  32. Pete George (23,864 comments) says:

    And forcing people by law not to get married because they might not conform to some old biblical ideal is not so flash either.

    We’ve come quite a way in allowing freedom of choice in relationships and marriage but we’re still not evenhanded.

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  33. kowtow (8,957 comments) says:

    For goodness sake Pete you really don’t get it and your analogy is very shallow. There’s a huge difference between having a sagwala and having a suttee.

    I have for years noted commentators equating the availability of ethnic dining with multiculturalism. If we are to celebrate multiculturalism and diversity then we must also welcome all the foreign cultural ,religious practises involved.

    By the way I’m having butter chicken curry for dinner,that’s got nothing to do with “multiculturalism”.Any more than Laughing Cow cheese has!

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  34. Manolo (14,224 comments) says:

    Dalrymple’s essay about multiculturalism: http://www.city-journal.org/html/14_3_oh_to_be.html

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  35. wat dabney (3,854 comments) says:

    To quote Colonel Kilgore in Apocalypse Now: “Fucking savages.

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  36. plebe (271 comments) says:

    The dad could have bought crafars,and key would have cuddled him.Keys in it for the BIG bucks

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  37. samtheman (40 comments) says:

    Other_Andy – Haha my bad, thought you were being cynical about my comment rather than Islam. I see your point – much of the Qur’an is diametrically opposed to our idea of human rights. I would suggest that some (although not as much) of what is written in the Bible also violates what we now consider to be unalienable rights, but most Christians ignore such passages. The optimist in me hopes that with education and time Muslims will also come interpret their religion through the glasses of modern-day morality.

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  38. mara (770 comments) says:

    samtheman “The optimist in me hopes that with education and time Muslims will also come to interpret their religion through the glasses of modern day morality.” Do you realise that your comment is seen by staunch Muslims as totally arrogant, wrong and to be opposed by whatever means possible? No? I didn’t think so. Islam is practically as old as time and will outlast and overwhelm the West, as long as there are naive, useful er, fools like you who are incapable or unwilling to see what is actually happening around the world. You sound like a nice man, but niceness does not equate with survival. It never did.

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  39. kowtow (8,957 comments) says:

    samtheman

    You may be an optimist but I’m afraid yours is a forlorn hope. If you are serious about this you should give this link a go.
    In short the Koran is the literal word of God.So there can be no “modern day morality”. Basically we are dealing with 7th century Arab,desert culture.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/39403160/Blogging-the-Quran-by-Robert-Spencer

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  40. Manolo (14,224 comments) says:

    The optimist in me hopes that with education and time Muslims will also come interpret their religion through the glasses of modern-day morality.

    You’ll have to wait at least 500 years until vile Islam corrects its evil ways, if ever.

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  41. Pete George (23,864 comments) says:

    Islam is practically as old as time and will outlast and overwhelm the West, as long as there are naive, useful er, fools like you who are incapable or unwilling to see what is actually happening around the world.

    Islam is not anywhere near as old as time, but granted, it has been around for quite a while – without overwhelming the West. It’s just made a resurgence as “communism has failed and faded, who’s another bogeyman we can stir up hate with”.

    I’m sure some of those you label naive are able to see through you as well as they can see through radical Islam, and stand up against both when necessary.

    There are a few Muslims who think they can win over everyone one way or another, but there are also a few Christians who have the same aim. As the world continues to becomes better educated both those extremes will be mostly avoided, and most Muslims like most Christians will learn to co-exist with people that are different to themselves.

    … but niceness does not equate with survival.

    Being mostly nice doesn’t have to equate to weakness.

    Eras of arseholes have had mixed success over the millenia, temporarily, but have always ended up failing, with their game you only win until you lose, and even the wins are tenuous.

    And locally Labour are not exactly doing wonders with the attack and anti approach. Nice may be the new way – try it if you’re capable.

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  42. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    I agree with kowtow and Manolo.
    Fact number 1 – Islam is a violent and hateful cult/ideology (rather than a “religion”), and it will never change.
    Fact number 2 – Those countries that have let in large numbers of Muslims are very much regretting it. By this, I mean the UK, France and Sweden in particular. Many other countries in Europe are having regrets as well.

    Don’t believe that Islam is evil? Here’s the proof, straight from those who have left it – http://www.apostatesofislam.com/

    Pete George – all of this has nothing to do with us “stirring up hate”.
    I (and others like kowtow and Manolo) **know** what Islam is like.
    Did you know that very many Muslims actually have almost no idea of what is in the Quran? I have seen dozens of testimonies of those who have left Islam, and many of them say “I was not told this” or “I had no idea that Mohammad was bad”.

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  43. mara (770 comments) says:

    Pete George. I read your response to my post. I won’t bore you with a point by point rebuttal largely because your belief seems largely to be an attitude of faith over reason, and there’s really no dealing rationally with that. Time, as they say, will tell.

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  44. Murray (8,803 comments) says:

    Islam is one of the newest religions on the planet you muppet.

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  45. kowtow (8,957 comments) says:

    Pete
    ….most Muslims will learn to co exist……you really can’t be serious!

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  46. Other_Andy (2,676 comments) says:

    @Thor

    “Did you know that very many Muslims actually have almost no idea of what is in the Quran?”

    You are correct Thor. Many Muslims (In Africa, the ME and Asia) are illiterate. They depend on the Imam to tell them what is in the Koran. For many Muslims their first-hand knowledge of the Koran are rote learned passages in Arabic and their life consists of following sharia (The rules laid down by Mohammed), as instructed by their Imam and the wider community, to the letter.
    Most Muslims are driven by fear. Every aspect of their life is regulated and driven by sharia and everything they do and every decision they make is either halal (good) or haram (bad). Being a true ‘slave of Allah’, following Allah’s (Mohammed’s alter ego) rules to the letter, is a status of both ultimate virtue and nobility for a Muslim. To question or to disobey these rules will not only bring shame on you and your family but will also result in retaliation from the wider community and ultimately from Allah himself. A great many of these rules (sharia) clash with secular life in New Zealand.

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  47. Pete George (23,864 comments) says:

    Most Muslims are driven by fear.

    Is that accurate or an assumption? Most, many, some?

    Fear of an ‘enemy’ religion and culture is what some commenters here try to promote. Do they display residual Christian fears?

    The best way to combat rewligious and cultural excesses is open education, that’s what removed the Christian fire and brimstone fear factor for most people. Islam will evolve and modernise too, and that will happen faster if all Muslims aren’t ostracised and blamed for the excesses of some.

    We don’t have to have wars of religion or ideology. Some try to portray things as us versus them, good versus bad, Christian v. Islam, Christian v. Atheist, left v. right, socialist v. capitalist. Some think their ideas have to win and to do that someone else’s ideas have lose.

    But eventually we will figure out that we need to learn to co-exist and co-operate in a densely populated world. Or we will destroy our global civilisation.

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  48. grumpyoldhori (2,205 comments) says:

    Primitive countries like the USA where they have purity balls

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIqG8odfRHI

    Easy answer, stop all religious whack jobs coming to NZ, which is all fucking religions bar none.
    We do not need fuckwit xtians going door to door trying to sell their absolute bullshit.

    Why were all this lot not charged with kidnapping and given twenty bloody years ?

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  49. jaj (1 comment) says:

    The Dominion Post’s sensational story of 30 January on front page whipped up a storm. The Kiwis poured out their anger, hate and disappointment. This was a natural reaction to Dominion’s story. How GULLIBLE we are?
    The Dominion Post has RETRACTED the story & APOLOGIZED to the ex husband and his family on 13 February on page 3A.
    The ex husband and his family were the actual victims who suffered but kept their silence. The story is fictional like Indian movies.
    Shakti has done a great diservice to the community by wipping up a storm for self projection and probably for more funding by making New Zealnders believe in concocted stories. I now doubt the other cases they are handling in the name of women rights. This irresponsible attitude can destroy peace and harmony in the society and innocent people pay the price for crimes they never committed. Shakti owes an opology to the community.
    It is well known that stories like this one are whipped up for sympathy and support for Immigration purposes. I request bloggers not to conduct summmary trial of any ethenic group on the bases of media reports which can be fictional and well planted. The story has nothing to do with religion. The Dominion Post has op[ologized and let us see what Shakti has to say on this.

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