Proud to be a NZer

While there are the expected split opinions on whether the cartoons should be published, and the acceptability of overseas Muslim reaction to them, I doubt anyone could do anything but praise the reaction of NZ Muslim community.

They have protested peacefully, are stressing they don’t want the situation inflamed, and are opposing and trade action against New Zealand, saying “We are all New Zealanders, our heart is in New Zealand and we want this issue resolved peacefully”

So much of the resentment overseas to extreme elements within Islam comes because some radicals are seen as having no loyalty at all to their country and fellow citizens. I mean let’s face it if you live in London and you see fellow UK residents calling for another tube bombing, well your faith in multiculturalism gets pretty sorely tested. Likewise if you are in Denmark and find some of your own citizens have been going around the Middle East whipping up hatred against your country, then resentment increases.

I’m incredibly proud of the NZ Muslim community leadership for the way they have responded and handled this controversy. It’s nice to be in what appears to be one of the very few countries in the world without extremists capturing the debate.

And while Joris de Bres is not always my favourite person, facilitating a meeting between newspaper editors and local Muslim leaders seems to me to be a good move. It gives an outlet for direct dialogue.

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