Trade Boycotts

It is incredibly gratifying to read sentences such as “The New Zealand Federation of Muslim Associations has been at the forefront this week of lobbying Middle Eastern ambassadors to persuade their political masters not to impose sanctions”.

It shows recognition of the fact that New Zealand does have a free press, and that seeking to punish an entire country due to the decisions of a free press in that country is quite wrong. It is a different situation to seeking a boycott to protest a Government decision one doesn’t like such as asking to boycott China because of their invasion of Tibet.

How-ever as is always the case, there are sad exceptions such as recent immigrant Asif Naim who actually has written to the Khaleej Times in Dubai calling for a boycott of NZ products.

I wonder how well a New Zealander would do if they moved to Pakistan and called for a trade boycott of Pakistan because they objected to a story in a Pakistani newspaper. I suspect they would be arrested or worse. To say Mr Naim is ungrateful would be putting it mildly – he is quite willing to exploit our liberal traditions of freedom of speech to try and punish all NZers for the fact we do have freedom of speech.

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