New Zealand’s Jewish community is outraged and revolted after a prominent mosque leader blamed Mossad for being behind the Christchurch terror attack.
On Saturday, a group called Love Aotearoa Hate Racism organised a rally for the victims in Auckland’s Aotea Square.
Ahmed Bhamji, chairman of the Mt Roskill Masjid E Umar, gave a speech questioning where the gunman got his funding from. He said he suspected it came from “Mossad” and “Zionist business”.
It is such a shame that Bhamji did this, at a time when communities are trying to support each other.
His speech is clearly anti-Semitic in trying to blame Jews for the acts of the white supremacist terrorist.
As reprehensible as his speech was, it is worth putting in context. He said stuff in a speech likely to incite hostility against Jews. But he didn’t actually condone violence or commit acts of violence. So let’s not use his stupidity to minimise what happened in Christchurch or suggest any equivalence.
What is worth focusing on, is have there been any consequences for the speech?
Newshub spoke to Love Aotearoa Hate Racism co-founder Joe Carolan, who said Bhamji was one speaker out of 30 and there were many different points of view at the event.
When asked whether he agreed with or believed the theory that Mossad were behind the attack, Carolan told Newshub “absolutely not”.
Carolan is a far left activist. He basically seems to say that it’s not a problem as he was just one speaker of 30 and others had different views. Considering the group is called Hate Racism, you’d think he’d take a stronger stand against one of his invited speakers saying a terribly racist thing at his rally.
But Moses says the event organisers should have publicly disagreed with Bhamji.
“It is unfortunate that they did not appear to put its anti-racism message into practice, by challenging or condemning the racism in their midst,” she told Newshub.
“We must call out hateful dehumanising language, whatever the source, target and circumstances, and even when it is not politically expedient to do so.”
If someone says something deeply racist at an anti-racism rally, then intervening would be appropriate.
Newshub contacted Bhamji, who accused Newshub of singling him out.
“I made a statement, a lot of other people made statements,” he said.
Bhamji defended his speech, saying an inquiry is needed into where the alleged gunman got his money from. He didn’t offer any proof to his speculation Mossad had funded the alleged gunman.
“Mossad is up to all these things,” he said. “When I talk about Mossad, why should the Jews be upset about it? Give me an answer?”
Bhamji seems totally unrepentent. As we see reports every day of people losing jobs because of racist statements they may have made, are there any consequences for Bhamji for his racist statements?
I suspect the vast majority of Muslims in New Zealand are appalled by this man’s speech. Don’t think he is representative. But it would be good if he was removed from his position of authority.