Muslim converts essentially say they are no longer part of New Zealand, but part of the Islamic Nation, so any war over there is their war personally here.
Peters claims Muslim group funding radical
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters yesterday renewed his attack on Muslim radicals, claiming a national Islamic group was funding a militant Maori Muslim to convert prison inmates. Mr Peters’ allegations came in a speech entitled Is There an Enemy Within?
Much of the material he used to make his allegations was taken from an article published last year. Mr Peters said Hawkes Bay-based Te Amorangi Izhad Kireka-Whaanga, leader of the Aotearoa Maori Muslim Association, had made outrageous claims and “travels to prisons conducting dawaa, or preaching visits”.
The NZ First leader said he had been contacted by two prison staff concerned about a “new phenomenon in our prisons – the growth of radical Islam among mainly Maori prisoners who are former gang-members”. The “frightening thing” was that the Federation of Islamic Associations was paying for the visits, Mr Peters said.
“So while they have the audacity to criticise me, here they are funding this man to spread his hate-filled messages in our prisons. This is part of the militant underbelly I was talking about.” Last night, Mr Kireka-Whaanga said he had gone to prisons to visit Muslims there, not to convert.
And he said he was banned from visiting prisons after publicity last October. The federation had never funded him. He also denied there was a militant underbelly in New Zealand.
Asked about his views on the British terrorist attacks, Mr Kireka-Whaanga said: “I don’t have any remorse or any sympathy for what happened in Britain because every day I’m watching the Muslims getting killed on TV and no one makes a big deal about it or asks how we feel.
“We watch our brothers and sisters getting killed every day by the British and the Americans.” Asked if he was encouraging terrorist attacks, he said: “I understand why it’s happening. I can’t really say I agree with it because in our religion we’ve got laws for war and we are not allowed to kill innocent people.”
But he added: “People have to expect to be responsible for their actions. If the New Zealand Government decided to be a part of the coalition to fight and kill people to get oil, then I would support things like that happening in this country.” Javed Khan, president of the federation, dismissed the Peters speech as “wounded bull” talk after polls showing a fall in support for NZ First.
He said if Mr Peters really wanted to know what was happening in the community he would have accepted an invitation to talk to Muslim leaders during this week’s Islam Awareness Week. Mr Peters said he stood by his funding claims and had no need to take part in the awareness week because he had spoken with Muslim leaders in Christchurch last year.