A Maori Muslim who is openly supporting the Islamic State militant group and believes Kiwi fighters should not be stopped from joining is looking into moving to Syria.
Te Amorangi Kireka-Whaanga who heads the Aotearoa Maori Muslim Association told ONE News that all Muslims should aspire to what Islamic State are doing.
“All true Muslim believers should go home to the land where Islamic State are being set up,” he said.
Speaking from his home in Hastings Mr Kireka-Whaanga admitted his views were causing unrest within Muslim communities here but said that did not deter him from exploring a move over there.
He said he would take his wife and children but he wasn’t sure if his eldest 17-year-old daughter was keen to go.
However, his ex-wife says she does not condone ISIS. Jameela Hawkins is a Maori Muslim and the former partner of Mr Kireka-Whaanga.
Ms Hawkins says media have misunderstood and misrepresented Mr Kireka-Whaanga’s views views and that the Maori Muslim community are confronted daily by abuse from the public.
“You walk down the road with your headscarves and some members of the public will call out we’re terrorists and say go back to where you come from,” Ms Hawkins says.
The president of the Federation of Islamic Associations (FIANZ), Anwar Ghani, says his federation totally rejects the whole idea of New Zealand getting involved and does not endorse Mr Kireka-Whaanga’s views.
“We reject the whole concept of ISIS and we are against using the name of Islam for their cause, it is not justified,” Mr Ghani said.
FIANZ is calling on the Prime Minister for a meeting after contacting his office 10 days ago.
Mr Ghani told ONE News his organisation contacted the Prime Ministers office in hopes of a private meeting to raise concerns and to tell John Key to not get New Zealand actively involved.
He says his organisation has been ringing the PM’s office every day but are being told the PM is too busy.
“We made the approach 10 days ago when John Key raised potential for a beheading here in New Zealand, that was scaremongering.”
He said to make a statement like that and then to justify terror rules and laws to be passed is of huge concern.