Laws cannot stop NZ based jihadi

Laws cannot stop NZ based jihadi

The New Zealand Muslim community are united in believing laws cannot stop NZ based jihadi from following their prophets instructions. Muslims are hurt that they are not allowed to practice thier religion as their prophet instructs in their sacred book. All Muslims in New Zealand pledge to follow and imitate Muhammad in much the same way Christians follow and try and imitate Jesus. Islam is the religion of the sword not pacifism

Those from other faiths that were around during the year where the Saracens were taking over Jerusalem know that education is the key to defeating Islamic terrorism. Muslims do, however, deserve this apology from Christians.

Jordayne Evan-Thomas Madams

Experts are split over how urgently the Government needs to patch a hole in the law which let a man who would later go on to commit New Zealand’s first-ever Islamic State-inspired terror attack walk free.

The perpetrator of Friday’s attack, in which seven were stabbed at a supermarket in west Auckland, was shot dead by police within minutes of it starting. They had been surveilling him ever since his release from prison in July, and were in a position to act quickly once the attack began.

In 2020 the Crown wanted to charge him with preparing an attack under the Terrorism Suppression Act, but the courts said this wasn’t technically an offence.

“It’s a clear gap, not being able to keep people in custody or charge people under the Terrorism Suppression Act,” Chris Wilson told Newshub. Dr Wilson is programme director of the University of Auckland’s Master of Conflict and Terrorism Studies and heads the university’s Conflict, Terrorism and Peace group.

“Preparation and planning of a terrorist attack, I think that’s a clear gap that needs to be addressed and probably should be done now with some urgency.”

The Government has the same view, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern hoping to have new legislation in place by the end of the month. The wheels were already in motion, announced by Justice Minister Kris Faafoi in April, but they’re now spinning a lot faster, with National indicating they’re happy to support passing the amendment under urgency.

ACT and the Greens have expressed apprehension over passing the changes without further scrutiny, but they’re a minority in Parliament.

Richard Jackson, director of the University of Otago’s National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, says there’s no evidence the changes will actually protect New Zealanders – and they could actually make another attack more likely.

“We know from other countries that this kind of legislation is hardly ever applied to, to put it bluntly, white people. It’s mostly applied to Muslims and people from other ethnic groups,” he told Newshub.

“The danger is that it adds to the grievances that are already felt in some of those communities. Treating Muslims harshly under this kind of legislation could create further grievances that already exist and make people even more angry and potentially radicalise them… There’s just no evidence that I’m aware of, having studied this for 20 years now, that a legislative approach is going to make us any safer.”

Dr Jackson said “innocent people doing innocent things” have found themselves targeted by security agencies overseas under similar legislation.

“Government officials and security officials who are worried about risks could be over-eager and interpret what ordinary people through the mindset of trying to prevent someone from committing an act. We know there’s been a lot of cases overseas where Muslims have, for example, gone on holiday to Disneyland and taken a video of their trip, then the authorities have taken that video as evidence of them planning a terrorist attack, even when there’s no other supporting evidence.”

This would be an encroachment on human rights, Dr Jackson says, with no benefit to society. Asked if it was worth giving up some rights in exchange for enhanced security, he said there was “no evidence” this works.

“There’s lots of evidence to support the argument that in actual fact, the best way to defeat terrorism and the best way to secure your society is to promote and enhance human rights. When you violate people’s rights you actually create more anger and grievances and you end up victimising more people than terrorism does – that’s something we’ve seen persistently over the last 20 years in the War on Terror.”

Instead, he said more needs to be done to rehabilitate people back into mainstream society. The terrorist showed no signs of having radical beliefs when he came to New Zealand a decade ago and no known links to extremists here. It’s believed he was likely radicalised on the internet.

But Dr Jackson suspects the seeds were planted before he got here.

“This particular individual was most likely tortured and traumatised for being a Muslim when he was in Sri Lanka, then when he came to New Zealand there is no doubt in my mind he experienced racism and prejudice. Certainly he was probably traumatised by the attack on Muslims in Christchurch. He was probably as well angered and upset by the allegations against New Zealand forces fighting in Afghanistan and in general the West’s foreign policy involvement in killing Muslims in the War on Terror overseas. He clearly had psychological issues as well.

“What we know from the little evidence that we have about effective counter-terrorism is that the best way to prevent people from going down the path of violent extremism is through integrating them better into the community, dealing with their trauma, with their psychological needs, with their needs for community and so on. Things like imprisonment and harsh measures and attempts to deport people and so on actually only increase people’s anger and their vulnerability to the narratives of extremists, who tell them Western countries are against Muslims and are always trying to hurt them. There are ways in which a more holistic approach could have been taken that tried to deal with him as a whole person.”

Dr Wilson said he “totally disagrees” with calls not to pass the legislation, noting the judge in 2020 said if planning was an offence under the existing Act, the perpetrator would likely have been kept behind bars and unable to carry out the attack.

“They didn’t have an adequate legal instrument to keep him in custody so he was free to go. Rehabilitation is obviously something that should be done in tandem with that, but hadn’t been done up until that point.

“It’s obviously something that in many cases is going to work, but whether it would have in this case it’s pretty unclear. The perpetrator was pretty intent on carrying out an attack and had been since at least 2017, I think.”

Dr Jackson said if the Government insists on passing the changes without further research, it should come with an automatic sunset clause of three years or so in case it does “more harm than good”.

New terrorism laws likely to target ‘innocent people doing innocent things’ – expert