Some of the bleatings of Donna Mojab at Scoop today are worth thinking about. But some are easily dismissed.
She has banged out a press statement with a heading
Select Committee Not Interested In Hearing From A Muslim Woman
According to the statement, at 10am on Saturday Nov 29th she was nervously glued to her phone (not literally, Alf trusts).
She had been told the day before that, following her written submission, the Select Committee would be calling to hear her oral presentation on the new Counter Terrorist Fighters Bill.
The call never came reinforcing my view about the Government’s complete disregard for due process and the farcical manner in which this important bill is being rushed through.
Whether the select committee should be blamed for this is debatable.
It could be the phones were out at Parliament because someone there had not paid the bill. Or something.
But Donna is having her say anyway, via her press statement:
She has a fair point in grumbling about the process by which this bill is being considered.
Apart from undermining the normal parliamentary procedures and therefore the democratic process, the unnecessary rushed processing of this bill creates a false sense of urgency and the wrong impression of New Zealand being under immanent threat of terrorism.
She proceeds to express concerns on behalf of the Muslim community:
This exaggerated presentation of terrorist threat prejudices the Muslim community in NZ who continually have the finger of suspicion pointing at them and are perceived as the main source of terrorisms, even thought, the only real acts of modern terrorism in this country were initiated by the Government (2007) and French agents (1985).
Alf is bemused at that point.
Maybe. It was a Labour government that year, after all.
She goes on:
I asked for this oral presentation because I felt that, due to the tight time constraint, my written submission was not well prepared and did not include all the points that I wished to raise.
One major point which I did not include in my written submission is the obstacle this bill creates for me as an Iranian-bred Muslim woman, and many Muslims like me, to exercise our right to freedom of thought, speech and association without the fear of being perceived as a threat to national security and without the fear of being put under secretive, intrusive surveillance and, most importantly, without the fear of the cancellation of our passports.
Learning about what happened to David Small and Aziz Choudry in 1996 and also what happened in 2007 Ureweras raids and recently with the misuse of SIS for political purposes; makes me very concerned and conscious about abuse of power by the police and the SIS.
Cancellation of my passport is one of my biggest fears. I imagine the scenario of being stranded in Iran whose government I have criticized openly many times.
And so on.
Someone at Scoop has placed an ad alongside the statement from Donna:
Dunno if they are inviting a jihad or some such.
The ad says:
Is Jesus God?
Scholars Examine the Facts About Jesus’ Claims to be God
But Alf’s interest was the claim that one Muslim woman – and the implication this extends to all Muslims – was being ignored.
Lots of people are being ignored by this very hasty select committee hearing.
We Nats are not discriminatory, although we aren’t too fond of greenies, socialists or Kim Dotcom.