Sunday, 10 April 2011

it's a critical loss

another weekend over, and i'm not sure that i'm ready to face the working week. time seems to be rushing by in a whirl, which is a good thing really.

i see the labour party list is out (oops, here is the real one), and it looks great. there are a few selections i'd disagree with, but then that's natural. no-one can have their perfect choice of candidates. i'm really happy to see michael wood, kate sutton, jerome mika & jordan carter get high places. all three of them are extremely hard workers, and they have been really strong advocates on various issues, as well as being genuinely decent and nice people.

the one real concern for me though is the loss of ashraf choudhary. i know that he's not popular with many people, but his being there has made a difference for the muslim community. he was there through all the diffcult years post 9/11 and i'm sure that has had an influence in the government response and rhetoric as regards the muslim community. i think it's critically important for us to have a voice in parliament, especially with a resurgence of the kind of hatred that we saw back in 2005.

and i'm not feeling any better about things having read this piece in the sunday star times. entrapment by the SIS is really going to make nz a better place? the iman of masjid-al-taqwa was actually the imam in hamilton for many years prior to his shift in auckland. during his time here, the NBR ran a story about him organising some kind of terrorist cell in hamilton. now that mosque has been indentified in the story.

i can honestly say that i didn't ever see eye-to-eye with this particular imam. he is extremely conservative and his views regarding women would literally make my blood boil. i've heard that he has shifted some way from that conservative position, but i was quite close to his family and would visit them regularly when they lived here. i have seen absolutely no evidence in all those years of any suspicious activity - nothing that need concern the SIS. i've lost touch with them now, so i can't speak to what's happening at the mosque in auckland, but i find it hard to believe that this so called training camp for jihad was anything more than a regular camp with religious teaching ie nothing sinister. there have been camps like this for more than 2 decades and there's certainly nothing sinister involved.

i've had the SIS visit my own home, many years ago now. they have regular contact with muslim community leaders, and if this report is true, i can only say that it sounds like real incompetence and rather bizarre.

so yes, in light of all of that, it feels pretty stink that we won't have a direct advocate in parliament after the election in november. if we end up with mr peters back in parliament, bringin his usual bunch of maladjusted morons with him, it can only get worse.

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