Yesterday Richard Prosser tweeted “Hmm, wouldn’t it be terrible if people read the whole thing for themselves before commenting.”
I’ve read the whole thing. It seems very deliberately provocative and extreme. Prosser (et al) attacks one of the essences of Kiwiness.
This is how he concluded his column, with my comments.
I say this: In order to ensure safety for passengers, crew, and civilization alike, on the world’s airlines, it is necessary to send a message to those who would threaten that safety, and it is this;
If you are a young male, aged between say about 19 and about 35, and you’re a Muslim, or you look like a Muslim, or you come from a Muslim country, then you are not welcome to travel on any of the West’s airline …
- not at least and until, the religion of Islam has taken it upon itself , and proven that it is able, to prevent the extremists withing it’s fold from behaving in the manner in which they have done, these past dozen years and more.
I don’t believe that such an unreasonable demand to make.
It is a very unreasonable demand to make. One and a half billion people can’t be held responsible for the extreme actions of a few thousand who happen to share a very diverse religious umbrella.
Others will, of course; plenty of commentators will take umbridge at my suggestion, and not only because I’m an MP.
To me this says that the enemy is not merely at the departure gates; but that he – and she – is already within, that excessive tolerance, coupled with the twin evils of diversity and multiculturalism upheld and promoted by political correctness and other weaknesses of spirit and nationalism, mean that the citadel has already been breached, and that the terrorists have already won.
That sounds to me like a direct attack on Kiwi tolerance. And on our multiculturalism. We have a very diverse multicultural society.
I have debated a lot on blogs with people who have similar views to Prosser. These people seem to want just one religion, their own. They want just one culture, their own – a mythical single culture of the ‘good old days’.
They say that people who don’t fit their narrow ideal should not be allowed to immigrate here. Some go as far as suggesting that those already here that they don’t like should be deported.
While it’s hard to gauge what proportion of Kiwis would agree with these extremes it’s clear there are some. That helps demonstrate how diverse Kiwi culture actually is – ranging from famous Kiwi tolerance to extreme bigotry and intolerance.
We can do better than this.
Yes Richard, we can do better than this. We can start by accepting that Kiwis are are very diverse cultural bunch. A bunch that won’t abuse and offend foreign peoples and different religions. A bunch that shouldn’t suggest draconian restrictions on hundreds of millions of people because of the extreme actions of a few thousand.
And closer to home, we can do much better than attacking tolerance, diversity and multiculturalism. They are not evil. They are very Kiwi.
Richard, you are attacking Kiwiness.
And you are talking up a problem we don’t have in New Zealand. We don’t have a problem with Muslim terrorism. We don’t have a problem with tens of thousands of New Zealanders who choose to follow the religion of Islam. They deserve to be treated like the rest of peaceful and law abiding New Zealanders.
We don’t have the ‘enemy within’ that you seem to be suggesting. We have many enemies within, but not the one you seemed intent on stirring up.
One of the enemies within New Zealand is intolerance of differences, where some from within are intent on insulting and isolating and ostracising and rejecting fellow Kiwis because they are different to themselves.
We can do better than this.