Anjum Rahman on ‘jihadi brides’

Anjum Rahman from the Islamic Women’s Council of New Zealand was interviewed on The Nation about the ‘Jihadi brides’ issue. She spoke very well and provides a worthwhile perspective.

AnjumRahmanTheNation

(It’s worth noting that Anjum Rahman is dressed differently to how I’d ever dress. So is Lisa Owen. Both sounded much like many Kiwis.)

Lisa Owen: At the time that this story broke, what impact did it have on the Muslim community?

Anjum Rahman: Well, it put a spotlight on the community, and a negative spotlight. The way that this was reported – media reports – certainly I’ve seen one article from Radio New Zealand that specifically said ‘Minister Finlayson has said women leaving from New Zealand’.

So that was that assumption in the public arena, which immediately placed suspicion on the women in our community and our community in general.

It put the spotlight on our community, how this plays out in terms of talkback radio, social media as well as real –life experiences for kids at school, for women, you know, going out in public. It causes damage; it really does.

Lisa Owen: So what do you make of this new information that the Prime Minister knew six months prior to making these statements, that none of these women have left from New Zealand?

Anjum Rahman:: I think it’s upsetting to not have had that information in the public sphere because we work really hard with our community.

Our organisation has a lot of events, and we put effort, especially into our young people, to build up this Kiwi-Muslim identity. And we had a big national youth camp for young Muslim women in December last year, and we’re putting a lot of effort into this, and we need that effort to be recognised; we need some engagement to be happening.

We’re as concerned about security as anybody else. We’re also New Zealand citizens, and our Prime Minister is also responsible for us and our safety.

Lisa Owen: Why do you think he didn’t correct that misperception?

Anjum Rahman: I can’t read what was in the Prime Minister’s mind. All I can say is that we would really like him to recognise the impact that this has on us and to be careful that with the way that he’s presenting information, and that should any such thing happen in the future, that they provide the full, correct information and engage with the community beforehand to ensure that we have some level of protection.

I mean, in Australia, just three days ago, three Muslim women were attacked by a gang, had their hijabs ripped off, were punched, physically beaten. And that’s very close to here.

And for us, that’s a real fear. I mean, at this youth camp, we ensured that there were three police officers present because we don’t feel safe.

Lisa Owen: So was it irresponsible for the Prime Minister not to correct that information?

Anjum Rahman: I think that he should have corrected it, yes.

Lisa Owen: So what do you want from him now? Do you want an apology?

Anjum Rahman: I think we want to work with the Government. I think we’re looking at the bigger picture. I mean, this is a topic of the day, but we want to look at the bigger picture. We want to work towards security for all New Zealanders as well as security for our community, our women, our children. So we need proper engagement on that.

We’d like to work with the agencies involved as well. We’d like them to get to know us, and we know that Ms Kitteridge hasn’t met with our organisation at all. We got no briefings; we’ve had no information. And that makes it really difficult to deal with if she’s like this.

Lisa Owen: Metiria Turei has raised the fact that she’s heard the SIS is out knocking on doors. Do you know anything about that? Has this come as a surprise to you?

Rahman: I know that the president of the Federation of Islamic Associations was due to meet with her during this past week. That was at his request, and it took about two to three months to get that meeting scheduled. I’m not aware of what you’ve just said.

Lisa Owen: So you believe that there was a meeting this week between Rebecca Kitteridge and the president?

Anjum Rahman: I understand so, but she certainly hasn’t—or no one from the organisation has contacted our organisation. I spoke to him two weeks ago when this news first came out, and he said, ‘Oh, got a meeting scheduled.’

Lisa Owen: Right. What about the Prime Minister? Because, you see, when we spoke to him on The Nation, he said he’d met with Muslim leaders, he thought, and he’d probably been to a mosque in the last year, he thought, as well. So has he spoken to you in the last year?

Anjum Rahman: He hasn’t spoken with anyone from our organisation. Again, also, the president of the Federation of Islamic Associations was elected as a new president around May or June last year and has never spoken to Mr Key.

If he has spoken to community leaders, I’m not sure who he has spoken to, whether they were localised in Auckland, but it doesn’t appear to be the national leadership. But we haven’t had any engagement either.

The Government has a duty to do what it reasonably can to protect New Zealand from international threats of terrorism, and specifically from threats from radical groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda.

The Government also has a duty to protect New Zealanders from persecution.

So does the media. While they put the spotlight on John Key and the Government they could do with carefully considering their own role in this.

Interview (video) at NewsHub: Turei: Key misled public over jihadi brides

Transcript from Scoop: Lisa Owen interviews Metiria Turei and Anjum Rahman

Website: Islamic Women’s Council of New Zealand

Vision of IWCNZ:

Muslim women aspiring to achieve their full potential through participation and collaboration in community life in Aotearoa New Zealand with the guidance of the Qur’an and the Sunnah of Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him).

Included in their Principles:

  • To promote their spiritual values through understanding, acceptance, education, interaction, respect, and cultural awareness – paving a pathway to a safe and respectful environment.

  • IWCNZ shall seek to avoid any practices that are contrary to Islam and thus will endeavor to promote a platform of unity, peace, love, respect, humanity, and kinship.

 

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35 Comments

  1. Oliver

     /  5th April 2016

    John Keys actions are disgusting. If Muslim woman are attacked in this country as a result of his lies, then John Key should be held accountable for inciting hate crimes, for encouraging violence against women. I will not look the other way.

    Reply
    • Iceberg

       /  5th April 2016

      The only people attacking Muslim women are Muslim men.

      Reply
    • Missy

       /  5th April 2016

      So who should be held accountable if non-Muslim women are attacked in NZ by Muslim men because people like you put you head in the sand and refuse to face the reality that the Islamic values in many families is incompatible with Western values?

      Who should be accountable if non-Muslim women are attacked by Muslim men because people like you are too naive (or scared) to speak out against their values that are incompatible with those of a Western democratic society?

      Who should be held accountable if non-Muslim women are attacked by Muslim men because the media, liberal elite, and naive in NZ are too afraid to speak out against the way that the Muslim community treats women?

      Who should be held accountable when a Muslim man attacks a non-Muslim woman because it is acceptable in their culture, and the liberal elite, the media, and people like you have said that they can bring their culture into our country because it provides cultural diversity?

      A number of years ago some non-Muslim women were sexually assaulted in NZ by Muslim men, it was at night, they had been out, they had had a drink or two, and the men thought they would be easy targets. The girls all stated that the men all mentioned the fact that they should not be out alone at night, and they were called whores. The problem is these attacks weren’t treated as being racially or religiously motivated, because according to the liberal elite, and people like you Oliver, when a Muslim male attacks it is lone wolf, or just a random attack, but when a Muslim is attacked it is racially or religiously motivated. So we have no stats on attacks by Muslims against non-Muslims as being religiously or racially motivated, though many probably are. I have been called a western whore by Muslim boys (no older than 15 or 16) in Wellington, and that is mild, I have been lucky I have not yet been assaulted, but these men do attack non-Muslim women because of their religion or race.

      No woman should be attacked Oliver, and for you to use any unlikely future attack against Muslim women as a way to get in an anti Key dig is disgusting, you diminish the attacks on Women who are non-Muslim and make it seem like only Muslim women are important enough to have someone be held accountable for any attacks against them.

      Reply
      • Oliver

         /  5th April 2016

        “So who should be held accountable if non-Muslim women are attacked in NZ by Muslim men”

        If???????

        You might ask me – who should be held accountable if non-Muslim women are attacked in NZ by aliens from outta space.

        I only deal with facts missy. And we don’t have a problem with Muslim men being violent to anybody in this country. So stop dog whistling.

        Reply
        • Missy

           /  5th April 2016

          “I only deal with facts missy. And we don’t have a problem with Muslim men being violent to anybody in this country. So stop dog whistling.”

          What facts do you have that any Muslim women will be attacked as a result of what John Key said?

          And yes, we do have a problem with Muslim men being violent in NZ, it is just that the liberal elite, media, and people like you, are not willing to face up to it, and the perpetrators are never described as Muslim. Have you not noticed when a crime happens in NZ the victims/perpetrators are usually only described in terms of race when they are Polynesian, and never in terms of what faith they follow.

          A number of Muslim men a few years ago in hamilton attacked young women – the perpetrators were well known in the community as being Somalian Muslims, and members of the Mosque, the women that were attacked were verbally assaulted by the men ahead of the attack for being out at night alone – the media didn’t report their ethnicity or religion in order to preserve the view that it wasn’t anything to do with their religion – when it was.

          Reply
          • the media didn’t report their ethnicity or religion in order to preserve the view that it wasn’t anything to do with their religion – when it was.

            In what way do you think that Islam teaches men to verbally assault women for being out at night alone?

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  5th April 2016

              That question needs to be addressed to the Muslim men who are reported from time to time to do it. Usually they are quoted by the women harrassed as making remarks that suggest they see the way the women are dressed, or being out unaccompanied by a male guardian, or behaving in some way they consider disgusting, as morally abhorrent & deserving of being subjected to verbal and/or physical abuse.

              There is quite a lot of scope for them to justify that sort of behaviour due to a combination of their ethnic & cultural origin and their particular brand of Quran & Hadith & figh interpretation and instruction.

      • Patzcuaro

         /  5th April 2016

        I think that most attacks on women in general in NZ are carried out by non Muslim men. The attacks maybe of a sexual nature but it is more about power & control. I see it as more a male problem rather than a Muslim problem.

        Reply
        • Joe Bloggs

           /  5th April 2016

          Ahhhhhhhh, thank you! A voice of reason and sense, rather than culture-based profiling and sweeping generalisations.

          Reply
        • In the wider context you’re very right – we have a huge problem in this country with male aggression. However, in the context of this discussion – the understanding of the Muslim community, reaching out and bridging gaps you are wrong. One of my children was on a jury very early after their electoral roll inclusion. The case he had was of a Muslim man who attempted to set the house of his estranged wife and family alight. During the course of this trial he and the jury were introduced to some of the proprietorial and ownership rights this sector extends to men.

          Islamist and pan-fundamental sectors of this religious group treat their women as less than chattels and pretty well all of them interpret the Quran as placing omnipotent and supreme power with men.

          The difference between a secular NZ family and community/society and a Muslim family and community couldn’t be more stark.

          Making us and the government ( Mr Key) is wrong. The indisputable fact of most Islamic communities within a Western context is that they do NOT integrate. To deny this, not to address it at it’s roots is liberalism gone mad. Take a good look at countries in Europe where Muslim numbers are creeping up. Communities demand millions in taxpayer support for their separatist initiatives (Schools, Islamic community centres) and the position of women within that grouping. Take a look at the fate of those who break away, either as apostates or converts or simply secularist or moderate. They have a Fatwah out in them as soon as look at them. Muslim Men are being enabled within Western societies, and as they even have Sharia law applying within Western legal jurisdictions.

          As far as reaching out to these communities (vis a vis the transcript and discussion above), let’s have an open discussion. Let Lisa Owen and her ilk have panel/audience discussions and put a modicum of onus on the spokespeople for these communities to show us what they’re bringing to our societies., not just how we can change/acquiesce to accept them. I’m afraid that apart from SBW and his little family, I see a group who are living parallel lives to the rest of us. How can we know them when they will not let us in and our media is complicit in letting them keep their lives hidden.

          Reply
  2. Nelly Smickers

     /  5th April 2016

    “It’s worth noting that Anjum Rahman is dressed differently to how I’d ever dress”

    Never say never PG……

    My brother in-law lives in Oz and went to a ‘bad taste’ fancy dress party last month, dressed as Osama XD

    Reply
    • Oliver

       /  5th April 2016

      It looks more like the outfit he wore when he worked for the CIA and then later framed for 9/11 by the CIA.

      Reply
    • Lilly Franks

       /  5th April 2016

      Now I want to know what type of dresses Pete does wear. Something floral, I’d imagine.

      Reply
      • jamie

         /  5th April 2016

        Red and white gingham dress with short sleeves, a wide belt, and box-pleated skirt hemmed just below the knee.

        Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  5th April 2016

      Poor Pete-it’s impossible not to to read that and wonder how he dresses. I don’t see him as floral, more denim skirts and striped blouses 😀

      I think that going to a party as Osama Bin Laden is about as bad taste as it’s possible to imagine, except going as Hitler.

      Reply
  3. “Lisa Owen: Why do you think he didn’t correct that misperception?”

    Plenty of scope in that question for opinions. A rational response might include things about nefarious intent.

    Reply
  4. Brown

     /  5th April 2016

    ”And we don’t have a problem with Muslim men being violent to anybody in this country.”

    FFS . We are not an island that will be forever excluded from unpleasant things already manifest elsewhere in the world. Some years ago now my son’s very attractive flat mate got sexually assaulted by a Muslim taxi driver (he was convicted). In his view she had no rights at all because she was, well, female. That attitude appears very difficult to change as their teachings excuse rape because the men are not expected to be able to control themselves. That’s clearly a current approach as it remains the deal under Sharia Law. My wife won’t get in a taxi with a Muslim driver.

    While driving my step daughter around recently I pointed out the Muslim couple (I see them from time to time) – wife robed up, walking correct distance behind and so on. That’s not violent but it sucks and is not something we should encourage.

    The woman from Islamic Women’s Council of New Zealand is just a useful front. She’ll get stomped on as soon as she crosses the line of what is acceptable to the men. Political Islam does not accommodate western civilisation and has no place in NZ.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  5th April 2016

      I see plenty of Muslim couples side by side, and as often as not the husband will be pushing the pram. We had an Indian friend whose very traditional wife insisted upon walking behind him, much to his embarrassment. In the Solomon Islands, the husband walks ahead when they’re walking through the jungle, while the wife and children walk behind him-she carries everything with a strap across her head. This seemed wrong to Kiwi friends, until they discovered the reason-if there’s danger, the husband deals with it, unencumbered, while the wife slides the burden off and runs with the children.

      What people do is their own business, and if it’s not affecting you-it’s nothing to do with you. This couple, I imagine, doesn’t try to make you do as they do.

      Anjun Rahman is not a useful front; what an insult to her.

      Reply
  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  5th April 2016

    “in Australia, just three days ago, three Muslim women were attacked by a gang, had their hijabs ripped off, were punched, physically beaten. And that’s very close to here.”

    But when Muslim women who are NZ citizens join ISIS from Australia that is not “very close to here”?

    The Egyptians evidently disagree: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11616833

    Reply
    • Nelly Smickers

       /  5th April 2016

      Interesting Herald article Al. We can only hope that these days the GCSB spys have more in their arsenal than a well thumbed copy of Playboy and a cold pie.

      I well remember that Egyptian Imam Abu Hamza who was preaching in the UK Mosques……that went well 😦

      Reply
  6. Kevin

     /  5th April 2016

    “Anjum Rahman: Well, it put a spotlight on the community, and a negative spotlight. The way that this was reported – media reports – certainly I’ve seen one article from Radio New Zealand that specifically said ‘Minister Finlayson has said women leaving from New Zealand’.

    So that was that assumption in the public arena, which immediately placed suspicion on the women in our community and our community in general.

    It put the spotlight on our community, how this plays out in terms of talkback radio, social media as well as real –life experiences for kids at school, for women, you know, going out in public. It causes damage; it really does.”

    Oh diddiums. Does the jewish community complain every time anti-semititic attacks increase after Israel defends itself? When was the last time a mosque was attacked? When was the last time a Muslim cemetery was vandalised?

    Suck it up, cupcake.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  5th April 2016

      “certainly I’ve seen one article from Radio New Zealand that specifically said ‘Minister Finlayson has said women leaving from New Zealand”

      Is this simply factually incorrect? When I searched the RNZ articles did not say this at all. The only article that said “leaving from NZ” was a Stuff report and that wasn’t citing Finlayson.

      Reply
      • Exactly. What do the left and the media take us for? At the core of this argument is – did these women have New Zealand citizenship and did they become Jihadi brides? The rest is mere semantics and politics.

        Reply
  7. Zedd

     /  5th April 2016

    There’s an well known ‘political tactic’ used to either gain public support or distract the public from other more important problems/issues.. ‘Create a crisis’ (draws the media & public in) & then offer ‘a solution’ to ensure control is maintained.. eg Howard & ‘the children overboard’ (In Aust.) this smacks of the same B-S.

    BUT the reality is, it often also creates further ‘unintended consequences’ (known or unknown).. race/religious intolerance etc. That leads to further ‘problems/issues’ arising 😦

    I think it likely that this is just the opening of full on ‘islamophobia’ in Aotearoa/NZ ?

    Reply
    • After over a decade of incessant Islamist inspired slaughter it’s hardly surprising there is intense focus on Islamic fundamentalism and more importantly radicalisation in the West. It wouldn’t be normal if there wasn’t the odd unjustified backlash against innocent Muslims. However, please don’t turn the tables on those who are just asking for conversation. Not everybody in this society agrees with you and you can use dismissive words like Islamaphobia, but it doesn’t change the issue . This issue is why is the meaningless slaughter of hundreds in the West is being perpetrated by Islamists and how we stop it. By lazily using the narrative that Muslims as a whole must not be held responsible for these atrocities, and dismissing opposing views is counterproductive.
      I’m not scared of Islam, therefore I’m not Islamaphobic. I am moderately scared of terrorists and criminals killing in the name of religion, not personally but societally. I believe that 6th century religious values and lifestyles are at odds with a 21st century secular and educated West. What does that make me?

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  5th April 2016

        Anti-American?

        Reply
      • Gezza

         /  5th April 2016

        Just johsin’ there…I don’t like Islam nor do I want to see large muslim communities in NZ.

        Reply
        • To me I think we need to consider this. Should a secular society welcome groups of migrants whose religious values are at odds with and demand special circumstances to live in this society? Should a secular welcome people who do not agree with the concept of free speech, who do not regard women as equal citizens, who ignore the secular state & eschew the rule of law to live by their law? Should we also welcome those who contract their daughters into arranged marriages?

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  5th April 2016

            Not bothered by arranged marriages where the couple get the final say. To the rest of it, no.

            Reply
      • Zedd

         /  5th April 2016

        @trav

        all fair enough.. 🙂

        Reply
        • Most objection to mass immigration is neither irrational or the result of “prejudice”. Most of us see that immigration has brought advantages to our societies, but we ca look to migrants who haven’t. Traditioally most of the immigration to the West has been either of easily assimilating Judeo/Chistian backgrounds, or religious backgrounds with a faith that tolerated or even celebrated those of others.
          Tolerance of other religions is not a common thread in Islam. In pretty well all Muslim countries other religions are barely tolerated and in many practitioners are shunned, tortured and worse. In Western countries where Islamic migration reaches a tipping point, communities would be unrecognisable to visitors from a decade or two ago, and not in a positive way.

          A recent survey in France found that “70 percent of the population believe there are too many foreigners living in the country and 74 percent believe Islam is not compatible with French society. A quarter of British Muslims sympathise with Charlie Hebdo attackers. This is what we face if we allow the degree of migration they have in Europe.

          http://www.thelocal.fr/20130125/too-many-foreigners-in-france-french-say
          http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/11433776/Quarter-of-British-Muslims-sympathise-with-Charlie-Hebdo-terrorists.html

          Luckily in NZ we still have the choice of who we allow in here.

          Reply
  8. jamie

     /  5th April 2016

    “If he has spoken to community leaders, I’m not sure who he has spoken to…”

    I have the same suspicions. I heard that interview and his answer to that question had a distinctly agricultural aroma.

    Reply
  9. That was a fascinating article and comments thread. Because in the end both completely missed the point and a chance of better informing people about Jihadi Brides. The thread was about “Jihadi Brides”. Anjum Rehman did not explain what Jihadi Brides were, why they become one and what their real experinces are when they become one and head off to the middle east or wherever. And what does the local community feel about the situation.

    There are a few videos on the web — but a real counterview from some one here in NZ would have been useful. Especially it would have been useful to get that from an erudite mulsim perspective — that Anjum professes to be. Instead it became about victimhood and politicisation of what John Key or Rebecca Kitteridge did.

    Unless the general public of NZ can visibly see the the President of Muslim Organisation and men do better in engaging with educated Muslim woman with a voice like Anjum, than being dismissed—“I spoke to him two weeks ago when this news first came out, and he said, ‘Oh, got a meeting scheduled” why should we believe things are different or better for NZ Muslim women or improving ?

    Reply

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