Golriz Ghahraman speech on the Christchurch terror attacks

Green MP Golriz Ghahraman gave a speech in Parliament yesterday on Christchurch Mosques Terror Attack—Condolence

The truth is, also, that we as politicians bear a little bit of the responsibility. There sit among us those who for years have fanned the flames of division, who have blamed migrants for the housing crisis. There sit among us those who have fanned the hysteria around the United Nations Global Compact for Migration.

Those words were written on the butt of his gun, the gun that killed little Mucad. We have pandered to gratuitous racism by shock jocks to raise our profile.

None of us are directly responsible for what happened on Friday, we are all horrified, but we are also on notice now: we have to change the way we do politics.

I think that all of us should take note of what she said, and I hope that our politicians will change how we do politics.

And that also applies to us, the people, in forums like this. We need to do better in how we discuss politics, and how we treat our politicians.

GOLRIZ GHAHRAMAN (Green): Assalam o alaikum. Our nation’s heart is broken and my heart is broken today. Five days on, as that wound is still so fresh, we find comfort in all the love—all the love—pouring across this beautiful country. I’ve felt the grief as a member of that affected community and as a Kiwi as we gathered at mosques, as we held each other at vigils, as we held our little ones a little tighter when we remembered that little three-year-old Mucad Ibrahim was one of the victims.

The city of Dunedin ran out of flowers on Saturday because they were all at the mosques. That is the New Zealand that welcomed my family and I here when we escaped oppression at the risk of torture. We had lived through a war, and I will never forget being that nine-year-old girl on the escalator at Auckland Airport with my frightened parents. We weren’t turned back. We were welcomed here. So I want to thank every single New Zealander—hundreds of thousands of people—who came out over the last three days, who stood on the right side of history for our values of inclusion and love. It matters to our communities, as we are frightened, and I will never forget that among the victims on Friday was a Syrian family—refugees like my family, who had escaped the harrowing war, the unthinkable. They found freedom here, but they died on Friday in Christchurch, New Zealand.

We owe those victims the truth: this was terrorism. It was terrorism committed by a white supremacist. It was planned at length, and gone unchecked by authorities because white supremacy was not seen as a pressing threat, even as some in the Muslim community were.

Although this man happened to have not been born in New Zealand, we do need to acknowledge the truth that his ideology does exist in pockets here. Our ethnic communities, refugees, and tangata whenua have been telling us this for years; they’ve been reporting this for years. I know it as my daily truth as a politician.

I receive all the barrage of hate online. I receive the threats: the death threats, the rape threats, and the threats of gun violence, online. Every minority in New Zealand knows this as a little bit of our truth. So now we have to pause and listen.

We can’t pretend that this was an aberration from overseas; that would be irresponsible. The truth is that this happened here, and it began with hate speech allowed to grow online. History has taught us that hate speech is a slippery slope to atrocity, and New Zealand must address that now.

The truth is, also, that we as politicians bear a little bit of the responsibility. There sit among us those who for years have fanned the flames of division, who have blamed migrants for the housing crisis. There sit among us those who have fanned the hysteria around the United Nations Global Compact for Migration. Those words were written on the butt of his gun, the gun that killed little Mucad. We have pandered to gratuitous racism by shock jocks to raise our profile. None of us are directly responsible for what happened on Friday, we are all horrified, but we are also on notice now: we have to change the way we do politics.

Our most vulnerable communities are hurt and we are scared. White supremacists want us dead. Those incredible people who poured out into those vigils are watching; they will hold us to account. The world is watching. We have to get this right.

We have to demonstrate to the rest of the world that the values of love and peace and compassion will win over hate and division. We must be brave and have those important and difficult conversations that are long overdue in our country. We must shine a light on the pockets, those shadows of racism that do exist in our country.

We must weave that incredible outpouring of love for our Muslim communities that we’ve seen over the past few days; we have to weave that into an enduring fabric of our society. We owe that to the families who lost loved ones, we owe it to little Mucad.


NOTE:

Golriz has been a controversial MP. I have been critical of her at times, I think especially early in her first term she struggled to work out how to do things – as almost all new MPs do, but her struggles were more on show through social media than most.

But I think what she said here ins important and worth taking notice of.

I don’t want people dredging over what has happened. I want comments to focus on what Golriz says here.

I will have no tolerance for personal or political attacks or general criticisms, name calling, dissing, dragging up past stuff, diversions, religion bashing, sexism, racism, any other ism.

Comments that I deem inappropriate on this thread may be deleted in whole.

 

9 Comments

  1. Zedd

     /  March 21, 2019

    Golriz saying it as it is; she has been a ‘lightning rod’ (for some) to cast their ignorance & hate towards. What kind of sick minds would send threats of harm & RAPE ?

    Unbelievable ! 😦

    btw; It was interesting to see Mr Shaw, with a Black-eye.. another sign of the ignorance & hate, that exists in this so-called ‘peaceful country’ ….. enuf sed :/

  2. Finbaar Rustle

     /  March 21, 2019

    I am looking for answers but since Friday I have not
    heard anything to give me hope.
    This speech did not provide me with any thing
    new or different from what I have read countless times before.
    It is still the same people saying the same things.
    Earnest impassioned people may be,
    but style does not sway me, substance does.
    Because I hear and read nothing new how am I supposed
    to believe any thing significant will change?

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  March 21, 2019

      The only thing I want to change is to stop Australians coming here and shooting people. How about you?

  3. Kitty Catkin

     /  March 21, 2019

    I thought that this speech was blatant politicing and self-aggrandisement. It’s an insult to the victims.

    The blame lies with the murderer and with nobody else. Her spreading it around the community at large is an insult.

    If she really is having all these threats, disingenuously passed off as par for the course for minorities, why has she not gone to the police ? We have heard all this before; it’s standard Golriz-talk.

    Remember that this is the woman who was online claiming to be NZ’s first woman Minister of Defence.

    • duperez

       /  March 21, 2019

      If a politician says something it’s politicking.

      If a politician doesn’t say something it’s, “Why haven’t we heard from …? What are they hiding from? Gutless, why are they sitting on the fence?”

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  March 21, 2019

        That’s silly and pointless in this context. It’s also a generalisation.

        An expression of sorrow without blaming other people who had nothing to do with it and (again) telling all about her supposed online threats would have been more dignified and appropriate. She came across as using it as a forum for pushing her own views and hardly mentioned the 50 victims.

        • duperez

           /  March 21, 2019

          Do you think she should’ve used it as a forum for pushing your views? Or someone else’s views? Or used it as a forum to do what you wanted her to do?

          Your paragraph above beginning “If she really is…” say it for me. Your own words about Ghahraman seem to sum up your own attitude: “We have heard all this before; it’s standard anti Golriz-talk.”