“Tolerance New Zealand’s real religion”

It should be, but there are still a lot of people who don’t follow it. We should acknowledge that we can all be intolerant, but can all work towards better understanding of and tolerance of other people, other cultures, other religions.

ODT editorial:  Tolerance New Zealand’s real religion

White nationalists, Islamophobes and other hate groups openly extol a clear goal – to separate ”them” from ”us”. In the wake of Friday’s terrorist attack, it seems prudent to confront the myth some believe in: that when it comes to religion in this country, there has never been an ”us”.

Evidence indicates the first humans to set foot in Aotearoa were Eastern Polynesian settlers some 800 years ago who brought religious beliefs with them.

Those beliefs centred around the idea that, through genealogy, all things were connected – hills, rivers, animals, plants – to the Maori themselves. Yet within the several hundred years Maori lived here before European settlement, the way those beliefs were expressed was already evolving and diverging.

Europeans arrived with a variety of takes on monotheism. Catholicism and Protestantism were the major players, but there were others.

The State, of course, was an extension of the British Crown and, as such, it is easy to look back at the last hundred or so years of New Zealand history and conclude we are, and have been, a Christian country.

But the beliefs of those who have settled here, who have journeyed to one of the most far-flung land masses on Earth and made a life for themselves, are far more varied than that. In reality, we have never been a solely Christian country. Since the arrival of Europeans, we have been a nation of multiple religions.

And agnostics and atheists.

A major fallacy in the argument of those wanting New Zealand to ”remain” or ”return” to being as culturally, ethnically or religiously ”pure” as it always was is that New Zealand has never been mono-ethnic, mono-religious or mono-cultural. And it never will. Because our national genealogy is not one of ”purity”.

Far from it. we are a diverse mix of cultures, nationalities, races and religions.

Islam is an ancient religion, born from the same part of the world Christianity was, just a few hundred years later. It is widely practised around the world and has as much right to be considered ”normal” in New Zealand as any other religion does.

Yes, there are radical arms of Islam. There are radical arms of Christianity, too. And of football fans, environmentalists and many more groups besides. It takes an appalling negligence of consideration to believe only the radical arms of a large group of people define that group.

Generalising is common. Like Christians. Muslims. Maori. Asians. Europeans. Colonialists.

All are quite varied, diverse, and there are often mixes and blends.

It is absurd for any New Zealanders to believe Islam has less right to be practised freely, safely and given respect in this country than other religions. Muslim New Zealanders are simply New Zealanders who practise a religion. Religions, while culpable for many unpleasant aspects of history, also bring meaning, stability, guidance and context to billions of people.

We are not a Christian country, despite being a country of many Christians.

We are not a religious country, though we are a country of many religions.

In fact, if there was to be any ”religion” that defined New Zealand, it should be a religious devotion to inclusivity, tolerance and openness.

Let that be the New Zealand religion and, in our pursuit of it, let’s ensure Muslim New Zealanders know, feel and trust they are, now and forever, simply Kiwis.

We all have to work hard on accepting differences, and tolerance.

 

44 Comments

    • alloytoo

       /  21st March 2019

      One must be cautious not to engage in witch hunts.

  1. Finbaar Rustle

     /  21st March 2019

    We are already in post shock mode,
    Post blame mode has passed too.
    What to do about it mode was brief with no agreement on anything.
    Hard line views remain in place.
    Now we are in philosophical reflective mode.
    By Monday we will be in moved on mode.
    Same people saying the same things and nothing changes.

  2. Duker

     /  21st March 2019

    Very good point about NZ tolerance. I can remember the first time I went to Australia when I was younger and I was struck by how racist in an everyday way it was , and I was white.
    The terrorist visited the Balkans where hatred runs deep and over centuries- but inland areas, as we received many Dalmatian migrants from the coastal areas and they didnt seem to bring any hatreds, as they didnt really have them. The coastal islands were long a mixing ground of different ethnicity languages and trade connections to eastern Mediterranean

    • Blazer

       /  21st March 2019

      [Deleted reference to a whole nationality] in Oz sure harboured plenty of hatred.

      • Duker

         /  21st March 2019

        really What circumstances in Australia

      • david in aus

         /  21st March 2019

        Australia’s attitudes to Race depends on where you live. In Victoria, I find people considerate and tolerant on the whole. Far North Queensland has the opposite reputation.
        Growing up in NZ, especially in the 1990’s racism was rampant. I don’t find NZ less racist than where I live at the moment. People have the idea that NZ is peaceful with little racial discrimination. But uf you actually talk to minorities in NZ and they discuss their experiences of sending out CV and getting rejected because of their name, you get a distinctly different impression.

        • Blazer

           /  21st March 2019

          ‘sending out CV and getting rejected because of their name,’

          are they sent back with a side note in pink…’rejected because of name’!!🤔

          • david in aus

             /  21st March 2019

            Ignorant comment. When you do studies and sending an identical CV except for a name that suggests ethnicity, the success rate for being called for interviews are much lower for non-European names.
            Yes, it does happen in NZ. My wife was told at the last workplace that they were about to throw to her CV in the bin because of her foreign-sounding name, it was only that she had the most academic qualification that she granted an interview.

            • Blazer

               /  21st March 2019

              ‘My wife was told at the last workplace that they were about to throw to her CV in the bin because of her foreign-sounding name, ‘…yeah right…

              and that person is still working there!…would be more discreet than..that.

            • david in aus

               /  21st March 2019

              They all good friends now. Friends are honest with each other.

            • david in aus

               /  21st March 2019

              After working with each other, they all good friends. Good friends can say how they initially perceived the person on a piece of paper.

              Yes, many people are very discrete about their prejudices. That is how you keep your distance, eh.

            • Blazer

               /  21st March 2019

              good friends now…birds of a ..feather.

  3. alloytoo

     /  21st March 2019

    The question, the very important question is not if New Zealand is a tolerant multicultural society, it demonstrably is. The question is whether Islam (as a doctrine) is compatible with that.

    • david in aus

       /  21st March 2019

      I don’t think there is one Islam, or for the fact of the matter, one Christianity. There are tolerant and intolerant streams in both. Unfortunately, these days intolerance is more an issue for Islam in some countries. Christianity did have the Inquisition if you need any evidence of zealotry that can run through any religion.

  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  21st March 2019

    Religions almost by definition are intolerant as they seek to control human beliefs and behaviour. We can only debate their degrees of intolerance.

    That is why we must have constitutional protection of our freedoms. In the name of religion they can quickly be lost.

  5. MaureenW

     /  21st March 2019

    New Zealand doctor stood down for anti-muslim comments on a blog two years ago.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12214799

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  21st March 2019

      Witch hunt follows massacre.

      • MaureenW

         /  21st March 2019

        I keep replaying a movie-line over in my head “…never go full retard”.

      • Patzcuaro

         /  21st March 2019

        Witch hunt, maybe just a reality check, what you post online represents you whether it be sexist, racist or whatever. Think before you post I think a couple who are real estate have also run into problems. Also what you post on line reflects on those around you.

        • MaureenW

           /  21st March 2019

          Is there something in the above comments you find objectionable? Just wondering what the caution is for?

          • Patzcuaro

             /  21st March 2019

            You are referring to “Witch hunt follows massacre.”?

          • Patzcuaro

             /  21st March 2019

            “In another post, Mac Doctor said: “Stop all Muslim immigration until you are satisfied you have adequate ways of telling the genuine from the jihadi flakes.””

            Should we stop all white immigration until we are satisfied they aren’t white supremacists? Are the white immigrants genuine or are they nutters from Australia?

    • PDB

       /  21st March 2019

      A couple of real estate agents sacked for posts made on facebook last year – hard to ascertain how bad these were as no examples given;

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/christchurch-shooting/111441618/real-estate-agents-cut-from-company-over-social-media-posts-on-race

      No doubt Winston is about to be sacked as well for anti-immigration comments made over many years…what do you mean ‘no’?

      • PDB

         /  21st March 2019

        Peters – 2005: ““This two-faced approach is how radical Islam works – present the acceptable face to one audience and the militant face to another.
        “In New Zealand the Muslim community have been quick to show us their more moderate face, but as some media reports have shown, there is a militant underbelly here as well.
        “Underneath it all the agenda is to promote fundamentalist Islam.
        “Indeed these groups are like the mythical Hydra – a serpent underbelly with multiple heads capable of striking at any time and in any direction.”

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  21st March 2019

          One would hope the Honorable Member will as vigorously support free speech for others as he does for himself.

          • Duker

             /  21st March 2019

            The government is not making the Doctors Practice wonder how they have a racist working there.
            Not a free speech issue at all. You dont have free speech at any place you work, you dont have it hereon this blog , only PG does.
            Are you white nationalists the victims here ?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  21st March 2019

              It appears neither the doctor nor the agents made their comments at work but instead made them as political rather than personal critiques.

              A clear witch hunt in my view.

            • PDB

               /  21st March 2019

              Duker: “Are you white nationalists the victims here ?”

              Misprint or unfounded/ distasteful accusation?

            • Gerrit

               /  21st March 2019

              Alan W. Back in my corporate days there was always a clause in all employment contracts about not bringing the company into disrepute. That included outside of work activity. Not been on employment contracts for near 20 years so don’t know if they are still in agreements but remember many a robust discussion around the board room table about what constitute “bringing the company into disrepute”.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  21st March 2019

              Agree Gerrit. However I would not expect legitimate political views frequently expressed by leading politicians (or at least one) would qualify.

            • Duker

               /  21st March 2019

              “nor the agents made their comments at work ”
              Wasnt agents comments on facebook- why yes “because of content about Africans and Muslims he posted on Facebook.”

              Im sure they had their Real Estate affiliation on their facebook pages – as agents do.

              The Doctor may have breached codes of conduct because he has identified that hes a medical practitioner in the posts , in more detail than just being ‘macdoctor’ ie hes not a ‘doctor of engineering’

              eg Doctors Ethics include
              Honour the profession, its values and its principles in the ways that best serve the interests of patients
              Anyway its the practice thats suspended him , not the NZMA (yet)

  6. PDB

     /  21st March 2019

    *breaking news* – gunman briefly visited Israel in 2016!

    Amazing stuff! Also in 2016 he visited Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Croatia before going on to Western Europe but that’s all only a footnote at the end of the piece. Come to think of it why would visiting Israel be the ‘headline’…can’t see a name on the article & comments not enabled. Probably for good reason – MSM at its finest.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/111360679/christchurch-mosque-attacks-alleged-gunman-brenton-tarrant-visited-israel-in-2016

    • Blazer

       /  21st March 2019

      might be, because Israel does not see eye to eye with Islamic states….didn’t you…know!

      • PDB

         /  21st March 2019

        Can’t have a left-wing MSM witch hunt without Israel….didn’t you…know!

    • Duker

       /  21st March 2019

      Not in headline because the previous locations had been mentioned earlier. Including odd places like Pakistan and North Korea, Israel was a new one

      You lot clearly dont know where the words ‘News’ comes from – NEW

      Once again ignorance trys to get its point of view

  7. duperez

     /  21st March 2019

    Examples of what tolerance, calmness, reason and reasonableness look like. A variety of people give us the benefit of their wisdom. How the big picture things are seen and handled:

    https://www.trademe.co.nz/Community/MessageBoard/Messages.aspx?id=1794898&topic=7

  8. 👍👍👍

  9. Patzcuaro

     /  21st March 2019

    We all tend to be tolerant of people like ourselves, tolerating diversity is a lot harder.

  10. FarmerPete

     /  21st March 2019

    American websites are reporting that Whitcoulls have dragged Jordan Peterson’s ‘!2 Rules for Life’ book. I just cant fathom what their rationale would be, assuming that it is true.

  1. “Tolerance New Zealand’s real religion” — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition