New Zealand to Open First Muslim Forum

Extending harmonious relations with the Muslim community, New Zealand’s Ethnic Affairs Minister has welcomed the opening of the Muslim World Forum to discuss the minority’s rich contributions in her country.

“This Forum is a fantastic opportunity for the Muslim community to reflect on its journey so far and discuss its future contribution to New Zealand,” Judith Collins said in a New Zealand Government press release on Friday, November 22.

“Participants will direct discussions, define issues and propose solutions, to contemporary challenges facing the Muslim community.

“They will also discuss what opportunities exist to highlight the benefits of inter-cultural collaboration may bring, as for example in the halal meat industry.”

Planned on Saturday, November 23, the Muslim World Forum will be discussing contemporary issues relating to New Zealand’s relationship with the Muslim world and the New Zealand Muslim community.

The Office of Ethnic Affairs has worked with the New Zealand Muslim community on the Building Bridges Program since 2005.

The program aims to create better connections, meaningful collaboration and open communication to support the maintenance of New Zealand’s social harmony.

Culminating on years efforts, the Muslim World Forum offers a great opportunity to hear new and wide-ranging perspectives on these critical issues and have a chance to participate in lively discussion and debate.

Muslim Contributions

Collins asserted that the Government’s support of this Forum signals its appreciation of the contribution that Kiwi Muslims make, and will continue to make, to society and New Zealand’s national goals.

“Earlier this year the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination noted that many of New Zealand’s efforts to combat racial discrimination represented best practice globally and are being recommended to other countries,” Ms Collins says.

“Regardless of our religion, ethnicity or place of birth, we are all on the same journey – to find our voice as New Zealanders.

“This Forum will break down stereotypes so we can appreciate diversity and be in a better position to take advantage of all the opportunities this diversity brings,” she added.

Islam has entered Australia more than 200 years ago.

The south-pacific island country of New Zealand is home to 36,000 Muslims, according to the 2006 census.


Source: On Islam

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