While the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils has just about completed yet another round of expensive litigation, across the Tasman New Zealand's peak Muslim body is spending its money on organising a nationwide Islamic Awareness Week. The theme of the IAW 2008 is "Strong Families - Better Society", hardly the sort of theme which far-Right allegedly conservative fruitloops (such as the nutters that produce Investigate (or should that be Investi-hate?) magazine) could complain about.
Among the events being held are a women's fashion parade and a number of dinners for students and staff hosted by various Muslim Students Associations (MSA's). A number of prominent New Zealanders will also be awarded for their contributions to relations between Muslims and the broader community. For some reason, nobody thought of providing an award to someone in the NZ media.
And in case you wondered who were the first recorded Muslims in New Zealand, read this ...
The first identifiable Muslims resident in New Zealand are 15 Chinese gold diggers working in the South Island, recorded in the government census of April 1874. Little is known of them and it is assumed they either moved on to Australia or returned to China.
The Muslim Heritage part of the website includes biographies of prominent Muslims, among them Mazhar Krasniqi, a Kiwi of Albanian origin who (if I am not mistaken) has a very prominent son-in-law.
Well done, dear Kiwistanis!
Words © 2008 Irfan Yusuf