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					THE PRESS, Christchurch                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Friday, February 6, 2009 A9




                                                                                                                                                                                             Perspective
                                                                                                                                                                                             Although the number is still small, Islam has become

Developing a vision for                                                                                                                                                                      one of the fastest-growing religions among Maori.
                                                                                                                                                                                             ABDULLAH DRURY explains why.



the future of Aotearoa                                                                                                                                                                       Treaty compatible with
                                                                                                                                                                                             Islamic philosophy
I
        have a vision of a strong,
        vibrant and limitless
                                       The Treaty of Waitangi is a partnership document that lets Ngai Tahu
        future for Ngai Tahu.
        As kaiwhakahaere
        (chairman) of Te Run-
anga o Ngai Tahu I feel a weight
of responsibility to help provide
                                       become engaged in important issues to advance the interests of the tribe
                                       and those of the wider community, writes MARK SOLOMON.                                                                                                W            aitangi Day provides
                                                                                                                                                                                                          us with an excellent
                                                                                                                                                                                                          opportunity, or an
                                                                                                                                                                                             excuse, to examine the spread of
                                                                                                                                                                                             Islam in Aotearoa among the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  converts to Islam from the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  North Island were flown down,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  including prominent members
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  of the Aotearoa Maori Muslim
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Association, which was set up in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Islamic theological perspective, it
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       is hard to see the Waitangi
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Treaty holding much weight
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       among Muslims. Essentially, it is
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       a piece of paper with ink on it –
the opportunities that will see                                                                                                                                                              Maori population. According to       Hamilton in 2001.                    only as important or unimport-
Ngai Tahu succeed. That success                                                                                                                                                              Statistics New Zealand, Islam is         The Aotearoa Maori Muslim        ant as this society chooses to
will be defined by the individual,                                                                                                                                                           one of the fastest-growing           Association was itself, for a        determine. Composed and
but it will be the collective that                                                                                                                                                           religions among the tangata          period, active in mission work in    signed by Christian missionaries,
gives the work true meaning.                                                                                                                                                                 whenua, leaping from 99 in 1991      prisons and evidently had some       Maori tribal chiefs and
    We are 10 years on from our                                                                                                                                                              to 708 in 2005. The figure may       success in winning over some         representatives of the British
settlement with the Crown. It                                                                                                                                                                now be over 1000.                    gang affiliates to Islam. This was   Crown, the Treaty itself has little
was a defining event in our tribal                                                                                                                                                               Historically there have been     famously derided by Winston          bearing on or relevance to local
history, when six generations                                                                                                                                                                sporadic if uneven attempts by       Peters in 2005 during his            Muslims beyond a few vague
after the signing of the Treaty of                                                                                                                                                           immigrant Muslims to prosely-        election campaign.                   legal formalities that all citizens
Waitangi, we were finally                                                                                                                                                                    tise the Islamic faith here since        Perhaps of more pertinence is    are obliged to observe. On the
restored to a position where we                                                                                                                                                              the 1980s. In 1990 the national      that some Maori converts             other hand, the intent of the
can fulfil the visions of our                                                                                                                                                                Muslim organisation, the Fed-        vocally perceive tino rangatira      Waitangi Treaty – as an agree-
ancestors.                                                                                                                                                                                   eration of Islamic Associations      akin to the theological paradigm     ment to share in the wealth and
    The Treaty of Waitangi still                                                                                                                                                             of New Zealand, organised a          of defensive jihad.                  government of New Zealand by
holds great promise for our                                                                                                                                                                  First Official Meeting of Mus-           Can Islam, or radical Islam,     Maori and its newer non-Maori
nation and within its words I                                                                                                                                                                lims and Maori at a Wellington       become a vehicle for Maori           residents – fits in nicely with
believe rests a vision for the                                                                                                                                                               marae. This was initiated by Dr      nationalism?                         many aspects of traditional
future of Aotearoa.                                                                                                                                                                          Hajji Sandhu, then president of          Tino rangatira is often def-     Islamic political philosophy.
    The Treaty is a vehicle for                                                                                                                                                              the federation, who went on to       ined as Maori self-determination         It is difficult to see the spread
ongoing national building and                                                                                                                                                                pioneer Muslim-Christian             or political sovereignty, while      of Islam here among Maori lead-
resolution. It presents us with                                                                                                                                                              interfaith dialogue. Since then      jihad simply means struggle and      ing to violent social
some unique opportunities for                                                                                                                                                                many Maori converts to Islam         can refer to either an internal      confrontation within New Zeal-
framing the quality of our                                                                                                                                                                   have been chosen for Islamic         personal spiritual struggle or a     and, despite the more paranoid
relationship and building our                                                                                                                                                                training courses in Malaysia or      jihad of the sword.                  critics. Islam in New Zealand is
nation together. At its most                                                                                                                                                                 for free haj, or pilgrimage, trips       In a 2005 interview, the         simply too peaceful in culture
fundamental, the Treaty affirms                                                                                                                                                              to Mecca, Saudi Arabia.              chairman of the Aotearoa Maori       and spirit, and the overwhelm-
the right of all of us to be here,                                                                                                                                                               Closer to home the Muslim        Muslim Association expressed         ing majority of Muslims here –
with our own beliefs, values and                                                                                                                                                             Association of Canterbury            support for Osama bin Laden in       both immigrants and converts –
associations with the country.                                                                                                                                                               organised an Aotearoa Maori          his campaign against US foreign      are by inclination too pacificist.
    Moreover, I believe the real                                                                                                                                                             Muslim Day in February 2003,         policy.
value of the Treaty in the 21st                                                                                                                                                              partly at the mosque in                  Where is all this leading, one
century is that it provides the                                                                                                                                                              Riccarton and partly at the          may ask?                             ■ Abdullah Drury is the author of
vehicle for us to talk about our                                                                                                                                                             Aranui marae. Several Maori              Strictly speaking, from an       Islam in New Zealand.
common vision for the nation.
As a partnership document, the
Treaty enables Ngai Tahu to                                                                                                                                                                  CORRECTION
engage with the government of
the day on emerging and
important issues.                                                                                                                                                                            An opinion piece on the              attributed. The author of the        changes was Federated Farmers
    We have an expectation of          Turning point: Then prime minister Jim Bolger and Ngai Tahu leader Sir Tipene O’Regan hongi after signing the Ngai Tahu deed of settlement at         Perspective page in                  article commenting on the            national president Don
ourselves that we will do this         Takahanga Marae in Kaikoura in 1997.                                                                                           Photo: PETER MEECHAM   yesterday’s Press was incorrectly    Resource Management Act              Nicholson.
responsibly and intelligently to
progress not only our own                 It is our goal to be a significant contributor                          The Treaty is both the affliction
interests but the broader                                                                                         and the remedy, but our griev-
interests of the wider                    to the welfare of Aotearoa. Unlike                                      ance period is over. The way
community.                                multinationals, we will not be here only                                forward is to fund and grow the
    The fundamental nature of                                                                                     capacity of our communities and
our relationship with the Crown,          when the economic climate suits or the tax                              we will look to the Treaty as a
as defined by the Treaty, means           incentives are right. We are here for good.                             tool for doing that. The momen-
that Ngai Tahu will continue to                                                                                   tum on Treaty claims must
give effect to our responsibility                                                                                 continue; it is critically import-
to contribute to the national          and community leaders on             common outcomes.                      ant to iwi, and the economic
good.                                  models for economic and                 The Treaty can provide a           development of this country.
    Already we contribute              community development and            platform for government and iwi           I have no doubt that recog-
significantly to the wealth and        environmental management.            to work together to provide the       nition of the Treaty, and the
welfare of those in Te                    I sense a level-headedness        most tangible and practical of        rights of Maori under it, will be
Waipounamu and it is our goal          with regard to recent                outcomes – new infrastructure,        an inescapable feature of our
to be a significant contributor to     community debate about Treaty        improved utilities, job               constitutional architecture. Let’s
the welfare of Aotearoa. Unlike        matters. It is reassuring and        opportunities and better health       look for continued opportunities
multinationals, we will not be         provides room for relationship       outcomes.                             for reconciliation, let’s be long-
here only when the economic            building, renewal and bright            Ngai Tahu has regained its         sighted when it comes nation-
climate suits or the tax incentives    ideas. It is important now that      position of being able to fully       building, and let’s share respon-
are right. We are here for good.       we build on this goodwill as we      replicate the creativity and vision   sibility for making Aotearoa
    In this sense I look forward to    deepen our understanding of          for the future held by those Ngai     everything it can be for us and
engaging with the Government           each other and work toward           Tahu signatories to the Treaty.       our children after us.




It’s difficult showing up to
the protest rally in a BMW
W
learn?
            here have all the
            protesters gone? Gone
            to Wellington
everyone. When will they ever
                                        Tahu
                                        Potiki
                                                                            channels of government
                                                                            bureaucracy. I would be very
                                                                            surprised if this little slipup
                                                                            actually set him back.
                                                                                 I could go on. Mike Smith,
                                                                                                                  modern bureaucracy has forced
                                                                                                                  all the potential disgruntled
                                                                                                                  players into a holding pattern. I
                                                                                                                  don’t quite know where they
                                                                                                                  have all disappeared to, but I
    Do you remember when                                                    the infamous, but useless             suspect that over the next few
Donna Awatere and Ripeka                                                    lumberjack, is currently a            years things will change
Evans headed off to Cuba to                                                 documentary producer. Willie          dramatically.
supposedly train in Marxist                                                 Jackson, who was a champion of            There is some suggestion that
revolutionary tactics? Ripeka was      nowadays we are more likely to       the urban Maori underdog, is          China’s apparent silence on the
quoted, at one time, as                see Harawira’s mother, Titewhai,     now a pretty famous broadcaster       question of democracy has been
suggesting it was all right to spill   escorting senior politicians as      on television and talkback radio.     a result of the astounding success
the blood of white people here in      opposed to yelling at them, and      Not to mention his brief stint in     of the Chinese economy. So long
New Zealand. She is now a              Hone, well, he is one of them.       Parliament. Then there is Tame        as the government appeared to
consultant operating out of                I once saw a photograph of       Iti, who really knows how to          be performing well then there
Whakatane.                             Hone Harawira standing with          protest in bare-buttock style, and    were few cries for democratic
    Donna, of course, has had a        Shane Jones and Ben Dalton.          who was accused by Parekura           reform. Many are predicting that
much more colourful, and               They were the young radicals of      Horomia of being ‘‘an ageing          this complacent attitude will be
public life. She wrote books,          Nga Puhi fostered by Sir             rock star’’.                          overturned once the recession
joined the ACT Party and               Graham Latimer and                        So who are we left with to       begins to bite. The people will no
entered Parliament, before being       encouraged to fight for the rights   give us a good old-fashioned          longer enjoy high rates of
charged with fraud over the Pipi       of their people. Dalton is now       protest this Waitangi Day. I          employment and, in a nation
Foundation and then sent to jail.      the CEO of the Crown Forest          suspect there will be a few flag      where there is no free health care
She has probably had the hardest       Rentals Trust and Jones is one of    wavers and slogan shouters, but       or education, they will begin to
road of all the old-time radicals,     the young turks of the Labour        we won’t remember any of their        demand democratic
but not because of hard out            Party. Well, that was until this     names. All the old hard-out boys      accountability.
protest. She just screwed up.          immigration scandal set him          are getting free Air New Zealand          An age of protest being
    Hone Harawira stands out as        back a stride or two. But Jones is   flights and Corporate Cab taxi        launched elsewhere will most
the obvious renegade gone good.        no slouch. He made his mind up       trips up to Waitangi this year –      certainly herald protest on our
He was a regular at Waitangi           many years ago that being a          all at the taxpayers’ expense. It     own shores.
Day commemorations and he              ragtag Maori protester was not       really is difficult showing up to         Just as the English
was often the man holding the          his game and that reform for         the protest rally in a BMW.           suffragettes inspired our own
bullhorn issuing the command           Maori would best be facilitated           Maybe all the big issues have    local movement for women to
for the next push over the             via the more sophisticated           been sorted out or perhaps the        acquire the vote, so too did the
bridge. A seething mass of                                                                                        protesters of 1960s’ US inspire
brown bodies would lunge                                                                                          the marches and demonstrations
forward, moving symbolically              Hone Harawira stands out as the obvious                                 of New Zealanders for Maori
closer to Te Tii Marae and                                                                                        land rights in the 1970s.
Hone, wearing his sharkie                 renegade gone good. He was a regular at                                     If we hit even lower points of
sunglasses and a T-shirt, would           Waitangi Day . . . and he was often the man                             unemployment and poverty
be glaring with intimidation and                                                                                  then the people will take to the
leading from the front. Hone              holding the bullhorn issuing the command                                streets to have their voice heard
and his whanau are synonymous             for the next push over the bridge.                                      and I genuinely look forward to
with Waitangi and the Tino                                                                                        seeing a new generation of
Rangatiratanga movement, but                                                                                      radical thinkers.

				
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