New Zealand - Open letter: Betraying women and free thought in the name of Christchurch massacres

Marieme, Helie Lucas

Publisher:  Europe Solidaire Sans Frontiere
Date Written:  23/03/2019
Year Published:  2019  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX23587

An open letter questioning shows of solidarity with Muslims after the Christchurch massacre, specifically non-Muslim women wearing head coverings and a Canadian university that disinvited an ex-Muslim atheist speaker.




In response to massacres perpetrated by extreme-right white supremacists in 2 mosques in New Zealand on March 15 2019, several symbolic actions took place that aimed at conveying to Muslims - who were attacked as such, since they were praying in the mosque when it happened – that they could count on their fellow citizens’ solidarity.

While being moved by the generous intentions which motivated these symbolic actions, we nevertheless take distance from some of these which, in fact, will further increase the alas already prevaling confusion between personal religious faith and communal identity politics.

New Zealand Prime Minister Ms Jacinda Ardern, followed by other officials (and then by ordinary citizens as well) saw it fit to wear a so-called Islamic head covering during their public functions.

We believe that there were many other symbols that could have been chosen in order to comfort Muslim believers, than one which is contested the world over by women of Muslim heritage, - believers and unbelievers alike.
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