The absurdity of this Prime Minister, and this government, knows absolutely no boundary.
Today our head of government, John Key, played copycat to Tony Abbott (so there’s his first mistake right there) in raising New Zealand’s terror threat level and is set to introduce specific laws to crackdown on ‘homegrown terrorism’. He will be introducing the legislation under urgency, and only needs either David Seymour or Peter Dunne to pass the legislation into law.
First, I wholeheartedly respect the Prime Minister’s concerns about extremist Islam. That is if he genuinely concerned about the lives of New Zealanders, and not just picking up popularity points.
Islamic extremism is a real threat to almost everyone on our planet. The horrific acts committed by the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq against innocent civilians, including beheadings, crucifixions, sexual slavery among other acts of barbarity is horrific and in some manner must be prevented.
But by raising our terror threat level, John Key makes the extremely unlikely scenario of a terror attack occurring in New Zealand an actual possibility. For evidence of this, one only needs to look as far as our next-door neighbours; Australia. Only a matter of weeks ago Prime Minister Tony Abbott raised the terror threat in his country to ‘High’. As a result, fears and racial tension escalated and two possible terror threats were exposed. But the mere suggestion that Australia was due for a terror attack would have done more social harm than good. It would have left peaceful Muslims feeling alienated in their own communities, and this would lead to a level of misunderstanding and eventually racial tension.
This is something we must avoid, at all costs.
The vast majority of Muslims living in Australia and New Zealand are refugees. Meaning they have actually fled conflicts of Islamic extremism in their home countries. To leave your home country and pack up for a new home takes the utmost of bravery. It is the very equivalent of New Zealand being devastated by war, and New Zealanders having to leave for a country with vast cultural differences, like Somalia. It is a massive transition, and any first generation Muslim New Zealander you see has made that magnitude of a step. That is not to say these people still hold unforgivable views on women and homosexuals, but it is in fact incredible that so many of them living here have allowed their daughters to receive a world class education, equal to boys, and allow their wives to drive a car. These are steps towards watering down the traditional, conservative Islamic faith and letting it fit into New Zealand society.
By painting all Islamic people with the same brush, this undoes years of healing and efforts to understand one another.
But that is not the main reason I find myself so dismayed by John Key raising the terror threat level.
This is a direct distraction to issues which actually do effect so many New Zealanders. To some up in brief, this includes the TPPA (which we are due to sign very shortly), allowing the increased power of large companies, and, among other things, the increased price of medicine.
In short, we do not write our own law.
Furthermore, whilst New Zealanders are distracted by this fear of terror, the government has an extraordinary ability to continue to the privitization of education, which has far more of a threat to our future generations here in New Zealand.
Unless New Zealand wants to increase the already low chance of a terror attack in New Zealand, the best way we can prevent an attack on New Zealanders is to stay out of it.
The United States, Canada, Australia, France and the UK will deploy air strikes, and they do not need our help in this effort. Certainly, we can send in humanitarian aid once the majority of the conflict is over if we truly believe in helping those in war-torn countries and not just ourselves.
And if there’s one thing we should learn from past conflicts, it is that war breeds terrorism. More military action in the Middle East is, in fact, a short term method to easing the suffering of people. Because terrorism will be back.
People will use the argument to look to these Islamic nations, and there you will see evidence that Islam is a violent religion. Similarly, look to these nations and you will see a war-torn wasteland.
War breeds terrorism.
B. Morgan, 2014.