The recent New Zealand Mosque attacks severely affected the New Zealand Muslim community.
Here is a detailed overview and some key facts about the present New Zealand Muslim community. Today, in New Zealand shooting incident 49 people are killed while several are injured. The firing was occurred at two mosques and it is unclear yet about the number of attackers.
Video footage widely circulated on social media, apparently taken by a gunman and posted online live as the attack unfolded, showed him driving to one mosque, entering it and shooting randomly at people inside. Worshippers, possibly dead or wounded, lay huddled on the floor of the mosque
Total Muslim Population in New Zealand
There were just over 46,000 Muslims in New Zealand during the last census in 2013, a mere one per cent of the total population. The number of people identifying as Muslims rose by 28 per cent between 2006 and 2013, and just over a quarter of them were born in New Zealand.
Many in the New Zealand Muslim community are converts from other religions and from local or European ethnic backgrounds.
Attitude towards New Zealand Muslim Community
The Muslim community does, however, face challenges in New Zealand. According to the research study, Muslims immigrants are viewed “less favourably” by New Zealanders.
Immigrants from Muslim-majority nations like Pakistan and Indonesia face more negative attitudes than those from other Asian countries like China and the Philippines.
And a 2015 investigation by a newspaper in New Zealand found that Muslims as a group were better qualified than other religious groups but found it more difficult to find jobs.
Integration of Muslim Community
After the Christchurch attacks, Mustafa Farouk, president of the Islamic Associations of New Zealand, stressed that the community has always felt safe in the South Pacific nation. He said that the Islamic community feels that they are living in the safest country in the world, they never expected anything like this could happen.
He further added that “Muslims have been living in New Zealand (for) over 100 years and nothing has ever happened to us like this, so this is not going to change the way we feel about New Zealand at all.”
According to a research, young people from the Muslim community were “adapting well to life in New Zealand” and were enjoying more positive outcomes compared with both Maori and European peers.
Tension Created in 2006
One of the major flashpoints for the community in recent years was the reproduction in 2006 by New Zealand newspapers and TV stations of cartoons considered blasphemous by Muslims. It sparked outrage in the nation’s Islamic community, and there were demonstrations against the move, including one that drew hundreds of participants in Auckland.