Prime Minister John Key recognizes Muslims contributions at Eid celebration at the ‘Eid in Parliament’ gathering to celebrate the Muslim Eid el Fitr, PM Mr John Key acknowledged the contributions of Muslims in New Zealand.
According to the Prime Minister, Muslims are making positive contributions to both the economy and cultural diversity of New Zealand. He observed that Halal exports to Muslim countries are significant to New Zealand economy and this will yet grow further with the active involvement of New Zealand Muslims. Mr Key also commended Muslims for their community spirit and involvement as seen in their recent participation towards earthquake relief efforts in Christchurch.
Speaking at the Eid reception hosted by Pansy Wong, Minister for Ethnic Affairs, in the Grand Hall of Parliament Buildings, Dr. Ghani said that Halal industry which not only included meat and meat by-products but also includes dairy products, cosmetic and pharmaceuticals is a unique contribution of Muslims and full opportunities in Halal tourism are yet to be realised. “It is encouraging to see our youngsters also beginning to contribute in the sporting arena which would give them confidence and generate national pride. FIANZ’s excellent and long standing relationship with Muslim countries in the South East Asia and Middle East can be used to develop and further enhance the trade and cultural relationship with these countries”, he said.
Prime Minister John Key, leader of the Opposition Mr. Phil Goff, MPs, diplomats and Muslim community leaders attended the reception. Acknowledging the proactive role the different state and government agencies play in engaging with the Muslims, Dr. Ghani said that in the past few years, government has, through its various agencies and instruments such as the Office of Ethnic Affairs, Police, MSD as well as the Office of the Prime Minister maintained a policy of engagement with Muslims. “This has gone a very long way in assuring young Muslims who are concerned and baffled by negative international media representations of Muslims. Thus government policy of engagement serves a very useful purpose in reassuring young Muslims and encouraging them to continue to feel positive about themselves as members of a faith community in this country”, he said.