New Zealand Embassy Jakarta, Indonesia

Muslim forum a first for New Zealand

Her Excellency Zehra Akbari (Pakistani High Commissioner), Hon Judith Collins and Her Excellency Rosmidah binti Zahid (Malaysian High Commissioner) at the celebration of Eid ul-fitr at Parliament

Marking the start of Islam Awareness Week, Ethnic Affairs Minister Judith Collins has today announced plans are underway for an official Muslim forum to be held in November.

“The national forum will celebrate the different ways the Muslim community contributes positively to New Zealand society and the global community,” says Ms Collins.

“Holding a forum is one more opportunity for our nation to embrace and see the potential benefits of diversity.”

“More importantly, it will be an opportunity for New Zealand’s Muslim community to discuss contemporary challenges and how it can work better together to find solutions and support national goals such as economic development,” Ms Collins says.

Islam Awareness Week, which runs from August 26 to September 1, encourages New Zealanders to learn more about Islam which is the faith of around 50,000 New Zealanders who are actively involved in our communities across all sectors.

Ms Collins recently hosted members of the Muslim community along with other faith leaders at Parliament to celebrate the Muslim festival Eid ul-fitr, marking the end of Ramadan.

“New Zealand’s positive international reputation for race relations means our nation plays an important role in the global effort to bridge the divide between cultures,” Ms Collins says.

“Observing celebrations such as Eid ul-fitr and Islam Awareness Week helps New Zealanders become more familiar with and appreciate our diverse cultural landscape.”

The Office of Ethnic Affairs will work alongside the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand to organise the forum which will be sponsored by members of the Muslim community.

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