Anti-Semitic speeches 'concerning' and 'appalling'
Race Relations commissioner Dame Susan Devoy has condemned an Auckland Imam's anti-Semitic hate speech.
A video has surfaced online showing Dr Mohammad Anwar Sahib speaking at the At-Taqwa mosque in Manukau.
"The Christians are using the Jews, and the Jews are using everybody," Sahib said in a sermon filmed in November.
"Because they think that their protocol is to rule the entire world....
David Cumin, a member of the New Zealand Jewish Council, said Sahib's speeches were concerning particularly as they were broadcast publicly.
"It's those kind of messages that might radicalise the people he speaks to.
"This is intolerance that affects us all as New Zealanders and we need to stand up to."
HRC spokeswoman Christine Ammunson said it was made aware of the video by members of the New Zealand Jewish community.
Devoy said such speeches had no place in New Zealand.
"We live in one of the most ethnically diverse nations on earth as well as one of the most peaceful: this is because we are a tolerant nation," she said in a statement.
"This kind of intolerance is not welcome here in any form - prejudice against Jewish people has no place in New Zealand."
Devoy said the HRC has contacted leaders of the NZ Jewish Council as well as the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand.
"We urge Kiwis to recognise that these are the views of a single person and are not held by every single Muslim New Zealander, however questions need to be answered," she said.
"We have asked for an urgent response from FIANZ."
The Islamic Women's Council of New Zealand said Sahib's comments were "totally inappropriate and that they "unequivocally condemn any divisive comments of a similar nature".
"While we may disagree with aspects of Jewish theology, and may have political disagreements, we see the Jewish people as closely connected to us through the Abrahamic tradition. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had good relationships with his Jewish neighbours & encouraged Muslims to do the same," they said in a statement.
Ethnic Communities Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga called Sahib's speech "offensive and insulting" and said his comments "are way out of step with New Zealand's egalitarian values".
"I have spoken to FIANZ President Hazim Arafeh and he assures me Dr Sahib's views do not represent the beliefs of that organisation or most Muslim New Zealanders," he said.
"It disgusts me that anti-Semitic views are being recorded and posted online. It harms New Zealanders reputation as a tolerant and welcoming people. It also concerns me that New Zealanders could be influenced by this," Lotu-Iiga said.
The FIANZ has been approached for comment.