Inquiry into Christchurch terrorist attack needs solid transparency

Inquiry into Christchurch terrorist attack needs solid transparency

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A full inquiry of the Royal Commission into the Christchurch terrorist attack, in a transparent manner, is being asked for public release by the Foundation Against Islamophobia.

“We demand that the government act in a transparent manner to publicly release the full Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Terrorist Attack on Christchurch Mosques and act upon the recommendations and findings with urgency following its hand over to the Governor-General on 26th November,” said FAIR spokesperson Azad Khan.

“The Muslim community is very much looking forward to the findings of the Royal Commission Report and its recommendations.”

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“It is disappointing that a Minister with the overarching authority for the March 15th response has not been appointed yet. We have had a Minister for Christchurch Earthquakes and Minister for Covid19 Response. It is only appropriate considering the enormity of the March 15th terrorist attacks that the government appoints a Minister for March 15th response.

The inquiry could just fall through the ‘cracks’ with numerous agencies passing the responsibility between each other, and it just is not going to work if the public wants to know the real change of result from this attack.

Azad Khan says that the government may have good intentions for a genuine change, but people are living in fear that bureaucracy and red tape will cause many more delays after waiting nearly two years for the inquiry.

“We want to see an independent Commission established that amplifies the voices of the victims and that allows them the opportunity to be part of the process to manage the recommendations and related outcomes,” Azad Khan says.

“It is critical that those affected by these attacks have some agency in seeing the changes to the circumstances that gave rise to this horror.”

“We believe that those recommendations must be into priority order, be adequately funded and be properly resourced with the right people and knowledge.”

“It is the existing broken and biased laws, systemic failures, institutional racism and colonial mindset of the previous governments and enforcement agencies that led to the catastrophic events of March 15th. White supremacist violence was not and is not treated as the major security threat by agencies such as police and NZSIS.”

The concern for the terrorist attack is that there’s talk about introducing new anti-terrorism laws — the laws will not stop another terrorist attack — it could in-fact drive more to be used against the Muslim and Māori communities.

Police and intel agencies never knew anything about the Christchurch fascist in advance of his March 15 attack. Additional laws are just going to make them more aware of potential threats.

“The intelligence services and police were repeatedly told about the threat of white supremacist violence and did nothing,” Azad Khan says.

They had no information about the rising fascist threat or profiles of groups or individuals. Instead, all of their efforts were focused on profiling the Muslim community. This can only be understood as institutional racism. We have to be prepared to confront this difficult reality.”

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“Finally, we extend our heartfelt gratitude and thanks to the Commissioners, Sir William Young, Jacqui Caine and the Royal Commission team for undertaking this enormous and critical task. We believe that this report can form the basis of positive change and create a society that is fair and safer to all those who consider New Zealand as their beloved home.”

“The time for change is now, and we don’t expect anything less.”

Image: Apiq Sulaiman

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