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Islamic Association of New Zealand Refuses Aid from China in Protest at Uyghur Camps

Islamic groups in New Zealand are requesting Auckland’s mayor dismiss a massive donation for Christchurch shooting victims. The donation was raised by controversial businessman associated with China as a protest against Chinese authorities oppression of Uyghur Muslim minority who have been ethnically cleansed for years now.

Local media in New Zealand have reported on last Monday that a massive donation was raised by Zhang Yikun’s associates in China, the New Zealander businessman who is known for his involvement with China’s national party, to the victims of Christchurch terror attacks in which 50 people were brutally murdered; including children.

In response, a non-profit organization for Muslims, Khadija Leadership Network asked for the money to be returned to go to the prosecuted Uyghur people in China.

Meanwhile, the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ) and several organizations have signed a petition addressed to Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, members of the parliament saying the donation would combat Islamophobia effectively if used elsewhere.

They expressed their gratitude for the donations as they understand it is not from the Chinese government, yet they expressed wish to use the generous money to call out Islamophobia and stop the persecution of Muslims around the world.

The Khadija Leadership Network’s founder, Tayyaba Khan, was cited by the local Newsroom website saying they have raised enough money and “if we don’t want Islamophobia here we don’t want it elsewhere”.

“This is an opportunity for New Zealand Muslims to take leadership,” she said.

Translation: “Officials of the Muslim community in New Zealand asked the mayor and the Muslims association to dismiss the donations and the reasons are: 1- They have received enough donations 2- Even if the donations were not from the Chinese government, they can’t accept it while Uyghurs are still being oppressed 3- They are asking to give it to Uyghurs”

As millions of donations have already been raised to help the victims and their families through crowdfunding websites beside the financial aid received by the New Zealand government and other governments, the Muslim community in New Zealand is no longer in need of more donations, yet they pledged authorities to return the money or use the cash to help the Uyghurs minority who have been prosecuted for their religion.

This comes in a time when China’s government has been accused of systematically oppressing and carrying violations against the Uighur Muslim minority in Xinjiang, by detaining around one million people and putting them in detention camps, so-called “re-education camps”, where they are being forced to denounce religion, eat pork and drink alcohol which is prohibited in Islam in addition to facing physical and verbal abuse by authorities.

No official responses were heard from Muslim world countries against China. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince had expressed support of China during his latest visit in February 2019. He affirmed his position in support of China’s war on terrorism and extremism to protect national security.


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