A call by a Ngapuhi hapu leader to ban the burqa at this year’s Waitangi Day celebrations has outraged Maori and Muslim.
Te Matarahurahu hapu elder David Rankin said the traditional Muslim dress should be banned at next week’s 175th anniversary at Waitangi because it symbolises “Islam’s direct threat to our rangatiratanga (sovereignty) and our culture”.
Mr Rankin said his comments were intended to spur debate about “droves” of Maori converting to Islam, a religion which he said “condemns cultures that do not comply with its rules”.
A number of Maori see Muslims as the new coloniser, “coming to our country and refusing to accept the indigenous values of New Zealand,” he said.
The Northland Muslim Community has spoken out against Mr Rankin’s comments.
“Contrary to David Rankin’s reported statement, Muslims are not seeking to oppress Maori,” spokeswoman Shirley Rankin (no relation) said.