Christchurch – 2017

I was doing my regular weekly groceries in PaknSave. Generally one of my girls accompany me but that day I was all by myself. I started off with having some veges and fruits. A white women came to me and asked whether I know English. I replied yes and then she started of saying all sort of blasphemous content about Prophet Muhammad and his wife Ayesha. She was very close to me pointing fingers to me and was yelling and saying nonsense loud. After she finished I asked her can I say something I added that sister you need to fix your knowledge. She went off pointing fingers at me yelling the nonsense about my faith. When I looked around me I was surprised to see that people were looking at me and were a bit amused of the whole situation. Unfortunately, no one not a single person came towards me or showed any sign of support.

I was surprised that I was also surrounded by store staff but they didn’t even bothered to ask me if I was ok. Let alone the camera surveillance evidence they might have of the event. 

I was deeply moved for days thinking about that event. I am in NZ for more than 4 years now. Unfortunately I have observed the racial discrimination, academic bullying, and harassment on rise.

I hope that after chc Friday massacre, God forbid if such blasphemous situation reoccurs someone might turn up in my support.

Albany – 2016

I was a student at Strategi Institute in Auckland. I witnessed a lecturer Gaslighting a student because of her race. The lecturer then deliberately failed the student despite her having top 10% marks – again because of race. We complained to the Insitute whom said that the lecturer’s actions were correct

Christchurch – 2010

I was walking with my daughter.. I saw on car driving slow and the guy came out of the window and said to us loud voice.. go fucking back to you country.

My daughter was 4 that time.. she looked at me and I can see was scared.. I gave her a hug and said don’t worry about these people.. look we are in safe country and there are lot of good people in this country.

Auckland Airport – June 2010

I was returning from a six month teaching stint at a school in the UAE. I have been a New Zealand citizen since 2010 and was using my New Zealand passport.

At the arrival check, the agent checking my passport was all smiles but then instead of letting me move on as all the European Kiwis were being allowed to do he asked me to go to a separate room on the right for more questioning. The agent there asked me a few questions – very nicely and politely, and then wondered why I had been sent here before letting me go.

The only explanation I can give for my treatment was that I had a Muslim name and/or brown skin.

It is not a good feeling when you are treated with suspicion in-spite of having a New Zealand passport. It makes you feel that you do not really belong.

Fielding – March 22, 2019

I was walking to my local mosque, the Feilding Masjid when a tall young muscular White man came walking towards me. He smiled and laughed, then he said “what’s up Mohammed?”. I was a little shaken at first but I just smiled and said “Actually sir, my name is Yasuf” He then said ok and continued walking but from that point on I was shaken and almost didn’t want to stay outside any longer. This really says a lot about society.

I fear for my life on a daily basis.

Timaru – March 22, 2019

I was driving from Dunedin to Christchurch to attend the funerals of our family friends (victims of mosque shootings) last Friday with my family. During that journey, I was driving behind a Mercedez Benz (Rego-LGC210) for about 40 minutes in between Timaru and Ashburton. During that time, he opened his car window and showed me “fuck you” gesture twice and he made sure I have seen that gesture by holding his middle finger up for longer time. My wife was seated beside me in the front seat and she was wearing head scarf. I didn’t know why he did that except we being as muslim. There were no other reasons whatsoever.

I wouldn’t report it if it’s happened before 15 March. But now I felt that we should report this sort of incidents to eradicate racism and hate crime. 

Mt Eden – March 26, 2019

I got in to the bus (25B) from Queen street around 9.10 pm. A lady got into the bus and harassed me abusing terribly (verbally) discriminating because I was a Muslim wearing a hijab covering my face. She said I’m evil and rude and I should not be in NZ. She asked me to go back to from whatever I came. She was so loud and everyone was just staring at me not knowing what to do. She also mentioned just because people die in Christchurch why should everyone support all muslims. She said I would even rob a bank. Im so devastated after this incident. I regret not calling the police immediately.

Hastings – March 20, 2019

After a game of tennis our boys went to congratulate the teams on their win and a Caucasian boy directly said you look like a Muslim and I want to shoot you

Hamilton – 22 March, 2019

At 1.20 pm last Friday someone pretended to shoot me from a passing car. I was walking to the Masjid Jamii in Hamilton to support Muslim members of our New Zealand community during the one week rememberance prayers there after the terrible shootings in Christchurch. I am not a Muslim myself, but as many non-Muslim women were wearing headscarves that day in solidarity with their sisters, I too decided to show solidarity with my Muslim brothers by wearing – just this once – a form of male muslim dress (a thawb cassock from an opshop, woolknit prayer cap, and simple black shoes).

As I walked alone on the footpath against fairly slow moving traffic, one of the occupants of a passing car shouted out “Piaow, piaow, piaow”. As he did so, I turned my head towards him and saw his hand stretched out of the window towards me in the shape of a pistol, with his thumb going up and down with each “piaow”. 

I did not feel the fear he probably intended to evoke, but I did feel confused and then deeply disgusted at his behaviour and hoped he hadn’t been doing the same thing to others walking further ahead of me.

I had instinctively looked away when I realised what he was doing, and by the time I looked back the car had gone too far on to identify it, other than having been an older model yellowy orange car with at least three people in it.

It then dawned on me that I (a white New Zealander) had walked less than five minutes – just a few hundred metres – in the shoes of our Muslim community and had already been targetted for abuse.

Not long after, I sat with the rear of the supporters in the park by the mosque. There I heard the Imam call for those worshipping to respond to such abuse with love, not with anger. “Maybe offer them a coffee” he suggested, “New Zealanders love their coffee. Who knows, you might just make a new friend.”

Wise words that raised a ripple of applause among those gathered to show their love and support. But I think we other New Zealanders stand to learn a lot by offering our Muslim brothers and sisters a coffee now and then too. And asking how they are going.

South Auckland – March 19 2019

I had a small car crash accident. It was a miscalculation from both sides. However this woman was very aggressive towards me and told me that I am responsible for damaging her car and I completely fu**ed her car… why did I “choose”to hit her and i am crazy woman. She took my mobile and called for police even though I apologized like 5 times in 10 seconds as I saw her upset. I had kids in my car and she said I don’t trust you, you are going to run away with anything. She was venomous towards me and very aggressive . The police came and I narrated the whole incident but she was very rude even during the investigation. I feel heartbroken and upset.

I am very upset…. I will always fear talking to people now. My kids never saw me so vulnerable and weak but I am already going through this trauma of Christchurch as my husband is leading all the relief operation for Pakistanis and then this happens …