13 Feb 2017

Muslim woman talks about abuse in Huntly

From Morning Report, 8:35 am on 13 February 2017

On Saturday a video was posted online by a Muslim New Zealander, Mehpara Khan, which showed a woman yelling racial slurs and throwing beer cans at her and her friends, who are also Muslim and were wearing hijabs.

Mehpara Khan

Mehpara Khan. Photo credit: Jessie Casson. Photo: Supplied / Jessie Casson

She says she's been overwhelmed by the support from the community.

"The most positive thing that has come out of this is that it's started a national conversation, not just within our own community but within New Zealand."

She's encouraging people to talk to each other. "We are just normal people with normal lives. Just have a conversation and you'll realise we're all just the same."

Hazim Arafeh, the president of the Federation of the Islamic Associations of New Zealand, says he was very shocked and stunned by the video.

He says the attack may have been an isolated incident but they will be trying to find out if these incidents - reported or not - are on the rise.