© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2020

Muslim association wants $1.3 million for security

Asha Abdi
Al Noor
The Al Noor Mosque on Deans Ave.  Asha Abdi

But community urges government to be involved in boosting security at mosques.

The Federation of Islamic Associations of new Zealand (FIANZ) is seeking $1.3 million from the government to improve security at mosques and other Islamic buildings.

But some members of the Christchurch Muslim community are not sure the money should go to FIANZ.

Ikran Ahmed, community development manager at Canterbury Refugee Resettlement, said the government should take care of boosting security at mosques.

FIANZ could not be held accountable to the same degree as the government, Ahmed said.

"The New Zealand government can be held accountable. They're trained and capable, and all eyes are on them."

Muslims are now observing Ramadan, which requires them to attends nightly prayers, making some feel more vulnerable.

Ahmed said there was still a heightened sense of fear.

"Armed police are helping us feel safe in these thirty days and it's good to see people attending," Ahmed said.

Ramadan has about two weeks left and Ahmed hopes things go back to normal.

Another community member, Denise Jaeger, said a joint partnership between FIANZ and the government would be the best step forward.

"Good policy could come out of a joint partnership," she said.

FIANZ is also launching a database to report hate crimes against Muslims in New Zealand. The goal of the database is for people to report any experience in which they feel targeted because of their faith.