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Black Power and Mongrel Mob hui to look at ways to help Muslim community

Black Power and the Mongrel Mob are holding a joint-hui today to set their commitments to the community over the next three years.

They've been in open warfare for decades, with their fights often spilling onto the streets of New Zealand, but the Mongrel Mob and Black Power will be getting together for a hui today where part of the discussion will focus on how to engage with and support the Muslim community following the Christchurch attacks.

Both gangs have offered to guard mosques in the city and around the country in the wake of Friday's attacks - as a way of showing solidarity.

Denis O'Reilly, a lifetime member of the Black Power, will be at the hui and told Morning Report gang members sympathise with the Muslim community because they too have been marginalised by society. He said there was evidence of this just recently.

"It was really interesting to hear my good friend, the Minister of Police, saying we've gotta make sure these guns don't get in the hands of gang members. It's the same old.

"I think gang members identify with marginalised communities, and Muslim people have been marginalised in New Zealand until now."

Mr O'Reilly said the idea that people would be afraid seeing gang members standing outside a mosque is the same line of thinking that every Muslim is a terrorist.

"The police arrest the people they look at. They don't arrest white supremacists, they don't arrest 'white power', they arrest Black Power."

He said the Muslim community has been receptive to the support the gangs are offering, and some members of the Black Power family follow the Muslim faith.

Today's hui will also look at how to turn the relationship between the gangs from "pathology to potential."

"Like in any New Zealand household, this will be a matter of discussion," he said.

"If we get our act together and be better people in ourselves and look after our whanau, that supports everyone, that supports every New Zealander and makes our country a safer and better place to be - where hatred is less and we're not divided."

He acknowledged the troubling history between the gangs but said all war is fratricide.

"We're all killing brothers and sisters, so we've been working really earnestly to stop this stuff between ourselves. If the Mob and the Blacks can get together, then surely New Zealanders and Muslims can get together."

rnz.co.nz 

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    The gang performed the haka at the cordon erected outside the mosque on Deans Avenue this afternoon. Source: 1 NEWS