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Christchurch terror attacks: Kiwis need to 'stop living in denial' and acknowledge racism exists in Aotearoa

Less than 72 hours after the deadly terror attacks on two Christchurch mosques a Muslim community advocate has labelled the attacks a being "fuelled by white supremacist violence".

Guled Mire came to New Zealand 22-years-ago as a refuge from Somalia with his mum and eight siblings and settled in Hamilton, he told TVNZ1's Breakfast today.

One of his earliest memories in New Zealand is of his local mosque burning down, his mosque was the target of an arson attack.

He told TVNZ1's Breakfast that since then he's experienced racism almost daily, been chased by skinhead, talked down to by teachers and patronised by his peers. He says the Christchurch attacks on Friday were no surprise.

"I think it’s time that we stop living in denial about the very form of racism that has existed in this country for such a long time, it’s nothing new to us. I hope from here onwards we can start to recognise this."

Mr Mire says attacks targeted on Muslim communities are "nothing new to us as a community".

"We’ve had situations where the heads of pigs have been chopped off on moques and vandalism on mosques throughout the country. There’s multiple incidences that have been happening, so it’s nothing new."

He says, "This was a terrorist attack fuelled by white supremacist violence extremist ideology and I think we need to acknowledge that.

"I would like to see it actually come out of the mouths of people that are in positions of power because right now we need people to talk about it for what it is."

Mr Mire says what the Muslim community needs now is continued support and time to grieve.

"The community's grieving and we need time to grieve.  We are still processing this and it’s not easy.

"There’s mixed feelings right now there’s upset, there’s anger, there’s frustration, there’s so many questions," he says.

"Everyone knows everyone and everyone... ...many of us in the community have been impacted by this."
 

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Guled Mire, who came here as a refuge 22 years-ago, says he's experienced all forms of racism in this country. Source: Breakfast