'Were our voices not enough?' asks refugee who experienced racism in NZ prior to mosque attacks

Pakeeza Rasheed, a Muslim community leader, says she’s had her hijab ripped off, eggs thrown at her and has had someone spit in her face.

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There are those who now say we've been turning a blind eye to some ugly behaviour. Source: Seven Sharp

Guled Mire, a writer, speaker and community advocate, describes being chased by skinheads on his way to school.

Racism is a social problem that many are talking about in the wake of Friday’s Christchurch shootings aimed at the Muslim community.

Whether it’s overseas or in Aotearoa, racism is alive and well.

Mr Mire escaped war-torn Somalia to face another battle here.

“People in this country, they are living in complete denial about the very form of racism that exists in Aotearoa,” he told TVNZ1's Seven Sharp.

“I’m done talking about racism with white people. I’m done, because it’s honestly like banging your head against a brick wall."

Out of adversity, these community leaders are determined to be the voice of change.

“I’m mad because it’s taken us a national tragedy," Mr Mire said. "Fifty lives lost for us to be in a position where we are actually talking about this,” says Mr Mire.

“Were our voices not enough that whole time?”