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Thousands sign petition denouncing mosque attacks film

June 12, 2021 6:24 am
The Muslim community says it wasn't properly consulted about the making of a new movie. [Source: AFP]

It was announced yesterday that a film with the working title ‘They Are Us’ would be made, focusing on the prime minister’s response to the 2019 attacks which killed 51 people.

The National Islamic Youth Association began the petition last night, saying it sidelines the victims and survivors and instead centres on the response of a white woman.

“NIYA holds the position that the development of such a film does not represent the lived experiences of the Christchurch Muslim community, neither of the wider New Zealand Muslim community who have faced the horror and terror that the March 15th attack subjected them to,” the petition states.

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It calls on the funders, producers and the New Zealand film industry to boycott the film and urges Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to publicly denounce it.

It accuses the film of being “tokenistic” and states New Zealand screenwriter and producer Andrew Niccol should not be the one to make it.

“It is not appropriate for Niccol, someone who has not experienced racism or Islamaphobia, to lead and profit off a story that is not his to tell,” the petition says.

It says the Muslim community has not been properly consulted and many members knew nothing about it until it was announced.

“Any film that seeks to represent the experiences of such an attack requires the direct and constant consultation of the Muslim community and must be done through an exercise that isn’t represented in a tokenistic manner,” said NIYA co-chair Sondos Qur’aan.

Ardern’s office released a statement yesterday saying that neither she nor the government have any involvement in the film.

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