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New Zealand Public Forum Celebrates Muslim Women

A public forum in Auckland, New Zealand is set to celebrate the diversity of Muslim women thought, lifestyle, and achievements in the country, Scoop reported.

“The Celebrating Muslim Women forum will show just some of the diversity of thought, lifestyle, and achievements within New Zealand’s community of Muslim women,” says Leonie Morris, Auckland Women’s Centre manager, and forum organizer.

“Muslim women are leaders in our current national discussions regarding freedom, accountability, and responses to racism, and we are proud to offer the public an opportunity to find out more about the people behind the headlines.”

Held on Tuesday, June 25, the public forum “Celebrating Muslim Women” hosts panelists from a wide range of ages, ethnicities, origins, and attitudes to the hijab.

Speakers include Mahvash Ali, journalist and associate producer of The Project; Commonwealth Young Leader Fatumata Bah; writer Latifa Daud, and Refugees as Survivors advocate counselor Fahima Saeid who was a Médecins Sans Frontière doctor in Afghanistan before immigrating to New Zealand in 2001. Senior journalist Carol Hirschfeld will moderate the forum.

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Ali was a storyteller at the New Zealand international comedy festival last month. “I am a lover of beaches, jandals, tip top ice cream. I don’t understand the capital gains tax,” she said. “Do I sound like a typical Kiwi? I sure hope so, because I feel like one!”

The number of Muslims in New Zealand according to the 2013 census is 46,149, up 28% from 36,072 in the 2006 census.

The majority of New Zealand Muslims are Sunnis but there is a large number of Shias who live in New Zealand, concentrated mainly in Auckland (the largest city of New Zealand).

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