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Support for abused Islamic women

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 12/02/2017

The Islamic Women's Council of New Zealand has joined a host of Kiwis in throwing its support behind a group of Muslim women abused in Huntly.

The Auckland women were at a rest stop on Saturday when a woman swore at them and told them "you don't have the right to be here".

She also struck out at the group and threw a beer can in an exchange filmed by one of the group, Mehpara Khan, who posted the video on Facebook and reported the incident to police.

The Islamic council said it is "very disappointing but not surprising" to see the attack on the women.

"Muslim women are often the ones who bear the brunt of attacks by strangers in public places," it said in a statement.

The council said it hoped to meet with Ms Kahn and her friends to show its support, joining an outpouring of positive messages from Kiwis across the country.

"My phone is over-run with positive messages right now. So good to know that we as Kiwis don't accept this as our NZ," Ms Khan tweeted on Saturday evening.

Waikato Police said a 27-year-old woman has been arrested and faces charges of assault, assault with a weapon, and offensive language.

She is in custody and will appear in Hamilton District Court on Monday.

The Islamic Council urged other women to follow Ms Kahn's example and report instances of harassment and abuse to the council or Human Rights Commission and New Zealand Police where appropriate.

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