Plans to establish a secondary boarding school for Muslim boys in South Dunedin have had another setback.
Al-Noor Charitable Trust chairman Dr Mohammad Alayan said his organisation had hoped to be selected as a Ministry of Education partnership school in the first round of funding grants, but was unsuccessful.
”When we applied last time, our education plan was scored low by the Ministry of Education.
”We did not have the best education plan, because we are not specialists in this field [creating applications].”
Dr Alayan said the trust planned to establish the An-Nur Kiwi Academy (AKA) at the former St Patrick’s Primary School in Melbourne St.
The $8million secondary boarding school for Muslim boys is expected to educate about 100 year 11-13 boys from across the country.
A delegation from Kuwait visited the Melbourne St site in May and was impressed by the project, he said.
Two classrooms on the premises were already being used as an early childhood education service for about 30 children from the Dunedin Muslim community.
Dr Alayan said the trust wanted to establish AKA in Dunedin because it believed Muslim children attending state secular schools were subjected to an educational environment that pressured them to adopt values that contradicted Islamic values, such as the evolution theory, sexual relations outside marriage and drinking alcohol.
The academy aimed to provide high-quality education with an emphasis on Islamic values.
The New Zealand national curriculum would be taught by about 15 to 20 staff, including qualified Islamic studies teachers and Arabic language teachers.
TOKYO (AP) ” Japan should be doing more to help with the global catastrophe of asylum seekers, the head of the U.N. refugee body said Wednesday.
Japan is a major donor of humanitarian aid but accepts very few refugees each year, and the country’s reluctance to allow in more is raising controversy given the crises festering in Europe and elsewhere.
Antonio Guterres, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, told reporters in Tokyo that he was discussing the problem with Japanese officials and “would like the Japanese government to push its actions … to increase the number of people resettled in Japan, and especially now to look into the humanitarian admissions of Syrians.”
Japan needs to “progressively improve the asylum system here … to make it more effective in the reception and in the recognition and integration of refugees in Japanese society,” Guterres said. He also noted that Japan’s location far away from the front lines of the crisis was a factor behind the scant number of refugee arrivals.
As the hunt for jihadists widens after last week’s Paris attacks, authorities in Greece warn it was virtually impossible to pick out dangerous extremists among arriving migrants, without prior intelligence.
At the camp, dozens of migrants and refugees queue to give their fingerprints, have a photo taken and be quizzed by agents from European border agency Frontex.
It’s a seemingly detailed security check, but jihadists have already proven they can bypass it with ease.
“We don’t really know who is coming through,” admits another police officer, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Even if Syrians generally carry passports it’s not always possible to match the document to its bearer, and people of other nationalities “are registered on the basis of who they claim to be,” the officer adds.
Opponents of immigration are “exploiting” the Paris terrorist atrocity, Jean-Claude Juncker claimed today, amid mounting evidence that the refugee crisis is being used by Isis to traffic terrorists into Europe.
Days after France announced an indefinite reintroduction of border controls, the president of the European Commission vowed to “fight” to keep the Schengen zone alive and lashed out at “cynics” who had linked the migration crisis to the Paris attacks.
At least two of the Paris suicide bombers, as well as the plots’ mastermind Abdelhamid Abaaoud, are believed to have taken the migrant trail from Syria via Greece to Belgium and Paris. Intelligence officials fear “dozens if not hundreds” have slipped through, it was claimed yesterday.
However, writing in a Maltese newspaper, Mr Juncker said he did not accept any connection between the refugee crisis and the risk of terrorism.
“I cannot bear and will not accept an amalgamation of the topics of refugees and terrorism in the wake of the atrocious attacks in Paris. The cynics who exploit the suffering of Paris have not understood that those who perpetrated the attacks are precisely those whom the refugees are trying to flee.”
“We will only save Schengen by applying Schengen. I will fight for this. I could not bear that my generation be the one to put up walls again in Europe – we have only just taken them down,” Mr Juncker added.
The Sunday Telegraph revealed yesterday how the European Commission had appeared to ignore warnings from Frontex, the EU borders agency, that the crisis which has seen hundreds of thousands of migrants cross into Europe was ripe for exploitation by Isil.
On Saturday Malta announced it could retain the suspension of Schengen indefinitely, following a temporary suspension for a summit of the Queen and Commonwealth leaders on the island at the end of this month.
When questioned about the impact of the rise in net migration into New Zealand the Prime Minister responded that it should be seen as a “great day of celebration” because it showed people wanted to live in New Zealand. Key said that many of the numbers that made up net migration were students who had come here to study, and New Zealand citizens and residents who were returning home. Mr Key played down suggestions that net migration was a contributor to the rising unemployment rate and emphasised that there was still a “high participation rate” in the New Zealand economy.
Former Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand has been appointed patron of a new Superdiversity leadership council following the launch of a stocktake on the issue this month.
The stocktake was written by lawyer Mai Chen, who will chair the leadership council. The Council is comprised of top ethnicleaders who are committed to the success of New Zealand with established and well-recognised market credentials.
The members comprise senior Maori, Pasifika and Asian leaders Sir Tipene O’Regan, Mike Pero, Naomi Ballantyne, Mark Tume, Adrian Orr, Graeme Wong, Lisa Li, Tarun Kanji, Parekawhia McLean, Mitchell Pham, Mavis Mullins and Caren Rangi.
Ms Chen said: “These 12 leaders were appointed because they embody the future face of business leadership in ethnically superdiverse New Zealand.
“They lead by example, and show the contribution that ethnically diverse New Zealanders make to this country every day at the coalface of business and their communities. They show what leadership with cultural intelligence looks like and the Superdiversity Centre will benefit from their experience and wisdom.
“The Council will provide guidance to the work of the Superdiversity Centre, and serve as a forum through which Council members can provide leadership on ethnic superdiversity issues,” said Ms Chen.
NZME, publishers of the Herald, has gone into partnership with Chen Palmer to provide a service to help organisations better communicate with New Zealand’s “superdiverse” population.
The partnership, Cultural Bridge, is a service to help Government departments and local council organisations communicate with ethnically diverse New Zealanders.
Six arts projects will receive a total of almost $367,000 in the first round of applications to the new Auckland Diversity Project Fund.
Launched in September this year the fund supports high quality work that engages with MÄori, Pacific and Asian audiences and artists in the region. Up to $400,000 is made available by Creative New Zealand and Foundation North in each of 2015, 2016 and 2017 to support projects by established artists and arts organisations working in any artform.
“We’re delighted with the range and reach of the projects. They encourage different ways of working and presenting to engage with diverse communities throughout Auckland,” said Creative New Zealand International and Capability Building Manager, Belinda Jones.
“We’re also pleased to see new partnerships being developed with iwi and established organisations and practitioners mentoring emerging artists and practitioners. Established players such as TAPAC (The Auckland Performing Arts Centre) and Auckland Festival are also building on successful community projects that engage with diverse audiences and artists.”
Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse says he has high confidence about 100 Syrian refugees arriving in New Zealand in January will not pose a security risk.
New Zealand is taking an additional 600 refugees from Syria over the next two-and-a-half years and Mr Woodhouse has been questioned by media about the vetting of them.
He says he spoke with immigration officials who returned from Lebanon recently about the screening process and the confidence they have in the first batch of about 100 Syrian refugees arriving in Auckland in January.
“The conversation took place before the weekend’s events which may have given rise to further questions. But look, I’m satisfied that both UNHCR screening and New Zealand officials’ further screening gives me a high level of confidence in the people we are accepting,” Mr Woodhouse said.
Asked if the screening already done will be revisited, the minister said he doesn’t think that’s necessary.
“We’ve got good information on people that we’re considering for resettlement and I’m satisfied with that.”
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