Purpose: This research aims to discuss the history of Islam in New Zealand, together with some of the pressing issues and challenges Muslims have encountered along the way. Looking back at the history of early Muslim settlers and the emergence of Muslim organizations and allied enterprises, it is clear that the Muslim community in New Zealand has had a rather mixed reception in a land that, on the whole, is perceived to be benignly tolerant and accepting.
Methodology: The research is based on a critical analysis of the available literature, both contemporary and historical. This paper explores complicated community developments, conversions to Islam, the violence experienced with defacement and destruction of mosques in reaction to overseas events over recent decades, ongoing Islamophobia, and the infamous 2019 terrorist attack on two mosques in the city of Christchurch.
Findings: The research highlights the status of the New Zealand Muslim community and the extent and nature of their influence in the country. It constitutes a social hierarchy with a complex past and multiple internal issues. Accordingly, this paper concludes with a brief discussion of the migrant experience of Muslims. It also elucidates the necessity of further research in the future and emphasizes the need to study the culture, faith and history of New Zealand from various angles.
Originality: This is illustrated in the direct attachment of the research to the core topic of religion. This is the first academic study to deal directly with both the history of the Muslim minority and contemporary issues such as Islamophobia following the 2019 massacre.
New Zealand; IslamMuslimsIntegrationIslamophobia