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Integration And Conflict Discourses

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Chapter Summary

While New Zealand's rules and laws aim at making sure that Muslims are free to exercise their right to be Muslim, some Muslims may deny that right of choice to a member of their own group under the Islamic doctrine that prohibits apostasy. The main obstacle Western societies in general stumble over when dealing with the integration of Muslim immigrants is that Islam is not a religion in the limited sense of the word, but is rather a complete and comprehensive code of life. Blasphemous libel is on the statute books as a criminal offence (Crimes Act 1961). Clearly the most controversial issue affecting Islam-West relationships globally, aside from terrorism, was the Danish cartoon affair. Contributing to New Zealand Muslims' discomfort, in 2006, Pope Benedict XVI used his spiritual authority to launch what by a stretch of the imagination appeared to be an unprovoked attack on Islam.

Keywords: apostasy; blasphemous libel; conflict discourse; Danish cartoon affair; integration discourse; Islam-West relationship; New Zealand Muslim; Pope Benedict XVI



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