By David Williams for Newsroom…

A walkout at a terrorism conference might have grabbed the headlines but what was simmering beneath it? 

ANALYSIS:The tension in the room was palpable.

Christchurch Town Hall’s Limes Room came alive with shouts of “free Palestine!”, prompted by comments about a 2018 rally in Auckland supporting a designated terrorist entity – the military wing of Hezbollah.

Government officials and academics, assembled for a high-profile national hui on counter terrorism, watched on, stunned, as a minority of people stormed out.

(Abdur Razzaq, of the Federation of Islamic Associations, led the walkout. Asked if it was done in protest, he says the hui was supposed to be a safe venue, a place to focus on what unites us. “It was the wrong place to raise issues of Palestine and Israel.”)

As reported by 1 News, Al Noor Mosque (Masjid An-Nur) Imam Gamal Fouda said, as he exited: “This is racism against us.”

The topic being discussed by the panel was: “Addressing the causes: how can embracing community and diversity-focused approaches contribute to preventing and countering violent extremism.”

Read the full article on Newsroom here.

Read “Jewish Council spokeswoman stands by comments after Christchurch hui marred by walkout” on the NZ Herald here.