Impasse Reached in Mediation Concerning 2019 Terror Attack
The New Zealand Muslim groups involved in mediation with Wellington have reached an impasse regarding the distribution of $2 million for Christchurch victims. The victims were people injured or killed in the March 2019 attack on a mosque.
Factions in the Federation of Islamic Associations have been disagreeing since earlier in 2020 when one faction deposed President Mustafa Farouk. Mohammed Khan was elected after receiving support from the Canterbury Muslim Association.
Despite the impasse, mediation continues. Farouk and his allies wanted an order from the High Court nullifying the election results, but their request failed. There is an upcoming court hearing but in the meantime, a panel of Muslims are meeting in Wellington in an attempt to mediate the dispute and avoid court action.
If parties can reach an agreement, it could allow the court to unfreeze the bank accounts of the federation and prevent further court involvement. The account holds $2 million in donations from a Qatari charity donated to victims of the shooting. The mediation is being overseen by Hanif Quazi. He was the first secretary of the federation and served as president of the Canterbury Muslim Association. The association will attend the mediation but do not have representation on the panel.
Victims of the shooting are calling for the release of the money.
The federation is currently a registered charity. It had not filed taxes for the 2019 fiscal year and the current extension it received stated that everything must be up to date by the end of September 2020.