Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy has praised the way an Auckland medical student responded after a stranger rang Police because she thought his headphones were a bomb.
“We can all learn a lot from Jaspreet Singh and the way he responded to prejudice and fear with dignity and mana,” said Dame Susan.
“It is ironic that Jaspreet is a third-year medical student who will no doubt go on to help save many lives.”
Mr Singh thanked other New Zealanders for supporting him and hoped the incident would raise awareness about prejudice and how easy it is to marginalise minorities for no reason. He also urged Kiwis to not let fear control their lives.
“My friend London bombing survivor Gill Hicks has a saying, Make Peace A Verb, and that is exactly what Jaspreet and others like him are trying to do. Violent extremists don’t want us to stand alongside one another in peace and solidarity, they want us to fear and hate: we must not let them win,” said Dame Susan.
“Aucklanders will be marking Human Rights Day 2015 on the 10 December with an interfaith peace service featuring Jewish, Muslim, Christian and other faiths at the Avondale Islamic Centre. I encourage all Aucklanders to come along and Make Peace a Verb.”