What’s that got to do with it?

Scoop has been reporting the cause of the Iranian hunger striker. Ali Panah does not want to be deported to Iran, because he fears that his life will be in danger, as a convert to the Anglican church.

For the most part it’s all straight forward reporting. But why does Scoop feel the need to point out that the Minister of Immigration, David Cunliffe, is himself the son of an Anglican vicar.

Anglican Archbishop David Moxon emerged from a prison visit to Mr Panah declaring he is fully persuaded of the genuineness of the Iranian asylum seeker’s Christian faith. Mr Cunliffe is from an Anglican background himself his father was a ‘man of the cloth’.

What’s the rhetorical point – that Mr Cunliffe should be more sympathetic to Mr Panah’s cause, just because he is an Anglican?

I would be deeply worried if the Minister for Immigration, or indeed any minister, took his or her private religious beliefs, if any, into account when making decisions within their portfolios. I expect them to act in an unbiased manner, not give their own private beliefs sway.


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