Muslim women say Islamophobia worse after Christchurch mosque attack

Muslim women at a trans-Tasman conference in Auckland on Friday say Islamophobia is worse now than it was before the Christchurch terror attack.

The conference, titled 'Let's deal with it', is a frank discussion about the experience of some minority groups in our country.

Police were outside the conference, still guarding Muslims from threats to organisers three months after the March 15 attack.

But inside people were coming together to find a way to fight against racism and discrimination, which they say is a breeding ground for terrorism.

"I just feel 50 lives should not be lost. If we honour their life, we all need to come together... we need to learn to start the dialogue," said Farida Sultana, founder of Shakti New Zealand.

Pakeeza Rasheed from the Khadija Leadership is a leader in the Muslim community said she had faced several difficult situations.

"One that has stood out for me over the years is someone spitting on my face, a complete stranger but to me that really goes down the level of de-humanisation that occurs."

But Rasheed also says she's shocked that in the wake of the mosque attacks, there's not less hate directed at Muslims - there's more.

"You know there was that moment of solidarity we had as a country, but unfortunately it's dissipated as quickly as it started, so we feel that fear and that anxiety is even heightened now."

After the attacks, one young Muslim woman told Newshub her story of being sworn at and told to go back to her own country at an Auckland train station.

On Friday, she said she's saddened other Muslims are still experiencing similar abuse and it seems that very little has changed.

Organisers of the conference plan to launch a nation-wide anti-discrimination campaign.  They're calling on charities, Government, councils and businesses to join them.

"Even though the gunman thought he can just divide us, but he didn't. I think he brought New Zealand together," said Sultana.