A New Zealand politician has labelled young Muslim men a terrorist threat who should be banned from Western airlines, sparking condemnation from Prime Minister John Key on Tuesday.
Richard Prosser, of the New Zealand First party, also labelled Islam a “stone age religion” in a magazine column, claiming that most terrorists were “angry young Muslim men who hate the West”.
“If you are a young male, aged between say about 19 and about 35, and you’re a Muslim, or you look like a Muslim, or you come from a Muslim country, then you are not welcome to travel on any of the West’s airlines,” he wrote.
He added: “I will not stand by while my daughters’ rights and freedoms, and those of other New Zealanders and Westerners, are denigrated by a sorry pack of misogynist troglodytes from ‘Wogistan’.”
Key said Prosser’s comments were “appalling”, while the right-wing lawmaker’s party leader, Winston Peters, rejected them as extreme and one-sided.
“It’s an extremist view on a very extremist issue, but you can’t lump everyone in the same boat,” Peters said.
“Where’s the side that says ‘I’m not talking about this group of people, the mass majority of Islamic people who are law-abiding and peaceful’?”
Peters did not say if Prosser would face disciplinary action.
According to Key, Prosser, who has previously called for the burqa to be banned, had deliberately set out to offend in the column for conservative current affairs magazine “Investigate”.
“It’s stupid and it was premeditated because he wrote it in an opinion piece. It’s clearly what New Zealand First thinks of other New Zealanders,” he told reporters.
Former Labour Party politician Kelvin Davis responded to Prosser’s remarks with a tweet paraphrasing Mark Twain: “Better to stay silent and have everyone think you’re an idiot, than to open your mouth and confirm it.”