HAMISH RUTHERFORD, NICOLE PRYOR AND VERNON SMALL
A leader in the Islamic community says NZ First MP Richard Prosser should resign over his controversial comments about Muslims.
Prosser today apologised ”unreservedly” for the lack of balance in a column he wrote for Investigate magazine calling for Muslim men to be banned from Western airlines – but has ruled out standing down.
The column, entitled Enemy of the State, was written after the 45-year-old MP’s pocket penknife was confiscated at Christchurch Airport.
“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 also made reference to “a sorry pack of misogynist troglodytes from Wogistan”.
Despite the apology, “stepping down would be an honourable thing to do,” President of the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ), Dr Anwar Ghani, said.
“To take responsibility and move on from Parliament, and reflect on the damage he has caused.”
Ghani said he accepted Prosser’s apology: “We will take his apology at face value, but we will be watching with great interest at how he deals with the Muslim community in future.
“We will leave it there, and move on.”
He said the organisation would start a formal discussion with NZ First leader Winston Peters to make sure that kind of behaviour did not happen again.
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