New Zealand First MP Richard Prosser said New Zealand should stop hiding behind a “facade of misplaced tolerance born of spineless fear” and face head on “the identifiable threat to modern aviation security” which he claims is posed by young Muslim men.
NZ HERALD In a column for Investigate Magazine, the Waimakariri list MP suggested young Muslims shouldn’t be allowed to travel on Western airlines because ‘most terrorists are Muslims.” He accepted that most Muslims are not terrorists, but said it’s “equally undeniable” that “most terrorists are Muslims”.
“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.
In his article, Mr Prosser also said: “I will not stand by while [his daughters'] rights and freedoms of other New Zealanders and Westerners, are denigrated by a sorry pack of misogynist troglodytes from Wogistan.”The 9/11 hijackers were Muslims, as were the London “tube bombers”, Mr Prosser said, along with the Taleban and al-Qaida. “There is a pattern here, I promise you,” he wrote. “These are angry, young Muslim men who hate the West and want to destroy it. “They attack us, and our institutions and infrastructures, and our way of life, and our values and beliefs and precepts, because we are not like them, and for no other reason.”
Prime Minister John Key was “appalled” by the comments, while the New Zealand Muslim Association called them “senseless”. But in an interview with Newstalk ZB’s political editor Barry Soper, Mr Prosser stood by his controversial stance.
Prosser has spoken out in defence of his “Wogistan” rant which has been slammed as racist by Muslim leaders and politicians. He denied that the use of “Wogistan” was racist, citing mentions of it being a “mythical place”, which could even have been “a real place”. “Look, people can read things into it if they want,” he said.“I have a particular style in my Investigate column which is, um, reasonably blunt, and I speak a lot of things that other people are talking about but won’t necessarily say. “I don’t think it’s anything derogatory particularly, I don’t have any real time for the worst extreme elements of Islam who treat women in a poor fashion. So, I certainly think it’s appropriate for me to make those comments.”
Asked if he was tarring all young male Muslims with the same brush, Mr Prosser said it was a profiling policy that has made Israeli airline El Al “one of the safest airlines in the world”.
NZ First Leader Winston Peters initially said there was “an element of truth’ to what Mr Prosser wrote but that his MP had failed to balance his attack by acknowledging that the majority of Muslims were peaceful and law abiding. In a subsequent statement, Mr Peters said Mr Prosser had “wrongfully impugned millions of law-abiding, peaceful Muslims” and the article did not represent the views of NZ First.
Mr Prosser said Mr Peters doesn’t vet his columns, which he’s been writing in Investigate for more than a decade, claiming they were separate from his MP duties and party policy. He believed it was appropriate for him as an MP to make his views heard, saying: “This is what we are here for. We are here to represent and speak about the issues and concerns that people have.”
Prosser, 45, has previously made no apology for the strength of the controversial ideas he has been pushing for almost 10 years. In 2011, he called for the burqa to be banned, while he also wanted bank tellers, dairy owners and taxi drivers to be armed.
SEE VIDEO HERE: NO APOLOGY FOR ANTI-MUSLIM STATEMENTS
Muslim leaders rejected Prosser’s ‘non-apology’ apology over his call for Muslims to be banned from Western airlines. The MP’s remarks provoked Muslim outrage, but NZ First leader Winston Peters refused to sack him and said he did not have to apologize.
Stuff However, speaking on Radio New Zealand’s Nine to Noon show this morning, Prosser apologized.”I’m sorry … to the majority of peaceful, law-abiding Muslims who are not involved in terrorism.” He conceded he was “only talking about a small extremist minority”, but his article would not allow the reader to separate the fact that most Muslims were honest and law-abiding. ”That’s obviously caused some upset, and for that I’m sorry,” he said.
The head of the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ), Anwar Ghani, said Prosser’s apology was not good enough.”I wouldn’t call it an apology; it was a softening of the tone, that’s all,” he said. “It seems to me he still maintains what he said, by and large, and he’s simply trying to align his comments with what his leader has said.”
He said the damage done by Prosser yesterday had not been reversed by the apology. “He has to come out and say unreservedly that ‘I apologise if my act has caused any offence to any of the Muslims in New Zealand’,” Ghani said.
But Prosser told RNZ he did not “have any time” for Islam as a religion. “I make no apology for the fact I don’t have any time for people who denigrate women or for institutions that suppress human rights.”
He denied he was being racist. “It is a religion, not a race.”