A New Zealand politician has drawn criticism this week for stating that most terrorists are Muslims and suggesting young Muslims men should be banned from Western airlines.
First MP Richard Prosser made the inflammatory remarks in a column written for Investigate Magazine, according to an article featured in the New Zealand Herald.
It is "undeniable" that "most terrorists are Muslims," Prosser wrote, according to the report. "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."
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Prosser has since apologized for his remarks.
"I [realize] that's caused [offense] to those people unjustifiably and unneccesarily and I'm [apologizing] unreservedly to them," the statement said, according to the New Zealand Herald.
The column was previously attacked by some of Prosser's colleagues, including former Labour party member Kelvin Davis:
@nzstuffpolitics - better to stay silent and have everyone think you're an idiot, than to open your mouth and confirm it.
— Kelvin Davis (@KelvinNgatiManu) February 12, 2013
Ethnic Affairs Minister Judith Collins called Prosser's comments "appalling," "extremely disappointing" and "may cause international embarrassment for New Zealand," according to NZ Newswire. New Zealand Prime Minister John Key also slammed the column.
Speaking with Stuff Magazine, Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand president Dr. Anwar Ghani said the comments betrayed a disappointing level of intellect in the New Zealand parliament.
''You would expect people that come to Parliament are deep thinking people and they have a wider appreciation of the community in New Zealand and the global socio-political scene,'' he said.
3News notes that since being elected to the legislative body in 2011, Prosser has made series of controversial comments, including calling for a ban of burqas in public, and mandatory military training for all New Zealanders.Read Richard Prosser's piece, "Enemy at the Gates" (page 8):