Richard Prosser, NZ First MP. Photo / Geoff Sloan
Comments on Muslims by New Zealand First MP Richard
Prosser have sparked online outrage and have been slammed as
racist by a Muslim leader.
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 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.
New Zealand Muslim Association president Haider Lone said the
"senseless" comments were racist and would tarnish New
Zealand's good reputation abroad.
"New Zealand has a very beautiful and wonderful reputation
around the world and we want to keep that, and these sort of
people will damage that reputation."
He called on New Zealand First leader Winston Peters to take
disciplinary action against Mr Prosser, who was swept into
Parliament as a list MP on the strength of Mr Peters'
political fortunes, despite not winning his electoral seat.
"I hope this is the first and last time this sort of person
is allowed into parliament," Mr Lone said.
Hundreds of commentators have taken to social media
expressing their outrage.
TV3 reporter Ali Ikram said: "It's cool peeps, don't like
NZ First Leader Winston Peters said there was "an element of
truth' to what Mr Prosser wrote, but his MP had failed to
balance his attack by acknowledging that the majority of
Muslims were peaceful and law abiding.
"There is an element of truth to what he is saying ... this
has been happening again and again ... there are far too many
Moslem extremists", Mr Peters said.
Mr Prosser's comments reflected an "extreme view borne of
However, Mr Peters said: "You cannot have a view that puts
everybody in the same boat when we know that there are
Islamic governments abroad and millions and millions of
Islamic people who are law abiding and peaceful and
democratic. That's where the article dramatically failed.
"NZ First does not share that view, and you'll not be hearing
it repeated again."
Curwen Rolinson, a member of NZ First's board of directors,
moved to distance the party from Mr Prosser's comments.
"This is an MP expressing his own very personal opinion
through the mouthpiece of an Investigate column. He is also
prone to hyperbolistic feats of expression," he posted on
Prime Minister John Key said Mr Prosser's comments were "an
example of the depth of thinking coming out of New Zealand
"It's an appalling thing to say. It was premeditated. It was
written in an opinion piece. It's clearly what New Zealand
First think of other New Zealanders but it's a bit buffoonish
if you ask me."
Labour Leader David Shearer said he found Mr Prosser's
comments "offensive" and said they could hurt New Zealand's
reputation in other countries.
"If those sorts of comments were made in the Middle East it
could incite violence we don't want that here.
It makes us look like we don't care about people from the
Middle East, from Moslem countries. People will be looking at
us with some disdain."
The fact they were made in a printed column made it worse as
they were clearly pre-meditated, he said.
Mana Party leader Hone Harawira said Mr Prosser's comments
were racist, and without basis in fact.
"It's kinda like saying that no 19- to 35-year-old white guys
should be allowed to go anywhere because they cause so many
wars around the world.
Asked whether the NZ First MP should have kept his comments
to himself, Mr Harawira said: "It's best that they're
actually expressed openly because when people hold views as
extreme as that, it's best that we hear them."
Act Party leader John Banks said the comments were "crazy"
"What can you say? I believe in good in all people, all
races, all people."
Asked whether there was a place for such extreme views in
Parliament, Mr Banks said: "That is going to be tested by
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
"There is a pattern here, I promise you," he wrote. "These
are angry, young Muslim men who hate the West and want to
"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."
Prosser, 45, has previously made no apology for the strength
of the controversial ideas he has been pushing for almost 10
In 2011, he called for the burqa to be banned, while he also
wanted bank tellers, dairy owners and taxi drivers to be