Rage against 'Wogistan': New Zealand MP's anti-Muslim rant met with astonishment, humor
Racial profiling of Muslims has become so widespread since the 2001 attacks on New York and the Pentagon that those in the Arab world have become used to the side rooms and interrogations. But one New Zealand politician has decided to push the paranoia even further, claiming that not only are all Muslim men terrorists, but anyone who looks like a Muslim should be banned from flying on Western-owned airlines.
No friend of the Middle East’s favorite faith, right-wing New Zealand First party member, Richard Prosser, also wrote in a magazine column, published in February's issue of Investigate Magazine, that Islam was a “stone-age religion” and terrorists were “angry young Muslim men who hate the West,” AFP reported.
"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, adding that Muslims were “a sorry pack of misogynist troglodytes from 'Wogistan'."
The head of NZF, Winston Peters, has distanced himself from the comments, while Prime Minister John Key said the statements were “appalling.”
The whole affair seems to have stemmed from Prosser having a pocket knife “confiscated” on an Air New Zealand flight. The episode enraged him, leading him to blame Muslims for his misfortune. Except the knife wasn’t actually confiscated by airport security — it was checked in with other baggage.
Prosser tried to make an apology in Parliament for the remarks, which was blocked by Mana Party leader, Hone Harawira.
In a statement, Harawira said: "Today I opposed a request from Richard Prosser to make a personal statement to the House. I did so because if he has an apology to make for his offensive remarks to the Muslim community, then he can make his way to the nearest mosque and ask forgiveness there. I do not accept that he should be able to make such remarks and then simply wash away his venom via an unchallenged explanation in the house."
Prosser’s comments were parodied in a skit broadcast nationally on 3News, which added fake subtitles to an old movie about Afghanistan where the Taliban are searching for a new leader.
“It must be a madman,” says one. “Yes, someone so extreme he makes the [Iranian cleric] Ayatollah Khamenei look touchy feely,” another Taliban fighter chimes in. “I think I have the guy...his name is Richard Prosser...his views make our ban on kites look sane.”
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