''RIDICULOUS. SHAMEFUL. EMBARRASSING''
Ridiculous, shameful, and embarrassing.
That was how Labour MP Clayton Cosgrove described New Zealand First MP Richard Prosser’s column, published in Investigate magazine.
‘‘It’s idiocy. I mean under Richard Prosser’s idea Sonny Bill Williams, who I am advised is a Muslim, wouldn’t have been allowed on a plane when he was an All Black.’’
Mr Cosgrove suggested Mr Prosser was as unbalanced as his column.
‘‘If his article was unbalanced, he wrote it so maybe he’s unbalanced.’’
Mr Cosgrove expected the people of Waimakariri to reject the comments as ridiculous.
‘‘I suspect they will be of a similar vein and just say this is ridiculous and stupid, whether they are Muslims or not. This is embarrassing, this is just idiocy.
‘‘The community doesn’t want MPs who say stupid things, who insult people.’’
Mr Cosgrove said terrorism was not restricted to one race or religion.
‘‘Everyone condemns terrorism or criminal behaviour or people assaulting, killing, murdering others, but I’d make an argument – that that’s cross cultural, across religions and across races.’’
Waimakariri MP Kate Wilkinson also distanced herself from Mr Prosser’s comments.
In a statement she said the comments may have been upsetting for Muslim people in the community.
‘‘I am not really prepared to comment on Mr Prosser’s statements, but I do extend my support to members of the community who may have suffered hurt or humiliation as a result.’’
‘‘I have always celebrated our nation’s diversity and prefer to focus rather on our shared values and common purposes.’’
The National MP for Kaikoura, Colin King, could not be reached for comment.