A New Zealand politician who sparked condemnation for suggesting Muslim men should be banned on Western airlines will not stand down.
Writing in his column in Investigate Magazine, First Leader Richard Prosser said: "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."
Labelling Islam a "stone age religion", and claiming most terrorists are "angry young Muslim men who hate the West", Prosser added: "I will not stand by while my daughters' rights and freedoms, and those of other New Zealanders and Westerners, are denigrated by a sorry pack of misogynist troglodytes from 'Wogistan'."
Prosser's comments were labelled "appalling" by Prime Minister John Key, News.Com.Au reports.
Key told reporters he believed Prosser had deliberately set out to offend. He added: "It's stupid and it was premeditated because he wrote it in an opinion piece. It's clearly what New Zealand First think of other New Zealanders."
A press release from Rt Hon Winston Peters of the New Zealand First Party was released on Tuesday.
"Mr Prosser agrees that the article did not have balance, and does not represent the views of New Zealand First."
TVNZ reports Peters adding Prosser's comments were a "mistake", but "there is an element of truth to what he is saying."
Twitter reaction to Prosser's column
The channel says Prosser's column came after his pocket knife was confiscated at Christchurch Airport, an item he reportedly carried with him on national and international flights without issue "before the world went mad".
Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand president Dr Anwar Ghani described the column as "racist and extremely objectionable."
Dr Ghani warned Stuff Magazine the country could risk losing millions of dollars in business investments and compromise its growing economic relationship with the Middle East.
''His (Prosser's) comments are undermining the peaceful nature we have in this community.''
3News points out Peters's statement stops short of an apology and there has been no further word from Prosser himself.