National MP Bob Clarkson’s mouth has landed him in trouble again after he said “Islam religion-type people” who wore burqas could be crooks hiding guns.
The Tauranga MP, who is known to shoot from the lip, said Muslim women should not wear the full-body veils if they wanted to “fit into our country”.
“Even walking down the street, to a certain extent, how do we know there’s not a crook with a gun hiding under a burqa? Who’s under that gown?” he said.
He was tolerant of all religions, but Muslims who wore burqas because of deeply held beliefs should “go back to Islam or Iraq”.
The comments, made days after a major diversity forum in Wellington, brought an angry reaction from Federation of Islamic Associations president Javed Khan.
Khan said: “If he is tolerant of all types of religion, why is he picking on Muslims wearing scarves and burqas? Would he have any problems with nuns wearing the same type of clothes, head covers and long skirts? Would he have problems with the Sikhs wearing turbans? When he says that people should fit into the country, what does that mean? That they should go in their bikinis?”