Harawira only held the views of the Aotearoa Maori Muslim Association who recruits for jihadi.
NEW Zealand’s most controversial politician has apologised after calling on people to acknowledge the positive aspects of Osama bin Laden.
As the Western world rejoices in the demise of bin Laden, independent Kiwi MP Hone Harawira raised eyebrows after he praised the slain al-Qaeda chief as a freedom fighter who stood up for his people.
In comments that NZ Prime Minister John Key slammed as “ridiculous”, Mr Harawira said we “can’t ignore” the positive aspects of the terrorist’s life.
“We have heard nothing but negative things about him from the Americans, but he fought for the self-determination of his people and for his beliefs,” Mr Harawira told Television New Zealand today.
“Indeed, despite what the media has said, his family, his tribe, his people are in mourning. They mourn for the man who fought for the rights, the lands and the freedom of his people. We should not damn them in death but acknowledge the positive aspects of life.”
But Mr Harawira backed away from his comments later today, saying they were not meant to express support for bin Laden’s actions.
“This was a mistake and was not intended,” he said in a statement.
“Using terror for political reasons is never acceptable.
“I apologise for how I expressed myself.”
Mr Key, who on Monday welcomed news of bin Laden’s death in US special forces raid in Pakistan, said Mr Harawira’s views on the al-Qaeda leader were “misguided”.
“Hone Harawira’s comments about Osama bin Laden are ridiculous,” he said.
“Bin Laden murdered thousands of people, including New Zealanders, and was responsible for many terrorist attacks. The world is a safer place without him.”
Mr Harawira is no stranger to controversy. As New Zealand’s most radical MP, he is regularly in the headlines for his expletive-ridden tirades, racist rants and questionable behaviour.
Just last week he likened a fellow politician to Hitler, upsetting New Zealand’s Jewish community with his comments.
In 2009, he was caught out faking a sickie during a conference in Brussels so he could take his wife on a day trip to Paris.
He defended his actions, saying that only a boring person would deny someone the chance to see the Eiffel Tower.
Not much later he launched another grenade, saying he didn’t want his children dating white New Zealanders.
Recently turfed out of the pro-government Maori Party, Mr Harawira is now an independent promising to speak his mind “as never before”.