Wellington: New Zealand`s Islamic community has written to Prime Minister John Key demanding an apology for a joke one of his ministers made about Muslims, the Dominion Post newspaper reported on Saturday.
The president of the Federation of Islamic Associations New Zealand, Anwar Ghani, said Muslims were "very upset" about the remarks made in a speech by Building Minister Maurice Williamson.
"We brought it to the notice of the PM saying that what was said was highly inappropriate and the minister should be reprimanded and apologise," Ghani told the newspaper.
Williamson cracked a joke about Muslims and the practice of stoning while giving a speech at a building industry awards ceremony last month.
Ghani said he did not think comments centred on religious intolerance were commonplace in New Zealand, but this issue was "a big problem because it was uttered by someone who is regarded as being responsible and a public figure".
A spokesman for the Prime Minister confirmed the letter had arrived and was being considered.