Warning: Video contains strong language
There is "sympathy" and "forgiveness" within the Muslim community for a man who was caught on camera making offensive comments to two young men who appeared to be Muslim, a religious expert says.
The incident happened on a NZ Bus in the Lower Hutt suburb of Naenae last Wednesday.
The footage, shot by an Iraqi Muslim woman sitting behind the man, shows the man calling out to the pair and accusing them of being "Islam c***s" and "shooting innocent people".
"Go back to your own country," he said.
One woman on the bus stood up for the young men and called out "welcome to New Zealand" to them before telling the man to behave himself.
The man then repeatedly told the woman to "shut your mouth up b****".
Head of the Islamic Studies Research Unit at the University of Auckland Zain Ali said the incident was unique.
"The impression I get is the reason it has made the news is because it is a one off type incident. It is unusual."
He said there would be "sympathy" and "forgiveness" for the man in the Muslim community.
"This old man had his say, it would be interesting to know more about him, and knowing the Muslim community I would say there is probably sympathy for him and forgiveness.
"We want to forgive him if he is willing to meet with us and get to know more about Islam."
A 66-year-old Lower Hutt man has been identified by police and charged with offensive language and threatening language following the incident.
Under the Summary Offences Acts the charges are punishable by a fine of up to $1000.
He is due to appear at the Hutt Valley District Court tomorrow.
Yesterday Hutt Valley police area commander Inspector Sean Hansen said he wanted to acknowledge and thank members of the local community who provided information that helped to identify the man.
The video has been viewed more than 69,000 times since it was shared online last Wednesday.