Former Socialist Prime Minister Giuliano Amato made the gaffe while comparing local customs to those imported by Muslim immigrants during a conference on integration in Rome, ANSA said.
"No God ever authorized a man to beat a woman," he said. "It's a Sicilian-Pakistani tradition which would have us believe otherwise."
Shocked Sicilian Member of Parliament Stefania Prestigiacomo said "Amato talks off the top of his head" and threatened a libel suit unless he apologizes, ANSA said.
Sicilian MP Giuseppe Marinello said "no such Sicilian-Pakistani tradition exists" and also demanded an apology.
"... No one has the right to define a lack of respect toward women a Sicilian characteristic," Marinello said.
Video of Victoria’s Secret models trying to 'twerk' hits Instagram
Wisconsin business offering 'therapeutic cuddling' forced to close