Senator Anning blamed Friday’s attack in New Zealand, which killed 49 people, on Muslim immigration.
“As always, left-wing politicians and the media will rush to claim that the causes of today’s shootings lie with gun laws or those who hold nationalist views but this is all cliched nonsense,” the senator said in a statement.
“The real cause of bloodshed on New Zealand streets today is the immigration program which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place.”
Many, including Australia’s last two prime ministers, took exception to the senator’s comments.
On Saturday, Senator Anning made an appearance at Moorabbin, in Melbourne’s south.
Midway through a press conference as the senator faced the cameras, a teenager comes from the left and cracks an egg over his head.
Senator Anning lashes out by hitting the boy twice in the face before the teen is tackled to the ground.
The 17-year-old was later arrested.
A Victoria Police spokesman said the boy was released without charge, but the incident was still under investigation.
Police said no charges had been laid against Senator Anning or the men who pinned the boy down.
It was up to the boy involved to press charges if he wants to.
UPDATE: Police advise that no charges have been laid against Fraser Anning, or the men who pinned the boy down. It’s up to the boy involved to press charges, if he wants to. He has been released, without charge, “pending further enquiries.” Investigation is ongoing. #7News
— Kristy Mayr (@KristyMayr7) March 16, 2019
Does anyone still dispute the link between Muslim immigration and violence?
— Senator Fraser Anning (@fraser_anning) March 15, 2019
Senator evokes fury around the globe
The remarks were denounced by several people including the UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid, who accused the senator of stoking extremism.
“At a time for grieving and reflection, this Australian senator @fraser_anning fans the flames of violence and extremism,” he tweeted.
“Australians will be utterly ashamed of this racist man. In no way does he represent our Australian friends.”
Comments by Australian Senator Fraser Anning do not represent the views of New Zealanders. Fraser Anning is not a New Zealander and his extreme views are condemned by politicians in New Zealand and in his own country. Australia. #ChristchurchTERRORISTattack
— MFATgovtNZ 🇳🇿 (@MFATgovtNZ) March 15, 2019
The remarks by Senator Fraser Anning blaming the murderous attacks by a violent, right-wing, extremist terrorist in New Zealand on immigration are disgusting. Those views have no place in Australia, let alone the Australian Parliament.
— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) March 15, 2019
Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison tweeted Senator Anning’s comments were “disgusting”.
“Those views have no place in Australia, let alone the Australian Parliament,” Mr Morrison tweeted.
He has announced the government will censure the senator over his comments.
Mr Morrison said there had been discussions between Senators Mathias Cormann and Penny Wong about a bipartisan motion when Parliament returns in April.
“These comments are appalling and they’re ugly and they have no place in Australia. In the Australian Parliament also. And he should be, frankly, ashamed of himself” he said.
That sentiment was echoed by former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull.
At a time for grieving and reflection, this Australian senator @fraser_anning fans the flames of violence & extremism. Australians will be utterly ashamed of this racist man. In no way does he represent our Australian friends https://t.co/uzezIeNjbN
— Sajid Javid (@sajidjavid) March 15, 2019
“Fraser Anning’s comments today are contemptible,” he tweeted.
“He is a disgrace to the Senate and what is worse by spreading hatred and turning Australians against each other he is doing exactly what the terrorists want.”
Among others to attack the politician was media commentator Piers Morgan.
“Are you f***ing kidding me???” he tweeted.
Morgan added it was a “disgusting statement”.
Labor frontbencher Tony Burke has also condemned comments from the senator as “hate speech” and “horrific and sick”.
Mr Burke told the ABC “the normalisation of bigotry is something that is not only confined to him”.
“We need to call it out, we need to make sure that no way any member of parliament fosters it. He wants the conflict and he wants the notoriety,” he said on Saturday.
Bilal Rauf, from the Australian National Imams Council, said Mr Anning’s statement “may as well have been an extract from the manifesto of the person that perpetrated these heinous crimes”.
“While they may be words, words create a certain environment, they embolden certain people, they give them a platform or a sense of confidence that they can do certain things,” he said.
“I hope there is a real question as to his position as a federal parliamentarian given the privileges and the responsibilities which are attached to that.”
Senator Anning is up for re-election this year.
– with AAP
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