An Australian senator is being heavily criticized for lashing out at Muslim immigrants in the wake of the horrific shootings at two New Zealand mosques.
Queensland Senator Fraser Anning released a media statement on Friday afternoon, hours after the terrorist attacks at two Christchurch mosques. In it, Anning claimed while he was “utterly opposed to any form of violence” and condemned the actions of the gunman, he said the atrocity highlighted the “growing fear over an increasing Muslim presence” in Australia and New Zealand.
“While this kind of violent vigilantism can never be justified, what it highlights is the growing fear within our community, both in Australia and New Zealand, of the increasing Muslim presence.”
Australia’s Senator Fraser Anning statement about the Christian terrorist #ChristchurchAttack: the victims deserved to be killed since they were Muslims
ICYMI, he defends a “final solution” to non-White immigrants pic.twitter.com/s9D5mqQPWF
— Alfons López Tena #FBPE (@alfonslopeztena) March 15, 2019
Anning claimed the real perpetrator that killed 49 people and injured more than 40, including children, is New Zealand’s immigration policy. Three suspects have been arrested in connection with the attack, one of which has been charged with murder.
Fraser Anning’s comments today are contemptible. 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.
— Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm) 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
Here is a man, Senator Fraser Anning, who is openly justifying terrorism & massacre of muslims in the name of immigration; if any Muslim Mullah will do it, he will soon find himself or his govt in trouble; Where is UN? https://t.co/aUA3shD6vJ
— Moeed Pirzada (@MoeedNj) March 15, 2019
Anning went on to criticize “left-wing politicians and the media” who he said will rush to blame “gun laws or those who hold nationalist views, but this is all clichéd nonsense.”
“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.”
Does anyone still dispute the link between Muslim immigration and violence?
— Senator Fraser Anning (@fraser_anning) March 15, 2019
Anning went on to ask if “anyone still dispute[s] the link between Muslim immigration and violence?” on Twitter – inciting a slew of negative feedback from Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison and former prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, fellow MPs and constituents.