Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison joined others in expressing outrage over a far-right Australian senator’s response to the massacre at two New Zealand mosques on Friday that left at least 49 people dead.
“Those views have no place in Australia, let alone the Australian Parliament,” Morrison said, calling the senator’s views “disgusting.”
In a vile statement obtained by the Los Angeles Times, Australian Senator Fraser Anning, who represents the state of Queensland, the commonwealth’s second largest state, blamed the “fear” of immigration, or the “increasing Muslim presence,” in New Zealand and Australia for the attack.
“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,” he said. “Let us be clear, while Muslims may have been the victims today, usually they are the perpetrators. World-wide, Muslims are killing people in the name of their faith on an industrial scale. … The truth is that Islam is not like any other faith. It is the religious equivalent of fascism. And just because the followers of this savage belief were not the killers in this instance, does not make them blameless.”
I don’t think I have ever seen a statement like this from an elected official after a terrorist attack: pic.twitter.com/83RCLcM7Mg
— Seema (@LATSeema) March 15, 2019
After Morrison — and many others — condemned Anning’s remarks, the senator doubled down, suggesting the prime minister lives in a “bubble” and is turning his “back on Wester Civilisation.”
Several of Anning’s recent tweets were removed from his timeline by Twitter for violating rules, but two tweets questioning whether “the left wing” would condemn the next “Muslim terrorist attack” remain.
I wonder if there will be as much outrage from the left wing when the next Muslim terrorist attack occurs?
Most likely silence and talk about “lone wolf attacks, mental illness and no connection to Islam”.
— Senator Fraser Anning (@fraser_anning) March 15, 2019
Anning is known as a far-right lawmaker and has a history of making racist and anti-Muslim comments, especially in his views on immigration policy.
Several other Australian politicians decried the senator’s remarks, including former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and parliament member Bill Shorten.
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
While families in Christchurch mourn for loved ones they’ve lost, an obscure Australian Senator saw this act of terrorism and tragedy as an opportunity to blame the murder victims.
— Bill Shorten (@billshortenmp) March 15, 2019