Anning said he is 'utterly opposed to any form of violence' and condemned the actions
Australian Senator Fraser Anning blamed New Zealand's immigration policy for Friday's terror attacks on two mosques that have left 49 people dead and dozens injured.
When the Islamic State went on a deadly killing spree across Europe in 2015 and 2016, the group’s sympathizers never shied away from defending the killing of people they said were “infidels.” By living in Western societies, they argued, Westerners were by default reasonable targets, reports The Washington Post.
On Friday, following a devastating attack at two mosques in New Zealand’s Christchurch, an Australian senator proved that some far-right ideologues’ justifications can sound harrowingly similar when Muslims are the victims. Muslims, far-right independent Queensland Senator Fraser Anning said, “may have been the victims today, usually they are the perpetrators.”
Anning said he is “utterly opposed to any form of violence” and condemned the actions.
While Anning did not explicitly say so, his comments still implied that Muslims bore some responsibility for Friday’s shootings because of the actions of Muslims elsewhere.
“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,” Anning said in a written statement.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison rushed to condemn Anning’s statement, writing on Twitter that “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.”
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
“New Zealand, like Australia, is home to people from all faiths, cultures and backgrounds. There is absolutely no place in either of our countries for the hatred and intolerance that has bred this extremist, terrorist violence and we condemn it,” Morrison continued.
Former prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, said Anning was 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.”
Anning has faced harsh criticism from his colleagues before, especially after he resorted to language reminiscent of the Nazi description of the Holocaust when he called for a “final solution to the immigration problem.”