Australian senator blames Muslim immigration for New Zealand massacre

“I do wonder if he’s made Australians less safe overseas”


(Xinhua/Guo Lei/IANS)

Canberra (IANS): Far-right Australian Senator Fraser Anning who blamed the New Zealand terror attack on Muslim immigration was hit by an egg at an event in Melbourne city on Saturday and slammed by the country’s politicians for his comments.

Video footage recorded at the press conference appeared to show Queensland Senator Anning halfway through the event when a teenager cracked an egg over his head while filming with a mobile phone.

The senator responded by punching the 17-year-old. The latter was then tackled to the ground by Anning’s supporters and held in a chokehold, the New Zealand Herald reported.

The teenager was then taken away by the police and released without charge. The Victoria police were investigating the incident.

Anning was criticised on Friday after he said that the mosque shootings which left 49 people dead highlighted a “growing fear over an increasing Muslim presence” in Australian and New Zealand communities.

Twenty eight-year-old Australian Brenton Harrison Tarrant is the prime suspect in the Friday massacre at two mosques. The right-wing extremist filmed himself while carrying out the rampage.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Anning’s comments blaming the Islamic community for the shooting were “appalling and ugly and they had no place in Australia”. The leader said the government would censure the senator.

Australian Labour Party leader Bill Shorten said Anning was “chasing a headline”.

“I do wonder if he’s made Australians less safe overseas. That’s another reason not to give this fool any more oxygen.”

A petition calling for Anning’s expulsion from Parliament amassed about 250,000 signatures.