An Australian senator on Friday released a shockingly Islamophobic statement after a horrific attack on two mosques in Christchurch left 49 people dead.
Fraser Anning, who was elected as a Queensland senator in 2017, released a statement after an attack was carried out against Muslims, and it includes exactly one sentence condemning the violence followed by seven paragraphs suggesting Muslims themselves are to blame, per CNN’s Jim Sciutto.
Anning writes that the attack “highlights” a “growing fear within our community” of “the increasing Muslim presence,” and he claims that the “real cause” was “the immigration program which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place.” Anning goes on to write that “the entire religion of Islam” is a “violent ideology” and that Muslims are not “blameless.”
Just incredible: As 49 Muslim worshippers lay dead in New Zealand, a sitting Australian senator blames “the immigration program which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand”. pic.twitter.com/13w7aAK8IR
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) March 15, 2019
This is hardly a first-time offense for Anning, who has advocated for ending Muslim immigration and in 2018 delivered a Senate speech calling for a “final solution to the immigration problem,” evoking the infamous phrase referring to Nazi extermination of Jewish people, per BBC News. Anning refused to apologize for these comments even as he was condemned by members of Parliament.
Anning’s statement was similarly condemned all around on Friday, The Washington Post reports, with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison saying his comments are “disgusting” and “have no place in Australia, let alone the Australian Parliament.”