In this image made from video, a teenager breaks an egg on the head of Senator Fraser Anning while he holds a press conference, Saturday, March 16, 2019, in Melbourne, New Zealand. Following the mass shootings on Friday, Anning came under sharp criticism over tweets including one that said: “Does anyone still dispute the link between Muslim immigration and violence?” (AP Photo)

Australian senator blames Muslims for mosque attack, faces censure

Television cameras caught a 17-year-old boy breaking an egg on Sen. Fraser Anning’s head

An Australian senator had a raw egg cracked over his head and faces censure from his fellow lawmakers after sparking outrage by blaming Muslim immigration for the New Zealand mosque shootings.

Sen. Fraser Anning came under blistering criticism over tweets on Friday including one that said, “Does anyone still dispute the link between Muslim immigration and violence?”

“The real cause of the 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 in a statement.

Television cameras caught a 17-year-old boy breaking an egg on Anning’s head and briefly scuffling with the independent senator while he was holding a news conference Saturday in Melbourne.

Police said the boy was arrested but was released without charge pending a further investigation. No motive was offered for the egging.

The government and opposition party agreed to pass a censure motion against Anning over his stance on the Christchurch shootings when Parliament resumes in April.

While such a reprimand is a symbolic gesture, the major parties expect to demonstrate how isolated Anning’s views are among Australia’s 226 federal lawmakers. The major parties’ support ensures the censure motion will be passed by both chambers.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he denounced Anning’s comments.

“In his conflation of this horrendous terrorist attack with issues of immigration, in his attack on Islamic faith specifically — these comments are appalling and they’re ugly and they have no place in Australia, in the Australian Parliament,” Morrison said. “He should be, frankly, ashamed of himself.”

READ MORE: Quebec City Muslim worshippers condemn fatal New Zealand mosque attacks

READ MORE: B.C. police step up patrols at mosques after New Zealand shooting massacre

Bilal Rauf, spokesman for the Australian National Imams Council, the nation’s top Muslim group, likened the senator’s views to the rambling manifesto published online by suspect Brenton Tarrant before the slayings.

“When one looks at his statement, it may as well have been an extract from the manifesto of the person that perpetrated these heinous crimes, this act of terrorism in Christchurch,” Rauf said.

Rauf said Anning was unfit for the Senate.

Opposition lawmaker Penny Wong accused Anning of attempting to use the tragedy to grab attention ahead of elections in May.

Anning only received 19 votes in the last election in 2016. But because of a quirk in the Australian electoral system, he was elevated to the Senate by the anti-immigration, anti-Muslim One Nation party after a court ruled that its senator, Malcolm Roberts, had not been eligible to run for election due to his dual citizenship.

Anning later defected from One Nation to another anti-immigration party, then became an independent. Analysts say Anning is unlikely to be re-elected as an independent candidate in May.

Anning was widely condemned for his first speech to the Senate in August advocating reviving a white-only immigration policy and using the term “final solution” in calling for a vote on which migrants to admit into the country. Critics accused him of making a veiled reference to the Nazi extermination of Jews.

The government also announced on Saturday it had banned right-wing commentator Milo Yiannopoulos from touring the country over his social media response to the Christchurch shootings.

Immigration Minister David Coleman said Yiannopoulos’ social media comments are “appalling and foment hatred and division.”

Coleman didn’t specify which comments he was referring to.

Yiannopoulos said on Facebook that attacks like Christchurch happen because “the establishment panders to and mollycoddles extremist leftism and barbaric, alien religious cultures.”

Lawmakers within Australia’s conservative government had been quarreling in recent weeks over whether the firebrand commentator should be allowed to tour Australia this year.

Rod McGuirk, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

School District 20 to improve childcare services for those working in emergency services

The district has launched a survey to aid in the consultation process

Scholarship up for grabs for Rossland art students

The $250 scholarship is being provided by the Rossland Council for Arts and Culture

COVID-19 adds worry and unexpected costs to Castlegar woman’s cancer fight

Community fundraiser raises $9,000 for Jennifer Rodrigues’ family

6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes the Kootenays

An earthquake was reportedly felt just before 5 p.m. throughout parts of B.C. and Alberta

Rosslanders share own positive experiences during COVID-19 situation

Gardening and spending time with family some activities residents have been enjoying more of lately

First Nations, remote communities need special attention in pandemic, Freeland says

Health-care workers, seniors, Indigenous Peoples some of people most at risk, health officials say

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for another six weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

Call before you dig into spring projects during isolation: BC 1 Call

BC 1 Call gives free checks for utilities in the area of a desired outdoor project

B.C.’s intersection speed cameras putting more tickets in the mail

One Nanaimo location delayed after speed limit reduced

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

High cost, limited coverage for asthma medicine a concern during COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. man says he skips puffs to save money, but others have it worse

B.C. man sick with COVID-19 calls it a ‘horrible disease’

Tim Green says he has ‘extreme coughing fits every hour’ to clear his lungs

Trudeau says Parliament needs to sit to pass expanded COVID-19 benefits

Wage subsidy program has been greatly expanded since it was first approved

UPDATE: Anti-tax group calls for MPs, senators to donate scheduled pay raises to charity

Bill C-30, adopted 15 years ago, mandates the salary and allowance increases each calendar year

Most Read