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.

Just Posted

Replacement school for Fernie imminent: SD5

School district board chair confident capital funding to follow maintenance project announcement

Teck to address air emission issues at Sparwood mine

Poorly performing dust collection system blamed for exceedances at Elkview Operations

WorkSafeBC close to completing ammonia inspections after Fernie arena tragedy

Statutory agency inspects ammonia-based fish processing facilities, follows up outstanding orders

Another one in the books: Ghostriders conclude season

“I’m really proud of our group’s effort, that’s a good team over there in Kimberley,” said coach Wagner

Fernie athlete takes gold in Canada Cup mogul series

A local skier has won gold before a home crowd during a national moguls competition in Fernie.

Defiant vigil starts healing in New Zealand after massacre

Police say the gunman in the shooting that killed 50 acted alone

Elkford woman wins national curling award

Terry Vandale hailed as a champion of curling; credited with making the sport more accessible

B.C. First Nations’ intake of essential nutrients could drop by 31%: study

Professors project the nutrient decrease by 2050 if climate change mitigation continues as is

Man enters unlocked B.C. home with knife, sexually assaults 22-year-old

Investigation ongoing after woman sexually assaulted in Greater Victoria early Sunday morning

Trudeau fills vacancy in cabinet with B.C. MP Joyce Murray

Murray, 64, was elected in 2008 and served previously as a minister in B.C.’s provincial government

Gunman kills 3 on Dutch tram; mayor says terror likely

Utrecht police release photo of 37-year-old man born in Turkey who is ‘associated with the incident’

Facebook announces changes to political advertising to meet new federal rules

Bill C-76 bans the use of money from foreign entities to conduct partisan campaigns

Travel expected to be slowed by fallout from fire at Toronto’s Pearson airport

All U.S.-bound flights from Terminal 1 were cancelled Sunday night after the fire broke out near a security checkpoint

Most Read