An Australian senator has been strongly criticised after he blamed New Zealand shooting on Muslim immigration.
Sen. Fraser Anning from Queensland put out a statement ostensibly condemning the attacks — but then seized the opportunity to spewIslamophobic remarks that echoed the rhetoric of the suspected gunman’s manifesto.
“I am utterly opposed to any form of violence within our community, and I totally condemn the actions of the gunman,” Anning said. “However, whilst this kind of violent vigilantism can never be justified, what it highlights is the growing fear within our community, both in Australia and New Zealand of the increasing Muslim presence.”
SBS News on Friday tracked responses to senator Anning’s statement on social media, highlighting criticism emanating from across the political spectrum.
Scott Morrison, the current prime minister of Australia and leader of the Liberal Party since 2007, took to social media and said the senator’s remarks were “disgusting.”