Christchurch shootings: Australian senator faces rebuke in Senate for anti-Muslim comments

Australian Senator Fraser Anning is egged by a teen, a day after his controversial comments about the New Zealand mosque shootings.
The motion against Senator Fraser Anning is set to be moved when the Senate returns next month.
The motion against Senator Fraser Anning is set to be moved when the Senate returns next month.

MELBOURNE • Australia's Senate will rebuke far-right politician Fraser Anning, who blamed Muslims for violence after the New Zealand terror attack that killed 50 worshippers at two mosques.

The text of a bipartisan motion, led by Senate leader Mathias Cormann and Senate opposition leader Penny Wong, said Mr Anning seeks "to attribute blame to victims of a horrific crime and to vilify people on the basis of religion, which do not reflect the opinions of the Australian Senate or the Australian people".

The motion will be moved when the Senate returns next month. The controversial senator has been under fire since his comments last Friday that came just hours after the massacre, including calling Islam "the religious equivalent of fascism".

Australian police said they were investigating after a teenager smashed an egg on Mr Anning while he was speaking to reporters on Saturday.

The footage, shared widely on social media, showed Mr Anning being approached from behind at a political event, before having an egg cracked on the back of his head.

The footage showed Mr Anning appearing to try to hit the person, before that person was dragged to the ground.

Victoria police released a statement saying that the incident was being investigated "in its entirety", and that it involved a 17-year-old boy.

 
 
 

Meanwhile, a GoFundMe campaign had, by yesterday, raised more than A$19,000 (S$18,210) for the teenager to cover the cost of legal fees and so he could "buy more eggs", and the hashtag #EggBoy was trending on Twitter.

Australia's immigration minister announced on Saturday that controversial conservative spea-ker Milo Yiannopoulos would not be allowed to enter Australia after he described Islam as a "barbaric" and "alien" religion.

"Mr Yiannopoulos' comments on social media regarding the Christchurch terror attack are appalling, and foment hatred and division," Immigration Mi-nister David Coleman said in a statement.

BLOOMBERG, REUTERS

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 18, 2019, with the headline 'Australian senator faces rebuke in Senate for anti-Muslim comments'. Print Edition | Subscribe