At least 49 people were killed and 40 wounded in mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch Central on Friday which the prime minister called `”one of New Zealand’s darkest days.” Police Commissioner Mike Bush said 41 people were killed at the Masjid Al Noor, and seven at Linwood Masjid Mosque.
As heartfelt tributes poured in and people around the world condemned the terror attack, Australian Senator from Queensland Fraser Anning’s letter on the attack is going viral, however for the wrong reasons. In a media statement issued, Senator Anning said the attacks highlighted the “growing fear over an increasing Muslim presence” in Australian and New Zealand communities. He went on to claim the real cause of the bloodshed is New Zealand’s immigration policy.
“I am utterly opposed to any form of violence within our community, and I totally condemn the actions of the gunman,” Senator Anning said. “As always, left-wing politicians and the media will rush to claim that the causes of today’s shootings lie with gun laws or those who hold nationalist views but this is all clichéd nonsense,” the letter added.
Does anyone still dispute the link between Muslim immigration and violence?
— Senator Fraser Anning (@fraser_anning) March 15, 2019
I wonder if there will be as much outrage from the left wing when the next Muslim terrorist attack occurs?
Most likely silence and talk about “lone wolf attacks, mental illness and no connection to Islam”.
— Senator Fraser Anning (@fraser_anning) March 15, 2019
Anning said Muslims had been the victims in the Christchurch attack but “usually they are the perpetrators”. His letter quickly went viral and drew flak online, slamming him for his Islamophobic and racist letter.
— Sammy (@DaRealSamBB) March 15, 2019
Scott Morrison, Australia’s Prime Minister, immediately condemned the comments along with many others who lambasted the senator for his insensitive remarks.
The remarks by Senator Fraser Anning blaming the murderous attacks by a violent, right-wing, extremist terrorist in New Zealand on immigration are disgusting. Those views have no place in Australia, let alone the Australian Parliament.
— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) March 15, 2019
Fraser Anning’s comments today are contemptible. He is a disgrace to the Senate and what is worse by spreading hatred and turning Australians against each other he is doing exactly what the terrorists want.
— Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm) March 15, 2019
In comparison: these are the people who came to, and the pile of flowers left, at a mosque in Wellington, NZ.
You can choose to be a good person in the face of these events, or you can be Senator Fraser Anning. pic.twitter.com/06meRWxeT9
— Susan Carland (@SusanCarland) March 15, 2019
Are you f*cking kidding me???? This guy is an Australian senator? SHAME on you @fraser_anning.
I hope your fellow Australians respond to this disgusting statement with the same blind fury I am feeling. pic.twitter.com/W2XuX3fWkZ
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) March 15, 2019
I’m not going to repeat what Fraser Anning put out except to say that I cannot conceive how his puny, impoverished, bitter, nasty wormhead works.
— Tory Shepherd (@ToryShepherd) March 15, 2019
At a time for grieving and reflection, this Australian senator @fraser_anning fans the flames of violence & extremism. Australians will be utterly ashamed of this racist man. In no way does he represent our Australian friends https://t.co/uzezIeNjbN
— Sajid Javid (@sajidjavid) March 15, 2019
Don’t you dare @fraser_anning
Don’t you dare quote the Christian scriptures.
Don’t you dare twist Jesus’ words, honored by both Muslims and Christians. Don’t you dare use those words to divide and incite hate.
Just don’t you dare.
— Fr Rod Bower (@FrBower) March 15, 2019
Does anyone still dispute the link between @fraser_anning and blunt-ugly, revolting, vulgarity?
— Roman Quaedvlieg (@quaedvliegs) March 15, 2019
Goodness gracious! @fraser_anning, a serving Australian senator, shamelessly justifies the Christchurch attack and blames Muslims for their “presence” in New Zealand and Australia. #ChristchurchMosqueAttack pic.twitter.com/CFHOY0nDN1
— Zeeshan Khan (@IbnKhayyam) March 15, 2019
I read Fraser Anning’s tweets and I want to smash my phone to a million pieces. I just can’t believe a sitting senator can blame the victims of a massacre, within hours of it occurring, in a racist tirade and probably escape any form of reprimand. It’s insane.
— Panic at the Μίσκο (@mathaiaus) March 15, 2019
Fueling the fire of white supremacy and terrorism, and the potential for counter-extremism, is this f**king despicable statement by Australian Senator Fraser Anning … pic.twitter.com/yaJnG845un
— Mikey Kay (@MikeyKayNYC) March 15, 2019
Here you go…. I’ve done a quick bit of editing for you Senator Fraser Anning.
— Official Freya Sykes (@FreyaSykes) March 15, 2019
Ah! The world is going crazy. Religion is causing more havoc daily 😳
Queensland Senator, Fraser Anning wrote this in response to the New Zealand Mosque Shooting 💔😰🙆🏼♂️ pic.twitter.com/LMD8NQUDpc
— IG: Omope Abdulazeez (@Iam_Abdolaxis) March 15, 2019
— Amarnath Amarasingam (@AmarAmarasingam) March 15, 2019
The current government, irresponsibly, has the guts to call the unapologetic “neo-Nazis “ in its midst “right wing activists” & even elect them to parliament.
Refer to the hateful Senator @fraser_anning who openly preaches Islamophobia & hatred against Blacks.
— Abdimalik Anwar (@AbdimalikAnwar) March 15, 2019
There were shootings in 2 mosques in New Zealand.
49 people are confirmed dead.
Queensland Senator @fraser_anning has felt that a suitable response is to blame Muslims even though they were the victims.
Islamophobia breeds callousness you can’t even fathom. pic.twitter.com/XVAQdzBfJA
— Dr. Baby (@MarigaThoithi) March 15, 2019
According to the Telegraph, he is known for his incendiary anti-migrant statements, including using a speech to call for a “final solution” to Australia’s migrant issues. He also called for Australia to return to its White Australia policy, which restricted non-European migrants from 1901 and was formally abolished in the early 1970s.
Anning received just 19 direct votes in the last general election as a candidate for the anti-migrant One Nation party but became a senator after a fellow MP from the party was forced to leave Parliament.