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 for all 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.”
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.
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