Aussie politician refuses to backtrack after blaming Muslims for NZ attack

March 18, 2019

An Australian senator who implied that Muslims are to blame for the attacks on New Zealand mosques has stood by his remarks, accusing the government of hypocrisy. Over one million people have signed a petition for him to resign.

Queensland Senator Fraser Anning has remained defiant in the face of an avalanche of criticism and calls for his resignation over his controversial remark on the Christchurch massacre. In a statement released on the same day when 50 people were gunned down by white supremacist attacker Brenton Tarrant, Anning suggested that the tragedy highlighted “the growing fear over an increasing Muslim presence” in New Zealand.

Although Anning condemned the massacre in his initial statement, it did not save him from incurring the wrath of most of the world, including Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and politicians of all affiliations.

The massive online and offline backlash he received culminated in a physical altercation with a 17-year-old protester on Saturday, who broke an egg over the back of Anning’s head before getting hit in the face by the lawmaker.

Anning continued to stand his ground on Sunday, telling a specially arranged press conference that while media had “twisted” his initial statement, he did not feel the need to apologize for what many decried as an ill-timed diatribe.

“What people took out of context I think was that in the same press release I said that the countries that allow a large-scale Muslim immigration invariably have escalations in crime, violence and terrorist attacks,” Anning said Sunday.

“Now, as far as I’m concerned, it’s just a statement of fact and for some reason I have upset a lot of people, including Mr Morrison,” the independent senator said, effectively doubling down on his previous remark that landed him in hot water.

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