After at least 49 people were killed in a targeted attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday, a far-right Australian senator blamed the violent act on Muslim immigration. Fraser Anning from Queensland put out a statement ostensibly condemning the attacks — but then seized the opportunity to spew incendiary and Islamophobic 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.
” The senator claimed “left-wing politicians and media” would blame gun laws and nationalist views, but “the real cause of bloodshed on New Zealand streets today is the immigration program which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place.