A ‘racist’ Australian senator has been condemned after he blamed the New Zealand terror attack on Muslim immigration.
In the wake of the outrage, which left 49 people dead at two mosques in Christchurch, Fraser Anning tweeted: ‘Does anyone still dispute the link between Muslim immigration and violence?’
In a statement shared by an Australian journalist on Twitter, the Queensland senator also wrote: ‘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 cliched nonsense.
‘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.’
The remarks were denounced by several people including the UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid, who accused the senator of stoking extremism.
Mr Javid tweeted: ‘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.’
Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison said: ‘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.’
Former Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull wrote: ‘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.’
Among others to attack the politician was media commentator Piers Morgan, who tweeted: ‘Are you f*cking kidding me???’
Morgan added that it was a ‘disgusting statement’.