Queensland (Australia), March 15 (IANS): An Australian Senator has drawn flak for blaming "Muslim migration" for the New Zealand mosque massacres that left at least 49 people dead.
At least 49 people were killed on Friday after gunmen opened indiscriminate fire at two mosques in Christchurch in what a shocked New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern termed as a terror attack.
Fraser Anning, a Senator in Queensland since November 2017, issued a statement in which he described the attacks as "vigilantism," and said "while Muslims may be the victims today, usually they are the perpetrators."
"Worldwide, Muslims are killing people in the name of their faith on an industrial scale. 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 69-year-old Senator said in the statement.
"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," he said.
"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," Anning said.
The Senator later took to Twitter to further express his opinions. "Does anyone still dispute the link between Muslim immigration and violence?" he wrote.
"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,'" he tweeted.
Commenting on Anning's remarks, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said there was no place for his "disgusting" views.
"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," Morrison tweeted.