Much of the world woke up on Friday to the shocking and gruesome news out of New Zealand that one or more shooters had attacked two mosques in the city of Christchurch, killing at least 49 people and wounding many more.
Three people are now in custody and at least one of the shooters livestreamed the attack and posted a manifesto expressing racist and white supremacist beliefs and calling muslims “invaders.” At this stage the massacre therefore appears to be both a terrorist attack and hate crime specifically targeting muslims.
It’s the type of senseless act and mind-boggling death toll that stuns most thinking, feeling people before hopefully spurring them into action.
Fraser Anning, a senator from neighboring Australia didn’t see it that way however, issuing a statement about the massacre that caused immediate outrage.
After briefly decrying “any form of violence” and condemning “the actions of the gunman” Anning’s statement goes on to spend the next several paragraphs blaming muslim immigrants for such acts of violence, saying:
“However, whilst this kind of violent vigilantism can never be justified, what it highlights is the growing fear in our community, both in Australia and New Zealand, of the increasing Muslim presence.”
Anning’s statement goes on to brush off the idea that guns could be part of the problem before doubling down on his anti-Muslim position, saying:
“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.”
It takes a special sort of insane bigot to respond to a deadly massacre and somehow make things worse.
The Queensland senator didn’t stop there, going on to denounce the religion of Islam as “the religious equivalent of fascism” and literally blaming the victims for their own murders, saying:
“Just because the followers of this savage belief were not the killers in this instance, does not make them blameless.”
He concludes by quoting the Bible and giving the distinct impression that he would welcome exactly the sort of race war that white supremacists often fantasize about.
“As we read in Matthew 26:52, ‘all they that take the sword, shall perish by the sword’ and those who follow a violent religion that calls on them to murder us, cannot be too surprised when someone takes them at their word and responds in kind.”
Then entire statement is downright bonkers and vile and amounts to victim-blaming at its worst.
Anning’s remarks were met with widespread shock and disgust.
This is an official press release from Fraser Anning, an Australian Senator about the #NZMosqueShooting.— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) March 15, 2019
It is absolutely one of the most anti-Muslim and bigoted things I’ve read from a politician, and to come after a terrorist attack — unbelievable. pic.twitter.com/H1xgV22A4m
I don’t think I have ever seen a statement like this from an elected official after a terrorist attack: pic.twitter.com/83RCLcM7Mg— Seema (@LATSeema) March 15, 2019
It’s truly shocking that a Senator would actually come out with a disgraceful statement like this on the day the world has seen an act of brutal terror. https://t.co/vRws5grxO9— Vikram Chandra (@vikramchandra) March 15, 2019
I can not believe the fucking ignorance. The audacity to publicly issue a statement like this is disgusting. https://t.co/EMC6BUytlZ— young wolf (@zidaan__m) March 15, 2019
Unabashed bigot and Australian Senator @fraser_anning blames local "Muslim presence" for the mosque shooting. Last year, he called for a "final solution" for Muslim immigrants. He received his seat on *19 votes.* Do you want this guy, Australia? https://t.co/0SImfDeMAi— Andy Campbell (@AndyBCampbell) March 15, 2019
Which GOP lawmaker will be the first to agree with / praise it? https://t.co/2wWB7bb82M— Jim Swift (@JimSwiftDC) March 15, 2019
Takes an awfully racist politician to shock an American but shocked I am. https://t.co/j91tSEQj8x— Tyler Further Faster (@TylerHuckabee) March 15, 2019
This is appalling. https://t.co/Nhdum5tQX9— Allegra Kirkland (@allegrakirkland) March 15, 2019
You could call this statement 50 different synonyms of 'disgusting' and it would still fall short of describing how truly repulsive it is. https://t.co/TXFeYjiFS5— MICHAΞL BΞRNSTΞIN (@MBerns247) March 15, 2019
This is LITERALLY the worst thing anyone could have said. https://t.co/9JZuLd6KZc— alya (@kittinnho) March 15, 2019
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.— Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm) March 15, 2019
"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."— Noah Smith ? (@Noahpinion) March 15, 2019
HOOOOOOOLY SHIT ARE YOU KIDDING ME https://t.co/q3WnlxoKpC
This has to be one of the most disgusting statements I have ever read following the Christchurch, New Zealand Shooting.— Brian Krassenstein (@krassenstein) March 15, 2019
This statement is made by Rightwing Australian Senator Fraser Anning.
The Radical Far Right is an enemy of all. pic.twitter.com/ir6wyoObd0
Look how senator Fraser Anning used his whole press release to say that Islam is the reason this happened and BLAMED the Muslims at the mosque for being murdered. Don’t let them change the narrative. This is hate. This is anti-Islam. pic.twitter.com/MOdhplA94M— Iman (@haveiman) March 15, 2019
Looks like you've been extra busy deleting stuff today. Will any right wingers condemn this? pic.twitter.com/2tPaqyGC7j— Middenface McNulty (@SevcoNewWed) March 15, 2019
I am utterly disgusted and disappointed by seeing senator Fraser Anning statement regarding today's terror attack in Newzealand , people are ashamed to have him as Australians senator,have a look what he had to say and judge how inhumane this really is...#Christchurch #NewZealand pic.twitter.com/kofprI3ygh— Syed Shahrukh (@Syedshahrukh999) March 15, 2019
Anger doesn’t even BEGIN to describe how I’m feeling rn. Imagine how blind to the world and the lack of humanity and disrespect you must possess to have the gall to produce a statement like this. I’m speechless and on the verge of tears https://t.co/XfJNNRgmJW— Nourrr (@NourArqub) March 15, 2019
i’m so fucking furious right now why the fuck would you release a statement like this? these innocent people lost their lives and you were inhuman enough to find a way to blame them..i’ve truly never been more disgusted #christchurch pic.twitter.com/4IW3ndlSLq— layan (@Mozcradle) March 15, 2019
At a complete loss. How anyone who is meant to represent ‘democracy’ and the ‘free world’ could actually have such thoughts and be so insensitive is beyond comprehension. Totally repulsive and to think others share similar views or worse @fraser_anning pic.twitter.com/AzEAU7BF1c— DrZaf (@sportsdrzaf) March 15, 2019