“…as far as I’m concerned, it’s just a statement of fact and for some reason I have upset a lot of people…”
This was the response from Queensland Senator Fraser Anning a day after a teenage protester had egged him for his recent statement implying that Muslim immigration was a reason behind Friday’s mass shooting in New Zealand.
Stating that he was opposed to “any form of violence,” Anning claimed that the atrocity highlighted the “growing fear over an increasing Muslim presence,” in both New Zealand and Australia.
The comment prompted an avalanche of criticism, and, as RT reports, at his Saturday press conference in Melbourne, a young protester attacked him with an egg.
Footage of the incident shows the teen standing quietly beside the politician. He then pulls up his cellphone before slapping the egg on the back of Anning’s head. The senator then turns to the young man before swinging two punches at his face.
Someone has just slapped an egg on the back of Australian Senator Fraser Anning’s head, who immediately turned around and punched him in the face. The same Senator who blamed Muslim Immigrants for #NewZealandTerroristAttack #Christchurch pic.twitter.com/srRTywhRmm
— Asim Ali (@AsimNa82) March 16, 2019
The teen is then tackled to the ground and held in a headlock while Anning is led away. People can be heard saying “pick him up and get him out,” and “get the cops.”
Of course, since the attack, support for the boy (no, not the senator who was attacked) has flooded in on social media, with many hailing him a “hero” and calling for him to be given awards and medals for his actions.
A Change.org petition calling for him to be kicked out of the Senate had racked up over one million signatures as of Monday.
“There is no place in Australian government for Neo-Nazis. There is no place for bigotry. There is no place for hate speech,” it states.
However, refusing to bow to social justice warrior demands, RT reports that 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.
Anning argued that Australia is on course to repeat the fate of European countries like France, Belgium, the UK and Germany, which underwent a spell of terrorist attacks inspired by radical Islam, if it does not stop“Muslim immigration.”
Asked whether he regrets the timing of his statement, Anning said he did not regret “anything.”