More than one million people have signed a petition demanding controversial Australian Senator Fraser Anning be removed from parliament.
The petition follows outrage throughout Australia and the world after the independent Queensland senator blamed Islamic immigration for Friday’s Christchurch mosque shooting shortly after the attack had taken place.
The former One Nation party member has been condemned as a ‘disgrace’ since the statement, with the petition requesting he be pushed to resign from his position and if appropriate ‘be investigated for supporting right-wing terrorism.
Sydney doctor Kate Ahmad lodged the petition with change.org and it quickly became the largest in Australian history.
As of Monday morning, more than 1.1million people have signed the petition.
Dr Ahmad told the Sydney Morning Herald she knows there is not currently a legal process to expel MP’s from Parliament unless they are criminals or dual citizens, but hoped to draw attention to the public’s response to his comments.
‘It’s to make clear that this kind of hate speech won’t be accepted by the community or the country as a whole, that there are repercussions for this behaviour,’ she said.
‘Politics has degenerated to the point where extreme views have become mainstream and have a veneer of legitimacy. It’s a problem we have an elected member of parliament like this and he must take responsibility for his actions.’
Greens leader Richard Di Natale said his party will consider pushing for amendments to the Privileges act in order to expel Senator Anning from parliament.
He said his party are ‘exploring all options’ after his statement, but the major parties have rejected changing laws in favour of allowing voters to have their say at the next federal election.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Senator Anning should face the ‘full force of the law’ after he reacted violently to a teenage boy who cracked an egg on the back of his head.
NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Senator Anning’s comments were a ‘disgrace’.
Senator Anning was roundly condemned after he used the phrase ‘final solution’ in his maiden speech to parliament – a reference to the Holocaust.
He also attended a far-right rally in Melbourne where participants made Nazi salutes.
A 17-year-old protester broke an egg on the senator’s head during a press conference on Saturday.
A short scuffle ensued and the schoolboy, who was later identified as Will Connolly, was grabbed around the neck, tackled to the ground and restrained by up to five men.
He has been widely praised after he filmed himself egging Senator Anning, and a GoFundMe page established to cover his legal fees has already reached more than $39,000.
Muslim Greens senator Mehreen Faruqi said Senator Anning has been making disgraceful comments for some time.
‘I don’t want to spend a second talking about Senator Fraser Anning,’ she told ABC radio.
‘I think the people will have their say and boot him out as the next election.’
Senator Anning attended a gun show in Ipswich on Sunday, two days after 50 people were killed in the horrific Christchurch attack.
Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old man from Grafton in NSW, has been charged with murder over the mass shooting.
Senator Anning will hold a press conference in Brisbane on Monday.
Senator Anning’s statement in full
New Zealand Mosque Shooting
Speaking following reports of multiple shootings at two Mosques in New Zealand earlier today, Senator Fraser Anning has responded with strong condemnation.
‘I am utterly opposed to any form of violence within our community, and I totally condemn the actions of the gunman,’ he 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.
‘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.
‘Let us be clear, while Muslims may have been the victims today, usually they are the perpetrators. World-wide, Muslims are killing people in the name of their faith on an industrial scale.
‘The entire religion of Islam is simply the violent ideology of a sixth century despot masquerading as a religious leader, which justifies endless war against anyone who opposes it and calls for the murder of unbelievers and apostates.
‘The truth is that Islam is not like any other faith. It is the religious equivalent of fascism. And just because the followers of this savage belief were not the killers in this instance, does not make them blameless.
‘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,’ Senator Anning concluded.