Leave it to Independent Senator Fraser Anning to try to pin the blame on the Christchurch mosque massacre on Muslim immigration.
And then, to attend a gun show later in the weekend.
As disgraceful as his comments and actions were, however, it shouldn’t be up to the government to give Anning the boot.
As Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton says, it should be the voters who dump Anning.
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Decision of removal to wait until election
As the statement released by Anning went viral over the weekend, both the Morrison government and the opposition have rejected the motion to change laws — which would allow politicians to be removed from federal parliament.
The motion had been initially raised by the Greens.
However, Peter Dutton has said that voters will have to wait until May to show Senator Anning what they think about his highly controversial comments.
And some, like Muslim Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi, are holding confidence that by then, the public will have made up their minds about Anning.
Even Dutton, who like Anning hails from Queensland, did not defend the triggering comments that were made regarding the Christchurch massacre.
Mr Dutton told Nine Network on Monday:
‘People can express their view freely and respectfully at the ballot box and I think that is the strongest possible message that can be sent.
‘Anybody who seeks to make a political opportunity out of a tragedy like this is right to be condemned.’
Public respond to Anning with an ‘egged’ response
As is the way with social media these days, the wrong message, no matter how it was intended, can spread like wildfire.
Which is exactly what the Independent Senator experienced this weekend.
The statement released on Friday, which has since been removed, reads that while the Senator condemned the actions of the Australian gunman, it was merely a symptom of the growing fear the increasing Muslim presence in Australia has caused.
‘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.’
It’s easy to see why the public immediately cast their anger, following what New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called one of the country’s ‘darkest days’.
And one of the retaliations became just as famous as the statement itself — with a teenage boy breaking an egg on the Senators head during an interview.
The video footage circulated the internet quickly, as the Senator then violently attacked the boy, striking him on camera.
The boy has since become an internet hero, while the Senator will face the ‘full force of the law’, according to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Ms Ardern has called Anning’s comments a ‘disgrace’.
Whatever your opinion, it can be agreed it was a case of incredibly bad taste — and timing.
Anning’s removal agreed on all sides
AAP reports that the Coalition and opposition have agreed to move a censure motion condemning Anning’s comments, when parliament resumes for the budget sitting next month.
However, Greens leader Richard Di Natale, wants parliament to push the issue further.
Di Natale told The Australian on Monday:
‘We are exploring all options, including amending section 8 of the Privileges Act to allow members of parliament to be expelled by their fellow MPs.’
And it comes as the cherry on top to a whirlwind of controversial comments.
Anning has also been seen attending a far-right rally in Melbourne, where participants used Nazi salutes.
The Senator was widely criticised for using the phrase ‘final solution’ in his first address to parliament.
A risky move, invoking a term linked to the Holocaust.
On Sunday, two days after his statement and the New Zealand attack, he attended a gun show in Ipswich — where the egging occurred.
And within parliament, Muslim Greens Senator Faruqi didn’t bother to comment on his racist behaviour — trusting the public will have made up their mind by the next election.
Following this unfortunate series of events, Senator Anning held a press conference in Brisbane today — and did not apologise for his comments.
Rather, he solidified them.
Meanwhile, Australian man, Brenton Tarrant, has been charged with one count of murder so far, following the Christchurch massacre, where the death toll stands at 50 people.
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