As the world continues to face dealing with the Friday terror attack targeting New Zealand Muslims that left 49 people dead, Australian Senator Fraser Anning has an idea — blame the victims. In a lengthy statement he released after the attacks, he asserted that responsibility for the atrocities did not rest solely with the shooter instead extending to include Muslim immigration to the area and the Islamic faith in the first place.
As he explained his take:
‘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.’
This is an official press release from Fraser Anning, an Australian Senator about the #NZMosqueShooting.
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
— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) March 15, 2019
That is false. Anning probably has the Islamic State terror group in mind, although their numbers pale in comparison to the number of members of the global Islamic community and to suggest that they draw support from any significant swath of that community is nonsense. They are extremists who exploit vulnerabilities in the name of Islam, not representatives of the global community of Muslims — and often, Islamic faith falls to the wayside in terrorists’ actual operations anyway.
It’s the exact same situation that has befallen Christianity, despite Anning’s claims that “Islam is not like any other faith.” The Crusaders slaughtered their opponents on what Anning might call an “industrial scale,” operating in the names of both their faith and territorial expansion. Yet, every Christian is not a member of a sleeper terrorist cell, waiting to strike their opponents down at a moment’s notice, although Anning’s logic would suggest otherwise.
He has little apparent self-awareness, since while condemning Muslims’ supposed defining violence he justifies the violence perpetrated against their community this week as simply responsive. In other words, to Anning, non-existent Muslim violence is unacceptable while Christian, white nationalist-driven mass murder is a fitting response to “fear.”
On a basic level, his argument fails, as he ultimately singled out the global community of Muslims on no basis other than their identity. There is not even any apparent indication that there was any “fanatic” association with those the Friday New Zealand shooter targeted, despite Anning’s apparent suggestion otherwise.
Anning has a long history of this type of behavior. In a Senate speech, he pushed for a “final solution” to immigration, and then played dumb when outrage brewed over his resuscitation of Nazi terminology. He has sought legislation to specifically keep Muslims from immigrating to Australia, and he’s been caught on camera marching with hate groups.
The issue mirrors one that Americans face in the aftermath of the incident, since President Donald Trump has routinely singled out Muslims and Muslim immigration as a supposed threat to the Western way of life. Last year, he told a British newspaper that “allowing the immigration to take place in Europe is a shame” and “I think allowing millions and millions of people to come into Europe is very, very sad,” continuing to stir the pot of white nationalist rhetoric about a completely make-believe “white genocide” that culminated this week in dozens of deaths.
Featured Image via YouTube screenshot