The Australian prime minister is coming to the defense of the so-called “egg boy,” who egged a far-right senator after he blamed last week’s attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Muslim immigration to the country.
Fraser Anning, a senator from Queensland, Australia, punched 17-year-old William Connolly after the teen cracked an egg on his head during a news conference on Saturday. He lunged at Connolly again, before some of his supporters pinned the teenager to the ground.
— Henry Belot (@Henry_Belot) March 16, 2019
The egg-smash protest was in response to Anning’s statement following the shootings, in which he said, “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.”
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison condemned Anning’s “appalling” and “ugly” remarks, which he said have “no place in Australia.” Morrison added that “the full force of the law should be applied” to the far-right senator for hitting the teen.
“I want to absolutely and completely denounce the statements made by Senator Anning… on this horrendous terrorist attack, with issues of immigration, in his attack on Islamic faith specifically,” Morrison said.
Anning has not backed away from his comments, but actually doubled down on the notion that Muslim immigration was the cause of the Christchurch attack during a speech to about 100 of his supporters on Saturday, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Morrison was not alone in condemning Anning. As of Sunday afternoon, over 1 million people signed an online petition on Change.org to remove Anning from office while a separate online fundraiser through the website, GoFundMe has so far raised over $35,000 to help Connolly pay for his legal fees and for more eggs.
“Senator Fraser Anning’s views have no place in the government of our democratic and multicultural country. Within the bounds of Australian law, we request that he be pushed to resign from his position as Senator, and if appropriate, be investigated by law enforcement agencies for supporting right wing terrorism,” the petition to remove Anning from office, read.
Morrison was not alone in his strong stance against Anning and his far-right views. All major parties in Australia are also calling to formally censure Anning for his comments. Australia’s opposition leader Bill Shorten attacked extreme right-wing politicians for failing to disown their racism and hatred.
“You who want to practice in the name of free speech hate speech, you who hide behind liberty to practice evil, well you have created this swamp of hate,” Shorten told Australian reporters.
New Zealand’s prime minister also called Anning’s comments a “disgrace” and its high commissioner Annette King said she was delighted they were “condemned from the very top of the government here in Australia and the people of Australia.”