Fraser Anning's 'Disgusting' Comments On Christchurch To Be Censured By Senate
A bipartisan Censure motion will be put forward in the Senate over Fraser Anning's widely-condemned comments over the Christchurch terror attack, the leaders of the Senate have confirmed.
In a joint statement issued by Mathias Cormann and Penny Wong, the Government and Opposition's Senate Leaders said they would move the motion to censure Anning for his "inflammatory and divisive comments".
His comments, blaming Muslims for the horrific terror attack which saw 50 people massacred inside two Christchurch mosques, have been described as "disgusting".
Cormann and Wong also said his comments sought to "vilify people on the basis of religion".
They added his comments "do not reflect the opinions of the Australian Senate or the Australian people".
A censure motion can be moved in the Senate if there is "dissatisfaction with the performance of a particular minister", according to the Parliament of Australia 's website.
According to Senate Statistical Information, no censure motions have been moved in the Senate since March 2015, when Attorney-General George Brandis was censured for failing to protect then-President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Professor Gillian Triggs, from “malicious attacks”.
A change.org petition calling on Anning to be removed from Parliament has received more than 840,000 signatures since it was first published on Friday and is now the largest petition in Australian history.
Anning attracted worldwide condemnation for a statement released in the immediate aftermath of Friday's attacks, claiming the real cause was the immigration program which allowed Muslim "fanatics" to migrate to New Zealand.
Within minutes, both the Government and Opposition slammed Anning's comments.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Anning’s views had “no place in Australia, let alone the Australian Parliament”, while former PM Malcolm Turnbull described them as "contemptible" and the Senator "a disgrace".
At a community prayer at Lakemba mosque on Friday evening, MP Tony Burke said that he would not give Anning "the dignity of using his name".
At a small meeting of his supporters on Saturday, Anning was egged by a young protester over his comments, with the teenager, later identified as Will Connolly, widely being hailed as a hero.
In the incident, the boy was filmed walking up to Anning with his phone out before he slammed the egg into the Senator's head. Anning then quickly turns around and punches the boy twice in the head before a group of the Senator's supporters tackle and jump on top of Connolly, violently restraining him.
The 17-year-old was arrested over the incident but released shortly after without charge, however Victoria Police are still investigating the wider incident -- including the actions of Anning and his supporters. Morrison said "the full force of the law" should be applied to Anning.
The motion to censure Anning will be put forward when the Senate resumes in April.
It will also include a call for all Australians to stand up against hate and to "publicly, and always, condemn actions and comments designed to incite fear and distrust".
Cormann and Wong also endorsed a statement of the Imam Hasan Centre issued following the attacks.
“It is times like this that we lose hope and doubt humanity, when people of faith come under attack in such a way, it shows us how low humanity can fall," Cormann and Wong quoted the centre as saying.
"However, it never ceases to amaze how far humanity can rise after such despicable events".
Morrison responded to the announcement and said the bipartisan motion would be moved in Parliament to “denounce these terrorist acts of hate, and those who make excuses for it.”
Featured Image: AAP.