Queensland senator Fraser Anning, who blamed the New Zealand terror attack on the Islamic community, has been involved in an ugly altercation with a teenager at a speaking event in Melbourne’s southeast on Saturday.
Footage from the incident shows a young man smashing an egg on the senator’s head. In response, Anning swings two punches at the teenager, while supporters of the senator tackle the 17-year-old to the ground.
The teenager was later taken away by police and released without charge. Police are investigating the incident and senator anning’s retaliation, ABC reports.
A fundraising page has already been set up to collect donations to cover the teenager’s legal fees.
Christchurch Terror: A 17-year-old boy was arrested after allegedly throwing an egg at Senator @fraser_anning at a speaking event at Moorabbin in Melbourne today. The teenager has since been released pending further inquiries. #auspol #7News pic.twitter.com/5AkuaiEhKO
— 7NEWS Sydney (@7NewsSydney) March 16, 2019
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Anning’s comments blaming the Islamic community for the shooting were “appalling and ugly and they have no place in Australia”.
The prime minister announced the Coalition and Labor would pass a motion when parliament returns next month, censuring senator Anning for the statement he issued on Friday.
“These comments are appalling and they’re ugly and they have no place in Australia,” he told reporters on Saturday, according to SBS. “In the Australian parliament also. He should be, frankly, ashamed of himself.”
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten tweeted: “While families in Christchurch mourn for loved ones they’ve lost, an obscure Australian Senator saw this act of terrorism and tragedy as an opportunity to blame the murder victims.”
It comes after the widespread backlash over senator Anning’s statement where he appeared to blame the New Zealand terror attack on the Islamic community.
“I am utterly opposed to any form of violence within our community, and I totally condemn the actions of the gunman,” the senator said in his statement.
“However, while 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.
On Friday afternoon the city in the country’s south island was targeted in what has been described as a designated terrorist attack.
At about 1.40pm (local time) a gunman entered the Al Noor Mosque in central Christchurch and opened fire, with reports at the time six people were killed and dozens more injured. A bomb was also found in a car on Strickland Street about 4 kilometres from the Al Noor Mosque.
Canterbury Police in Christchurch have since confirmed a total of 49 people lost their lives during the attack, including 41 at Deans Avenue mosque and seven at the second location at Linwood Avenue mosque. A further one person died in hospital while 48 people are being treated for injuries obtained during the attack.
In a statement shared on Facebook the police also confirmed one person has been charged for the brutal crime with investigations still ongoing.
“A 28-year-old man has been charged with murder and is due to appear in the Christchurch District Court tomorrow morning,” they wrote in the post. “Two others remain in custody. Another person was arrested earlier today however that was not related to these events.”