Queensland Senator Fraser Anning has been slammed for his “disgusting” comments in the wake of yesterday’s Christchurch terror attack, and a Change.Org petition calling for him to be removed from parliament has gathered close to 230,000 signatures in less than a day.

Mere hours after yesterday’s mass shooting, Anning released a statement in which he blamed the attack on “the immigration program which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand”, and claimed it as evidence of a “growing fear” of Muslims in the community.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison rebuked the comments in a press conference earlier today, telling media:

“I want to absolutely and completely denounce the statements made from Senator Anning in all of the comments that he has made in his conflation of this horrendous terror attack with issues on immigration and Islamic faith. These comments are appalling and ugly and have no place in Australia and he should be frankly ashamed of himself. It’s not something my government associates with or any one would seek to associate with.”

Morrison said that the government will lead a motion of censure against Anning, but many want to see him removed from parliament entirely. The Change.Org petition, which is rapidly headed towards its target of 300,000 signatures at the time of writing, says:

“Senator Fraser Anning has no place in the government of our democratic and multicultural country. We request that he be expelled from his position as Senator, and investigated by law enforcement agencies for supporting right wing terrorism.” 

The petition’s organiser Kate Ahmad says that the petition will be forwarded to Scott Morrison’s office, and that while it may be “constitutionally impossible” to actually remove Fraser Anning from office, the petition will “send out a strong message that vile hate speech will not be condoned.”

“Remember that a federal election looms and this man must not be returned to parliament,” Ahmad said in a post to Change.Org. “Support your progressive local member and if you’re in Queensland, take pleasure in numbering Fraser Anning last.”

Source: Change.Org
Image: AAP / David Clark