After the attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand that left 49 people dead and another 40 injured, an elected official in Australia, Senator Fraser Anning of Queensland, issued a statement decrying immigration by Muslims.
Like most Western countries, Australia has had domestic political conflict in recent years over immigration policy. Anning, an independent, is a member of a “far-right” coalition in the Australian parliament that seeks to tighten immigration policy and standards.
Anning’s statement (tweet below) received prompt and comprehensive backlash on social media.
I have since 9/11 uniformly condemned Muslim spox who try to shift blame to the victims after Islamist inspired terror. That is corrupt, inhuman and radicalizes their constituencies.
— M. Zuhdi Jasser زهدي جاسر (@DrZuhdiJasser) March 16, 2019
Tweeps are celebrating the fact that Twitter found Anning’s statement to have violated Twitter rules.
A little bit of good news, the vile Australian senator Fraser Anning who has been using the terrorist act of horrific murder in New Zealand to spread his hateful Islamophobic rhetoric has had a bit of setback as regards him using Twitter as a medium for his hate.
Keep reporting! pic.twitter.com/0RQXNyqrxp
— Hovellin' Hermit (@HovellingHermit) March 16, 2019
Few would be surprised that these sentiments from Anning generated outrage. Agreeing or disagreeing with them is not as certain.
Besides the outraged reactions on social media, however, Anning’s comments drew at least one thumbs-down in person.
The senator was speaking at a media event on Saturday, answering questions about his incendiary statement, when a teenager appeared behind him. The boy listened for a brief period, and then socked the back of Anning’s skull with a raw egg.
The sequence was caught on video.
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
— 7 News Sydney (@7NewsSydney) March 16, 2019
— ABC News (@ABC) March 16, 2019
Anning responded promptly by punching the teen in the face. A scuffle ensued, in which the men around the two combatants moved in quickly to restrain them. According to USA Today, “Anning’s supporters held the boy in a choke hold while calling for police.” The egg-wielding teen was arrested but released a short time later.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has gone on record vowing to censure Senator Anning over his policy statement on immigration and Muslim immigrants.
The remarks by Senator Fraser Anning blaming the murderous attacks by a violent, right-wing, extremist terrorist in New Zealand on immigration are disgusting. Those views have no place in Australia, let alone the Australian Parliament.
— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) March 15, 2019
Meanwhile, Anning’s Twitter critics are weighing in on the egg-and-punch incident from Saturday. Or rather, let us say, the egg-thrower’s supporters:
— Wasim Ashraf (@VasimIbhana) March 17, 2019
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) March 16, 2019
Karl Popper on why it's okay to egg Fraser Anning every day for the rest of his wasted, pathetic fascist life. pic.twitter.com/yW6rwtHvC1
— Joe Earp (@joe_o_earp) March 17, 2019
Just when I was feeling ashamed of my country for spawning a grub like Fraser Anning…
Along comes the #EggBoyHero and turns it all around in perfect Australian larrikin style!
— Aussie Camel (@aussiecamel9745) March 17, 2019
— 𝚑𝚊𝚢𝚕𝚎𝚢 🦁 (@abbykane_) March 17, 2019
This tweet suggests “everyone in New York” is expressing support for Egg-Boy by eating an egg sandwich.
— RUSS (@FurrhaRuss) March 16, 2019
Some commentators are pointing out that you shouldn’t actually egg people, even if you deplore what they say.
If you attack a politician, especially just after a terrorist attack, the security Has To assume the worst, that you have weapons. Their response was professional, especially the guy who isolate Anning and calmed him down.
— Cultural Analysis (@Philosophy_Net) March 17, 2019
Plenty of folks out there are bringing their version of serious commentary to the problem.
There’s a whole movement that responds with violence as unhesitatingly as Fraser Anning, supported by white people who think it’s a proportionate reaction.
It wants you to believe that the egg was the first shot and not the annihilative ideology itself.
— David Lo Pun-ch Nazis (@helpmeskeletor) March 16, 2019
We’re ready to move on, however.