IMPACT: Fraser Anning is a right-wing anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant independent senator in the Australian parliament.
Fraser Anning entered the Australian parliament as a senator for the far-right, populist One Nation party in 2017 as a “replacement for another disqualified lawmaker.” On the morning of his swearing in, he defected from the party to serve as an independent.
In 2018, Anning joined Katter’s Australian Party but was expelled following his use of the phrase “final solution” in parliament while calling for a ban on Muslim immigration. In April 2019, Anning registered the Fraser Anning Conservative National Party with the Australian Electoral Commission, and told reporters the party believes in “traditional values.”
Anning used the term “final solution,” a phrase used by the Nazis to describe the plan for the genocide of Jews in Europe, in calling for a revival of “white Australia” immigration policy. Anning’s speech was condemned by then-Prime Minister Malcolm Turnball and all major political parties.
On the day of the March 2019 Christchurch mosque attacks which left 50 Muslims dead, Anning pointed toward Muslim immigration as the cause of the deadly massacre. The Senator issued a statement just hours after the attack, claiming, “The real cause of bloodshed on New Zealand streets today is the immigration programme which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place. While Muslims may have been the victims today, usually they are the perpetrators.” In his statement, he stated, “The entire religion of Islam is simply the violent ideology of a 6th-century despot masquerading as a religious leader. … The truth is that Islam is not like any other faith. … It is the religious equivalent of fascism. And just because the followers of this savage belief were not the killers in this instance does not make them blameless.”
Following his statement, the Australian Senate censured Anning as politicians condemned his “inflammatory and divisive” remarks. The censure read that Anning sought to “attribute blame to victims of a horrific crime and to vilify people on the basis of religion.”
Following the Christchurch attack, Greens Senator and Australia’s first female Muslim senator, Mehreen Faruqi stated, “This is not an isolated event with mysterious causes. This is not random. This is the consequence of the Islamophobic and racist hate that has been normalized and legitimized by some politicians and media. We know Muslims are directly targeted by politicians day after day including those on the far-right like Pauline Hanson and Fraser Anning. We know Muslims are demonized constantly.”
In response to the criticism, Anning doubled down on his statement claiming, “Countries that allow large-scale immigration invariably have escalation in crime, violence and terrorist attacks.” Anning repeatedly associates Muslims with terrorism, as he consistently claims “countries that had increased Muslim immigration had increased crime and terrorism.”
While Anning frequently calls for a ban on “Muslim and black immigration” to Australia, stating that the move is necessary in order to “end endless crime and welfare,” he does support the immigration of “white South African farmers.” On April 4, 2019, Anning issued a tweet hinting at the “white genocide” conspiracy theory, as he claimed “Europeans are heading towards becoming a minority in their own countries around the world. We have a right to defend our people and our way of life.”
In a September 2018 tweet, Fraser stated, “We need to stop Muslim immigration to Australia and ensure the peace and safety of our people,” alongside a video where he holds up what appears to be an English version of the Qur’an. He claims to have read the holy book and states, “It’s not a book of peace, it’s a book of hate. The people who follow this book are not compatible with our Western way of life and we should not allow any more immigration of Muslims.” On March 12, 2019, Anning tweeted, “I stand totally against any Muslims in Parliament.”
In January 2019, Anning attended a rally organized by ultra-nationalists with supporters giving Nazi salutes. Anning defended his attendance saying he was representing his constituents and used the opportunity to reiterate his calls for a Muslim ban, stating, “I would not bring any more Muslims or Sudanese in the country. I would put a ban on that. And if any of them committed a crime, I would be shipping them home to where they came from.” In a November 2018 tweet, along with calling for a ban on Muslim immigration, Fraser stated he wanted to “deport all on terror watch lists with their families!”
After the deadly April 2019 Easter Sunday attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka, Anning used the events to lay blame on all Muslims, tweeting “I was right all along. Islamic populations do indeed create violence.” An article on News.com stated Anning went on an “anti-Muslim rant” following the bombings, which included a tweet stating, “I am WARNING that if we continue to import Muslims into our country we will have more terrorist attacks, as has been proven time and time again.”
A 2018 piece in the Guardian reported Anning was set to go on tour with a number of far-right media personalities including Tommy Robinson, Milo Yiannapoulos, Ann Coulter, and Gavin McInnes. However, the tour never took place.
Last updated: May 3, 2019