Australian Senator Fraser Anning sparked worldwide outrage when he blamed the massacre of Muslim worshipers on Muslims themselves. Now, he has caused more controversy by punching a teenager who threw an egg on him at a press event this week.
Anning was speaking to the media about a statement he had put out blaming Muslims for the massacre in New Zealand when a young man came from behind and smashed an egg on the back of Anning's head. As ABC.net reported, Anning responded by punching the young man several times before staffers for the senator separated them.
Police in Victoria arrested the 17-year-old boy.
Anning had prompted outrage when he released a statement in the wake of the shooting in Christchurch that left 49 dead that said Muslims themselves were to blame for the attack against their community. Anning has been known for making comments attacking immigrants, and his statement this week said that the real cause of the deadly terrorist attack was "Muslim fanatics."
"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," he said in the statement, via News.com.au. "The real cause of bloodshed on New Zealand streets today is the immigration program which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place."
Anning concluded his statement with a quote from the Bible that saw a religion which encourages people to kill others should not be surprised when someone else "responds in kind."
The statement drew condemnation from politicians across the political spectrum in Australia, with many saying that Anning was only trying to make an inflammatory statement to draw attention to his hateful beliefs. Anning has been accused of making similar inflammatory statements in the past.The alleged New Zealand gunman had released a manifesto in which he espoused white supremacist beliefs, praised Donald Trump as a leader in white ideals, and expressed admiration for other white supremacist mass killers. The shooting was widely condemned as a hate attack against Muslims, and it comes amid a rise in violence among white supremacists across the world. The teenager who threw an egg on Senator Fraser Anning seems to have plenty of support across Australia, with some calling him a hero. A fundraiser page was set up to pay for his legal fees and give him money to buy more eggs.