Rogue senator Fraser Anning has defended his controversial maiden speech in which he attacked Muslim migrants and called for a plebiscite on immigration.
Addressing outrage over his use of the Nazi term ‘final solution’, the Katter’s Australia Party senator said it was taken out of context by the ‘thought police’.
Mr Anning said on Wednesday morning he simply wanted the Australian people to be able to decide what kind of immigrants the country accepts.
He later compared Muslim migrants to poisoned jelly beans and stood by his call for Islamic immigration to be halted altogether.
Scroll down for video
Addressing outrage over his use of the Nazi term ‘final solution’, the Katter’s Australia Party senator said it was taken out of context by the ‘thought police’ (pictured is Mr Anning during his maiden speech)
Mr Anning also stood by his claims the majority of Muslim immigrants do not work and are on welfare and over-represented in criminal activity (stock image)
‘All I’m calling for is a plebiscite and a vote for the Australian people to see who they want to come into the country,’ the Queensland senator told the Today show.
In his maiden speech Mr Anning said ‘the final solution to the immigration problem is of course a popular vote’.
The term ‘final solution’ was used by the Nazis as part of their plan to murder the entire Jewish population of Europe which resulted in mass genocide.
Mr Anning denied making a deliberate reference to Nazi Germany, but refused to apologise for his choice of words.
‘If people want to take it out of context that’s entirely up to them. It was never meant to denigrate the Jewish community,’ he said.
Mr Anning also stood by his claims the majority of Muslim immigrants do not work and are on welfare and over-represented in criminal activity.
When asked why he had singled out Muslim immigrants in the speech, Mr Anning said it was because ‘they mean us harm’.
Mr Anning said he agreed the vast majority of Muslim were hardworking and law-abiding, but claimed a small minority ‘want to kill us’.
Speaking on Wednesday morning, Mr Anning said he wanted the Australian people to be able to decide what kind of immigrants the country accepts (pictured is Mr Anning during his maiden speech to parliament)
WHAT THEY SAID – REACTION TO FRASER ANNING’S SPEECH
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull:
‘Australia is the most successful multicultural society in the world built on a foundation of mutual respect. We reject and condemn racism in any form.’
Opposition leader Bill Shorten:
‘There is no place in the parliament for these outdated and racist views.’
Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Alan Tudge:
‘Fraser Anning’s comments on immigration do not reflect the views of the Government nor the views of fair minded Australians. We will always maintain a non-discriminatory immigration program.’
Greens leader Richard Di Natale:
‘Fraser Anning’s vile comments in the Senate today were absolutely beyond the pale and if he has a shred of decency, he will immediately apologise.’
Minister of the Environment and Energy Josh Frydenberg:
‘These comments by a member of the Australian parliament were ignorant and insensitive, they were hurtful and they were divisive.
‘I call on Fraser Anning not only to apologise, but also to go and visit a Holocaust museum, and to hear first-hand from the survivors how the pain is still raw, and to see the devastation and destruction caused by the Nazi war machine.’
Labor MP Peter Khalil:
‘We have a responsibility as political leaders to call it out and fight against what is effectively a fascist view of the world, which is judging people based on their race or their ethnicity or faith.’
Independent senator Derryn Hinch:
Mr Hinch described the speech as ‘excruciating’ and ‘Pauline Hanson on steroids’.
‘There was hardly a group of Australians he did not offend unless you were very close to being a member of the Ku Klux Klan.’
Shadow Multicultural Minister Tony Burke:
‘He [Mr Anning] has decided to invoke the term “final solution”. Another speech belittling Australians, another speech dividing the nation, another speech wanting to incite debate.
‘There has to be a point when this Parliament says enough, and if we haven’t reached that point tonight then for some of us there is apparently no limit at all.’
Labor senator Penny Wong:
‘It was not a speech of which he can be proud. It is not a speech that was worthy of the Parliament of Australia.’
Labor MP Graham Perrett:
‘This is a myopic red-neck reaching out from another time to another people. Modern Australia has moved on’
Liberal Democrats senator David Leyonhjelm:
‘It is an over-reaction to a term which has multiple meanings. Nobody owns the term “final solution”.
‘If you are a little snowflake, you can go rushing around, taking offence at all kinds of things.’
Source: AAP, ABC News
‘I don’t want those people in this country. I think the vast majority of Australians agree with me. No-one wants to put it to a vote,’ Mr Anning said.
Speaking on talkback radio later on Wednesday morning, Mr Anning likened accepting Muslim immigrants to poisonous jelly beans.
‘If you can tell me which ones [Muslims] are not going to cause us harm then fine, that’d be great,’ he told Alan Jones on 2GB.
‘Unfortunately if you have a jar of jelly beans and three of them are poison you’re not going to try any of them.’
The speech to parliament was widely condemned by politicians from both major parties, and the Greens.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull retweeted a statement from Alan Tudge, Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs.
‘Fraser Anning’s comments on immigration do not reflect the views of the Government nor the views of fair minded Australians,’ Mr Tudge said.
‘We will always maintain a non-discriminatory immigration program.’
‘Well said Alan,’ Mr Turnbull wrote in response. ‘Australia is the most successful multicultural society in the world built on a foundation of mutual respect.
‘We reject and condemn racism in any form.’
Greens leader Richard Di Natale slammed Mr Anning’s speech as racist and bigoted and demanded he apologise for using the term ‘final solution’.
‘Fraser Anning’s vile comments in the Senate today were absolutely beyond the pale and if he has a shred of decency, he will immediately apologise,’ Mr Di Natale said.
After his speech was attacked by Mr Di Natale and senior Labor frontbenchers Tony Burke and Chris Bowen, Mr Anning released a statement dismissing their criticism.
‘Some in the media and left wing politicians are simply afraid of the Australian people having a say on who comes here,’ Mr Anning said.
‘As I called for a plebiscite on the immigration mix, this baseless and ridiculous criticism is simply an effort to play the man and not the ball.
Mr Anning said it was ironic that he was being criticised by politicians from Labor and the Greens who had voted against his pro-Israel proposals in the past.
Senator Fraser Anning (pictured) has defended his controversial maiden speech in which he said all terrorists are Muslim and called for a plebiscite on immigration
‘[They] are the same people who refused to support my efforts to stop Australia funding the Palestinian Authority who finance terrorist attacks against innocent Israeli women and children,’ he said.
Mr Anning’s maiden speech was also criticised for defending the White Australia Policy, and for repeated attacks on Muslim immigrants.
Callig for an end to Muslim immigration and advocating a program that favours ‘European Christian’ values, Mr Anning claimed a majority of Australian Muslims live on welfare and do not work.
‘While all Muslims are not terrorists, certainly all terrorists these days are Muslims,’ Mr Anning said.
‘So why would anyone want to bring more of them here?’
Malcolm Turnbull was among those who condemned Mr Anning’s controversial speech (pictured, above)
His proposed plebiscite would allow people to decide whether they want wholesale non-English speaking immigrants from the third world, he said.
Mr Anning said Australia was entitled to insist migrants were predominantly of ‘European Christian composition’.
He also called for the government to ban all welfare payments to migrants in the first five years of living in Australia, labelling many asylum seekers as ‘welfare seekers’.
‘Ethno-cultural diversity – which is known to undermine social cohesion – has been allowed to rise to dangerous levels in many suburbs,’ Mr Anning said.
‘In direct response, self-segregation, including white flight from poorer inner-urban areas, has become the norm.’
Mr Anning also warned of a growing threat from China and called for government spending cuts.
He suggested building more coal-fired power plants, supporting agriculture, and called for culture to be ‘taken back’ from left wing extremists.