An Australian senator who blamed the tragic Christchurch massacre on Muslim immigration, inciting outrage worldwide, was caught on video punching a teenager on Saturday after being egged while talking to media.
Video of the incident shows a teenager approach Fraser Anning, the senator for Queensland, while he speaks to reporters in Melbourne. The teenager then raises his cellphone and smashes an egg on the back of Anning's head, who responds by twice striking the unknown teenager in the face.
Video shows two men tackle the teenager to the ground where they hold him in a chokehold until police arrive. According to the New York Times, police arrested the 17-year-old but later released him from custody.
The New Zealand Herald has more details:
After the teen was hauled away, a supporter to the senator the "younger generation" was "taking up the fight".
Senator Anning responded: "Well he's obviously a little on the crazy side, but yeah."
Far-right activist Neil Erikson was involved in tackling the teen to the ground, according to The Age. He shouted at organisers to remove the protestor and to remove reporters. "Get the journalist out of here ... If you don't like, get out," he said.
What did Anning say about the Christchurch attack?
In a statement released on his official parliamentary letterhead, Anning seemingly laid blame for the massacre at the feet of the Muslim community.
"I am utterly opposed to any form of violence within our community, and I totally condemn the actions of the gunman," he wrote. "However, whilst 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."
"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. Let us be clear, while Muslims may have been the victims today, usually they are the perpetrators," he continued.
The comments quickly generated outrage and backlash, even earning public condemnation from Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
The remarks by Senator Fraser Anning blaming the murderous attacks by a violent, right-wing, extremist terrorist in… https://t.co/1IvWQSXqjH— Scott Morrison (@Scott Morrison) 1552637643.0