An anti-immigration lawmaker in Australia who has been criticized for blaming Muslim immigration for Friday’s New Zealand shootings struck a teenager who smashed an egg on his head in Melbourne on Saturday.
In video footage on the Facebook page of the senator, Fraser Anning, the teenager can be seen approaching him as he speaks to reporters in a southeastern suburb of Melbourne. The teenager raises a mobile phone in one hand and smashes the egg on the back of Mr. Anning’s head with the other.
In response, Mr. Anning turns swiftly and strikes the young man in the face twice. A scuffle ensues in which several other men tackle the teenager to the ground while swearing at him. The video shows them holding the teenager on the ground in a chokehold until police officers arrive.
A spokesman for Victoria Police said officers had arrested a 17-year-old man at the scene and later released him pending further inquiries.
After at least 49 people were shot and killed at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday, Mr. Anning said in a statement widely shared on Twitter, “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.”
[Read our latest updates on the New Zealand shooting.]
His remarks drew condemnation across the political spectrum.
“These comments are appalling and they’re ugly and they have no place in Australia,” said Scott Morrison, Australia’s prime minister, according to the ABC, the national broadcaster.
Mr. Anning, 69, who was elected as a senator from Queensland in 2017, is known for his anti-immigration views and inflammatory remarks.
Last summer, he invoked a Nazi euphemism for genocide as he called for Muslims to be barred from entering Australia, telling Parliament, “The final solution to the immigration problem, of course, is a popular vote.”
On Saturday, people were donating funds online to cover the teenager’s legal fees, the ABC reported, and to help him buy “more eggs.”