Fraser Anning delivers his maiden speech at the Australian Parliament on Aug. 14, 2018, Tuesday.
Fraser Anning delivers his maiden speech at the Australian Parliament on Aug. 14, 2018, Tuesday. Parliament of Australia

Senator Fraser Anning unwittingly united the Parliament with his controversial maiden speech on Tuesday. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten led the members to condemn Anning’s “final solution” in Australia’s immigration problem, in which he called for Muslim ban and a return to a “European Christian” Australia.

The Katter’s Australian Party senator has called for a White Australia policy, banning Muslim people from migrating to the country. He claimed that the majority of Muslims in Australia were a burden to society.

“I believe that the reasons for ending all further Muslim immigration are both compelling and self-evident,” he said. “The record of Muslims who have already come to this country in terms of rates of crime, welfare dependency and terrorism are the worst of any migrants and vastly exceed any other immigrant group. A majority of Muslims in Australia of working age do not work and live on welfare.”

He said that “black African Muslim gangs” were terrorising Melbourne and that the country has ISIS-sympathising Muslims who want to fight for the terrorist group.

“While all Muslims are not terrorists, certainly all terrorist these days are Muslims. So why would anyone want to bring more of them here?”

The senator called for a complete overhaul of the immigration system, saying the parties should recognise the importance of “our predominantly European identity.”

He added, “The final solution to the immigration problem is, of course, a popular vote.”

He also opposed the “’gender fluidity’ garbage” that is taught in school these days. “Given that everyone knows there are only two genders, if you can be persuaded to agree to and advocate in support of the false claim that there are ‘an infinite number of genders,’ then, without realising it, you have surrendered your political soul.”

‘Final solution’

Anning also used the term “final solution” in his speech on immigration. The phrase was used by Adolf Hitler’s Nazis to annihilate the Jews from Europe. On Wednesday, when “Today” host Georgie Gardner called him out for using a Nazi term to ban Muslims from Australia, he claimed “he didn’t even think” about whether it would be offensive because he didn’t mean it about the Nazis.

“All I said was the final solution to the immigration problem is a vote of the Australian people,” he claimed. “That has nothing to do with the ‘Final Solution.’ The thought police got onto that.”

‘Condemning racism in any form’

On Wednesday, senators from different parties were up in arms over Anning’s speech, with many of them calling it racist and bigoted.

Labor frontbencher Tony Burke called Anning’s speech as “bile,” saying the Katter’s Australian Party member belittled Australians and divided the country with his comments.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale, on the other hand, called Anning’s comments as “vile,” demanding an apology from him. “Referring to immigrants, particularly Muslim immigrants, with the same language that the Nazis used to discuss the extermination of Europe’s Jews during the Holocaust is vile, racist, bigoted, and has no place in our society, let alone our Parliament,” Di Natale said.

Labor Senate Leader Penny Wong said Anning’s speech “was not worthy of this Parliament” as it sought to divide people and fan prejudice and racism. She moved a motion for the Senate to acknowledge the action of the Holt government, which dismantled the White Australia Policy.

Turnbull, Shorten condemn Anning’s speech

horten also announced to move the motion to acknowledge the historic action of the Holt government.

Turnbull agreed, saying Anning’s speech had only helped terrorists.

“Let’s be quite clear, those who seek to demonise all Muslims on the basis of the crimes of a tiny minority are helping the terrorists. I’ll be very clear about this. I say this as prime minister whose most solemn responsibility is to keep Australians safe. I want to say this very, very carefully, solemnly, seriously:

“The terrorists’ argument, the Islamist terrorists’ argument, to other Muslims is your country, Australia, is not your country. They don’t want you. They hate you. You’re not ever going to be really Australian. Join the war on our side.

“So those who try to demonise Muslims because of the crimes of a tiny minority are only helping the terrorists.”

Even Pauline Hanson was ‘appalled’

When One Nation founder Pauline Hanson delivered her maiden speech in the ‘90s, she claimed that Australia was “in danger of being swamped by Asians.” Although they had different target groups, the sentiment of Hanson and Anning’s speeches were said to be similar. That is why Anning was compared to Hanson following his speech. But Hanson has distanced herself from Anning.

Pauline Hanson
Australian senator Pauline Hanson reacts as she talks with local Aboriginal people in the northern Australian town of Rockhampton in Queensland, Australia, November 8, 2017. Reuters/Jonathan Barrett

“To actually hear people say not that, as Senator [Derryn] Hinch said, it is like hearing Pauline Hanson on steroids — I take offence to that because why relate it back to me?” Hanson said on Wednesday.

She said that although she was not present in the chamber when Anning made his speech the day before, she watched it from her office and was “appalled.”

Hanson said Anning was responsible for his speech but was not the one who wrote it. It was apparently written “by a Richard Howard, straight from Goebbels’ handbook from Nazi Germany.” She said Howard had asked him for a job but she refused to take him on. She also warned Anning not to hire Howard.

“Now, as I said, I’m appalled by Fraser Anning’s speech. I have always spoken up on issues with regards to our country and I will stand by those views that I have. We are a multi-racial society. I have always advocated you do not have to be white to be Australia.”