Australian senator uses Nazi phrase to call for ban on Muslim immigrants

Fraser Anning condemned across the political spectrum over ‘final solution’ demand

Australia Muslims
Australian Muslims mark the Eid al-Adha festival with prayers inside a rugby ground in Western Sydney in 2016
(Image credit: Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images)

Australian politicians from across the spectrum have united to condemn a senator who employed Nazi terminology to call for a ban on Muslim immigrants.

Queensland senator Fraser Anning used his maiden speech in the upper chamber of the Australian Parliament, in Canberra, to accuse Muslim Australians of crime, welfare dependency and complicity in terrorism.

The reasons for ending all further Muslim immigration “are both compelling and self-evident”, Anning said, before claiming that a national referendum on the “problem” was the “final solution”.

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His choice of the phrase “final solution” - used by Nazi high command during the Holocaust as a euphemism for the mass extermination of Jews - provoked instant and widespread condemnation, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that Anning’s views were “appalling” and that his language was a “shocking insult” to the more than six million Jews who died in the Holocaust.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten called Anning’s speech “repugnant and disgraceful”, while independent senator Derryn Hinch labelled it “vomitous poison”.

Anning is the first and only senator for the far-right Katter’s Australian Party, founded in 2011 by Bob Katter, the party’s sole MP.

The embattled Queensland representative was originally elected as a replacement for a senator from Pauline Hanson’s nationalist One Nation party, but chose to sit as an independent before switching his allegiance to Katter in June this year.

Hanson has warned previously that Australia was in danger of being “swamped by Muslims”, but has united with mainstream politicians to condemn Anning’s rhetoric, which she compared to that of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels.

Anning claims he did not intentionally invoke Nazi Germany. “I hadn't even thought about it,” he told radio station 2GB.

The senator also drew criticism for suggesting that Australians could return to the “White Australia” policy, which placed heavy restrictions on non-European immigration until the late 1960s.

Penny Wong, Senate leader of the Australian Labor Party, said that the policy had been “rightly consigned… to the dustbin of history”.

Meanwhile, rival party leader Katter said he stood by Anning’s speech “1,000%”.

“We do not want people coming in from the Middle East or North Africa unless they’re the persecuted minorities,” he said, describing Anning’s address as “solid gold”.

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