Katter’s Australia Party Senator Fraser Anning has been widely condemned for invoking the Holocaust in a racist maiden speech delivered in parliament.
The Queensland senator told the upper house on Tuesday night that Australia should ban the immigration of Muslims to Australia and return to a European-only immigration system as a “final solution,” invoking the Nazi regime and the Holocaust.
“We as a nation are entitled to insist that those who are allowed to come here predominantly reflect the historic European-Christian composition of Australian society,” 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 [migrant group] and vastly exceed any other immigrant.
“The final solution to the immigration problem is of course a popular vote.”
Senator Anning went on to describe the Safe Schools program and gender diversity as “garbage”.
“To describe the so-called Safe Schools and ‘gender fluidity’ garbage being peddled in schools as ‘cultural Marxism’ is not a throwaway line but a literal truth,” he said.
“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.”
Politicians united to condemn the speech, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull slamming the remarks as racist and “rejected by us all”.
“We are a nation that does not define its nationality, its identify by reference to race or religion, or cultural background or ethnic background, we define our by commitment to shared political values of freedom, of democracy and the rule of law,” he said.
“People from every corner of the earth, from every religion or of none, and every race, can connect, be inspired by, be part of those values. That is Australia.
“So we reject, we condemn racism in any form, and the remarks by Senator Anning are justly condemned and rejected by us all.”
But party leader Bob Katter praised the speech, which he described as “solid gold”.
“Absolutely 1000 per cent I support everything he said. His speech was absolutely magnificent,” he said.
“It is everything his country should be doing. It was solid gold.”
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said Anning’s speech was “racist, repugnant and disgraceful”.
“I do not like seeing majorities pick on minorities. That is not the Australian way,” he said.
Labor Senator Penny Wong on Wednesday moved and passed a bipartisan motion to voice support for multicultural Australia and the merits of immigration.
“A nation that is divided is never stronger and making others lesser – fanning prejudice and discrimination – has never made a nation safer,” she said.
“The best way to deal with people going low is to go high and, today, I think this is a chamber in the Parliament of which Australians can be proud.”