Cormann lashes ‘white supremacist ideology’
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann has repeated one of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's most memorable phrases following the Christchurch attack when he said Australia "utterly condemns and rejects" white supremacist ideology.
Speaking in Federal Parliament on Tuesday, the Western Australian senator led a commemoration to the victims of the mass shootings.
Fifty people died and as many were injured in the shootings at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in the South Island city.
An Australian man is awaiting trial charged with murder.
"We rally together - as senators, as parliamentarians, and as Australians - to totally condemn that vile act and the repulsive white supremacist ideology that inspired it," he said in the Senate.
Senator Cormann said Australia extended the hand of sympathy not just to a neighbour "but to one dear friend grieving for the suffering of another".
He said the crimes were committed against innocent men, women and children who were active contributors in their community and nation as students, business owners, parents, sportspeople and more.
"But (the attacks) were also an attack on an idea. The idea that a people can celebrate diversity, not abhor it.
"The idea that a nation can be home to people of a great diversity of different faiths, races and creeds and find strength in that difference, not weakness."
Senator Cormann addressed Muslims on both sides of the ditch.
"To the Muslim communities of Christchurch, New Zealand and Australia, we stand in solidarity with you. Your right to observe your faith is that which should be enjoyed by every person everywhere. It is undeniable," Senator Cormann said.
Then, echoing the words of Ms Ardern in the immediate aftermath of the attack - when she said "You may have chosen us, but we utterly reject and condemn you" - Mr Cormann said: "And to all those who fan the flames of racism, hatred and violence, we utterly condemn and reject you."
Meanwhile, the fallout from Senator Fraser Anning's widely condemned remarks following the tragedy continues to reverberate.
On Tuesday, the Senate will debate a censure motion against the Queenslander who blamed the attack against Muslims on Muslim immigration.
Earlier today, New Zealand's Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters lashed out at Senator Anning, labelling the rogue Australian politician a "moron".
"I could call him a four-flushing, jingoistic moron, but you already know that in Australia," Mr Peters told Sky News.
"He is a national, absolute, democratic aberration. We all know why he's there. He's there by pure accident.
"It means you have to clean up your political system to avoid that sort of person making it into politics."
When Senator Anning arrived at parliament today, he said he had "no remorse" for his comments.
"I merely pointed out that immigration from Muslim countries invariably escalates terror attacks," Senator Anning said.
"I was never blaming the victims."