'Egg Boy' Wins Mass Public Support; Australian Prime Minister Says Senator Who Punched Teen Should Feel Full Force of Law

Australian Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has expressed his opinion on Saturday's fracas between an anti-immigrant senator and the teenager who smashed an egg on his head during a press event. Morrison said Sunday that Senator Fraser Anning should should feel the full force of the law for allegedly punching the teen who egged him.

On Friday, a gunman killed at least 50 people after he opened fire at the Masjid Al Noor and Linwood Masjid mosques in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand.

Shortly after the shooting, Anning, a senator for Queensland, Australia, put out a statement in which he said, "whilst this kind of violent vigilantism can never be justified, what it highlights is the growing fear within our community, both in Australia and New Zealand of the increasing Muslim presence.

"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."

Anning's comments were quickly slammed on Friday. Prime Minister Morrison tweeted: "The remarks by Senator Fraser Anning blaming the murderous attacks by a violent, right-wing, extremist terrorist in New Zealand on immigration are disgusting. Those views have no place in Australia, let alone the Australian Parliament."

And former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called Anning "a disgrace to the Senate."

"What is worse by spreading hatred and turning Australians against each other he is doing exactly what the terrorists want," Turnbull said.

The controversy surrounding Anning deepened when he punched a 17-year-old boy after the teenager egged him at a press conference.

Footage of the altercation quickly went viral, and the teenager was dubbed "egg boy" by social media users.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters on Sunday, according to the Associated Press: "The full force of the law should be applied to Sen. Anning."

Australia's Victoria Police said in a statement it was actively investigating the incident, the Associated Press reported. Anning "retaliated and struck the teen twice," they said.

Social media users rallied in support of "egg boy," with one tweet joking he was an Australia hero alongside the late conservationist Steve Irwin.

Australian heroes:

- Steve Irwin (rip)
- egg boy

— Rossalyn Warren (@RossalynWarren) March 16, 2019

"Egg boy showed the world that religion, age or ethnicity doesn`t matter when it comes to standing up against oppression, hatred and evil. You only need a pure heart and the egg boy has a heart of gold! Bless you #EggBoy," wrote another user.

"I'm not sayyyyiinnngg what #Eggboy did was 'right'. But I AM saying that if I was his mom, he definitely wouldn't be grounded," a separate Twitter used said.

However, some questioned whether the teenager's actions were appropriate while New Zealand was in mourning.

"This is disappointing," a user posted on Twitter. "We are all hurting right now, but we should NEVER be promoting and celebrating violence. Both 'egg boy' was wrong to physically attack the racist senator, and the senator should NEVER have retaliated."

Over the weekend, a petition to see Senator Anning removed from parliament became the largest and the fastest growing in Australian history on Change.Org, executive director of Change.Org Sally Rugg told the Sydney Morning Herald.

In the wake of Friday's attack, Australian Brenton Harris Tarrant, 28, has been charged with murder. He appeared in court on Saturday morning. Prior to the attack which he live-streamed on Facebook, he shared a 74-page extreme-right wing, white nationalist manifesto online.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the attack as "an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence."

She said on Friday: "It has no place in New Zealand. Many of those affected will be members of our migrant communities. New Zealand is their home—they are us."