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Australian Senator Pauline Hanson Wears Burqa

This Far-Right Senator Wore a Burqa to Prove a Point and a Lot of People Are Pissed

Pauline Hanson, far-right leader of Australia's One Nation party, had heads turning and jaws dropping as she walked into the Senate on Aug. 16 wearing a full-length burqa. While Senator Hanson's decision to wear the religious covering was supposed to support her speech asking for Parliament's ban of said coverings, the senators present called her "a disgrace."

When Hanson was called for questions regarding her argument, she dramatically removed the burqa and said, "I'm quite happy to remove this because this is not what should belong in this Parliament," before asking the attorney general to consider her proposal to ban the burqa in Australia.

Attorney General George Brandis, along with the majority of the group, were beyond appalled at Senator Hanson's actions, and he fired back passionately.

"Senator Hanson, no, we will not be banning the burqa," Brandis said. "Now, Senator Hanson, I am not going to pretend to ignore the stunt that you have tried to pull today by arriving in the Chamber dressed in a burqa when we all know that you are not an adherent of the Islamic faith. I would caution and counsel you Senator Hanson, with respect, to be very, very careful of the offense you may do to the religious sensibilities of other Australians."

He continued, "We have about half a million Australians in this country of the Islamic faith, and the vast majority of them are law-abiding good Australians . . . To ridicule that community, to drive it into a corner, to mock its religious garments is an appalling thing to do and I would ask you to reflect on what you have done."

While it appears on the surface that Hanson is trying to "relieve" Muslim women of the religious restrictions forcing their faces to be covered, she has actually been extremely open about her anti-Muslim views since being elected in 1996. According to Newsweek, she told radio 2GB she wants to ban the burqa for security reasons.

"With the amount of kids that these Muslims are having and breeding here in Australia . . . possibly, one day, maybe not in the next five years but further down the track, it might be [that] my daughter or grandchildren will be told, 'You must cover up,' as is the case in many countries," she said.

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