Australian Politician Shows Up in a Burqa to Call For Its Ban

Bryan Michalek | August 17, 2017
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Pauline Hanson of Australia's right-wing One Nation party shocked many fellow politicians when she entered the Senate chamber fully covered by a burqa, complete with a face mesh, and followed up by demanding a ban on the controversial piece of clothing.

In a video obtained by Newsweek, Hanson can be seen walking up to a podium fully dressed in the burqa before removing it and saying, "I'm quite happy to remove this because this is not what should belong in this Parliament." 

Hanson went on to cite security concerns as a reason why Australia should ban the head-to-toe Muslim dress.

"In light of what is happening with national security, there has been 13 foiled national threats against us with terrorism. Three that have been successful and Australians have lost their lives," she said. "Terrorism is a true threat to our country. Many Australians are very much in fear of it. What I would like to ask on behalf of the Australian people considering there has been a large majority of Australians wish to see the banning of the burqa."

In response, fellow politician and Australia's attorney general George Brandis cautioned Hanson to "be very, very careful of the offense you may do to the religious sensibilities of other Australians" by wearing a burqa as a non-Muslim.

Brandis also denounced Hanson for her "ridicule" of "religious garments" as an "appalling thing to do," a statement which was met with applause from across the Senate chamber.

Many Australians came out against Hanson's ploy, including Cory Bernardi, a conservative member of the Senate, who said, "I'm just as concerned about the dignity of our Parliament system as I am about preserving our culture and I don't like stunts of this nature to take place in our parliament."

While former Liberal Party member Bernardi said he shares Hanson's dislike of the burqa, he added he totally disagrees with her method of saying so.

Hanson has drawn criticism before over statements she's made regarding Muslim immigration, but has maintained her stance at every turn.

In a statement to Radio 2GB, Hanson said, "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." 

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(Cover photo credit: Marius Arnesen, Flickr)

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