Australian far-right leader’s ‘Burqa Stunt’ stirs controversy

Web Desk) – A far-right leader’s appearance in the Australian Senate clad in a black burqa in a bid to campaign for a ban on the garment in public places has been criticised by members of the Senate.

Senator Pauline Hanson wore a burqa, an all-enveloping garment worn by some Muslim women in Australia, while lecturing on the role of the government and Muslims.

Australian One Nation party leader, Senator Pauline Hanson pulls off a burqa in the Senate chamber at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia. Photo: Reuters

According to Reuters, Hanson appeared in the assembly wearing the burqa. She removed the burqa after 20 minutes before speaking on the banning of the attire for the sake of ‘public and security reasons’.

The leader of the far-right One Nation Party spoke to the Senate, “I m quite happy to remove this because this is not what should belong in this parliament,” Hanson, who leads the far-right One Nation party, told the Senate.

“If a person who wears a balaclava or a helmet in to a bank or any other building, or even on the floor of the court, has to remove it, why is it not the same case for someone who is covering up their face and cannot be identified?”

Hanson gained popularity during the 90s because of her vocal opposition towards the immigration from Asia and to asylum seekers. In her recent campaigns Hanson talks against Islamic clothing and the building of mosques.

  Photo: Reuters

Hanson’s burqa stunt wasn’t received well by some Senators who were appalled. Attorney General George Brandis admonished Hanson. He condemned her for offending religious groups.

“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,” he said.

The leader of the government in the Senate, the attorney general George Brandis, who was appalled by Hanson’s burqa stunt told the One Nation leader the ruling Coalition had no intention of banning the burqa.

Brandis received applause from opposition parties. He also stated Senator Hanson’s action has alienated approximately 500,000 Muslim Australians.

“We all know that you are not adherent of the Islamic faith. I would caution and counsel you with respect to be very, very careful of the offense you may do to the religious sensibilities of other Australians.”

Brandis also added: “No, Senator Hanson, we will not ban the burqa.”

Senators criticised Hanson’s stunt in the Assembly and stated that: “It is one thing to wear religious dress as a sincere act of faith, there is another to wear it as a stunt here in the chamber,” said Labor Senator Penny Wong.

Adel Salman, vice president of the Islamic Council of Victoria state, said Hanson s action was “a mockery of her position”. “It is very disappointing, but not surprising as she has sought to mock the Islamic faith time and time again.”

According to BBC, Hanson’s motion to ban the garment (burqa) will be debated further on Thursday. She stated her views online, “the need to ban full face coverings in public [is] an important issue facing modern Australia”.