Anti-Muslim Senator Wears Burka in Aussie Parliament

Other lawmakers slammed Pauline Hanson's stunt
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 17, 2017 12:43 AM CDT
Anti-Muslim Aussie Lawmaker Wears Burka in Parliament
Sen. Pauline Hanson, bottom left, wears a burka in the Senate chamber at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia on Thursday.   (Lukas Coch)

An Australian senator provoked an angry backlash from lawmakers by wearing a burka in Parliament on Thursday as part of her campaign for a national ban on Islamic face coverings. Pauline Hanson, leader of the anti-Muslim, anti-immigration One Nation minor party, sat wearing the black head-to-ankle garment for more than 10 minutes before taking it off as she rose to explain that she wanted such outfits banned on national security grounds, the AP reports. "There has been a large majority of Australians [who] wish to see the banning of the burka," said Hanson, an outspoken fan of President Trump, as senators objected.

Attorney-General George Brandis drew applause when he said his government would not ban the burka, chastising Hanson for what he described as a "stunt" that offended Australia's Muslim minority. "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," Brandis said. Opposition Senate leader Penny Wong told Hanson: "It is one thing to wear religious dress as a sincere act of faith; it is another to wear it as a stunt here in the Senate." Senate President Stephen Parry said Hanson's identity had been confirmed before she entered the chamber. (More Australia stories.)

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