Hanson scorned for Senate burqa stunt

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One Nation leader Senator Pauline Hanson wears an Islamic veil in the Senate chamber at Parliament House in Canberra. PICTURE: AAP

Canberra
Pauline Hanson has drawn a stinging rebuke from the Attorney-General after entering the Senate wearing a burqa.
The One Nation leader took her seat during question time yesterday wearing the Islamic veil before debate on banning full-face coverings in public.
Hanson removed the face covering to ask Attorney-General George Brandis a question about banning the burqa.
An angry Brandis said the government would not consider such a ban.
“I would caution and counsel you with respect to be very, very careful of the offence you may do to the religious sensibilities of other Australians,” he said.
The vast majority of Muslims in Australia were law-abiding, he said.
“To mock its religious garments is an appalling thing to do,” Brandis said.
The admonishment received a standing ovation from Labor and Greens senators while coalition senators also applauded.
Hanson then left the chamber with her full-face covering in hand.
The stunt drew anger from the Opposition benches, with crossbencher Derryn Hinch questioning whether Hanson could remain in the chamber.
Senate president Stephen Parry said her identity was confirmed before she entered, and he would not dictate dress standards.
Labor senator Sam Dastyari, a non-practising Muslim, struck out at the stunt.
“The Senate has become a circus. Hanson is a disgrace. Government is weak and reliant on her vote. Pathetic,” he tweeted.
“FFS The day after even the Trump administration called One Nation a risk to religious freedom Hanson walks into parl in a burqa.”
His colleague Helen Polley described the stunt as insensitive and disrespectful, while independent senator Cory Bernardi also weighed in. “I did warn you that proroguing the Parliament was in national interest. Things are getting seriously weirder by the day,” he tweeted. AAP

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