“Islam cannot have a significant presence in Australia if we are to live in an open, secular and cohesive society…we have seen the destruction it is causing around the world.”
The speech was eerily similar to her 1996 effort, where she made the same claim about Asians.
“I believe we are in danger of being swamped by Asians … they have their own culture and religion, form ghettos and do not assimilate.” Hanson said at the time.
This latest speech prompted a walk-out by the Greens and criticism from Queensland’s Islamic community. Ali Kadri, a spokesperson for the Islamic Council of Queensland, told the ABC:
“When somebody can stand up in the Senate and say things which are not only wrong but illegal, in the sense that she’s preaching for something which is against our constitution, we have a serious issue because people will see this as a ticket to be openly racist and express opinions which are not only incorrect but immoral.”
While Hanson continues to reinforce her reputation as a one-trick pony, former prime minister John Howard has come to the senator’s defence:
“When I was in politics I always thought it was a mistake and it was inaccurate and it was unfair to brand her supporters as racist and it remains my view, and I don’t think anything is gained by those allegations.” He told 774 ABC Melbourne.
We will have to listen to Pauline Hanson for several more years.