Right-wing Australian senator stages anti-Muslim “stunt” in federal parliament


Right-wing Australian senator stages anti-Muslim “stunt” in federal parliament

Oscar Grenfell

19 August 2017

In a gratuitous anti-Muslim “stunt” that provoked widespread public revulsion, Pauline Hanson, leader of the xenophobic One Nation party, wore a burka during question time in the Australian Senate on Thursday.

Hanson’s donning of the full-length Islamic covering was the crudest expression of a protracted campaign, spearheaded by the major political parties, to demonise Muslims, as part of a broader effort to whip-up nationalism and jingoistic backwardness.

In the Senate, Hanson reiterated her party’s call for the burka to be banned. She repeated her unsubstantiated claims that the veil was a “security threat” and attempted to link the garment to terrorism.

Underscoring the transparently racist character of One Nation’s anti-Muslim agitation, Hanson told Sky News the burka endangered “social cohesion” and was “confronting” and “un-Australian.”

No less obscene than Hanson’s actions was the response of prominent representatives of the Liberal-National Coalition government and the Labor Party.

Political figures who have witch-hunted Muslims, refugees and other oppressed sections of the working class—in order to legitimise Australia’s participation in US-led wars in the Middle-East, justify the erosion of basic democratic rights, and divert attention from the social crisis caused by their pro-business policies—adopted a hypocritical posture of moral outrage.

Leading the way was Attorney-General George Brandis, who decried Hanson’s actions as “appalling.” Outlining his real concerns, Brandis told the Senate that as attorney-general, intelligence and police officials had told him “it is vital for their intelligence and…

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