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We thought Jacqui Lambie's calls to ban the burqa were ignorant. Then Pauline Hanson wrote this.

Pauline Hanson

By JOANNA ROBIN

Pauline Hanson has backed Jacqui Lambie’s calls to “ban the burqa” in an opinion piece published by news.com.au this week.

The One Nation founder – who once declared her belief in parliament that Australia was in danger of being swamped by Asians – has never been one to let facts stand in the way of her right to be a bigot.

Her latest piece, which calls on the government to outlaw full face covering garments in parliament, banks and public places for “security reasons”, is no exception.

It might not surprise you, but some of the facts she’s used to backup her latest argument aren’t so much facts as total bullshit.

Let’s take a look at the top ten.

Hanson fact #1: “I’m offended by the burqa, and opposed to even the niqab,” Ms Hanson writes, successfully identifying a distinction between the two garments unlike many other commentators on the topic.

Points for Pauline.

Jacqui Lambie on Sunrise.

She continues: “People wearing full face coverings, including women, are known to have hidden bombs underneath them which they’ve detonated in acts of terror, in various places around the world such as Chechnya.”

Are they? Female terrorists do exist, but they are a minority.

According to official statistics 113 Australians have been killed by terrorism since the 1978 Hilton Hotel bombing in Sydney – that includes Australians killed overseas and non-Australians killed here.

For some perspective last year’s national road toll was 1,193.

Hanson Fact #2: “The fact is, Muslim garments create fear,” Ms Hanson says.

The fact is, misinformation, underpinned by misunderstanding and prejudice creates fear. Clothing does not.

 

Hanson fact #3: “I know not every Muslim is a terrorist but, to the best of my knowledge; every terrorist attack has been by Muslims.”

Ms. Hanson’s knowledge doesn’t extend very far, apparently. The Hilton bombing, which is still Australia’s deadliest terror attack, killed three people and was linked to Ananda Marga, a religious philosophy that originated in India.

More than 10,000 bomb attacks took place in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain during the Northern Ireland conflict between 1969 and 1998, to name another example.

 

Hanson Fact #4: “Jacqui Lambie has made some good points.”

She hasn’t.

Whether it’s accusing the first female graduate of the Afghani regional police academy of being a terrorist via social media, or trying (and failing) explain Sharia law – she hasn’t.

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Telling Muslim women we’d like to see their “beautiful faces” as she did on Channel 7’s Sunrise last week is not a compelling argument, Jacqui.

Hanson Fact #5: “Wearing such garments is not the Australia way of life,” she writes. “When I went to the Vatican City I had to abide by their religious customs and dress conservatively. I expect the same of those who come here.”

Australia, unlike the Vatican City, is a secular country and one that recognises the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion and the Australian “way of life” is diverse.

Tanya Plibersek articulated the sentiment beautifully in Parliament last week when she said: “Our responsibility is to show our strength by embracing diversity, embracing difference, and speaking to all of our communities about what makes our community stronger.”

Hanson Fact #6: “I’m not having a go at their religion but everyone must be treated equally in this country.”

Agreed! Finally some more points for Pauline.

 

Hanson Fact #7: “I’ve always disagreed with multiculturalism and I was called racist because that was the only way to discredit me.”

You were called a racist, because you are one.

Racism is prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.

Disagreeing with multiculturalism because you think that your ‘culture’ is superior is, by definition, racist.

 

“I’m offended by the burqa, and opposed to even the niqab,” Ms Hanson wrote.

Hanson Fact #8: “Muslims are not a race so I’m sick of hearing that it’s racist.”

It may not be racist per se, but intolerance towards those who hold different opinions from one self is bigotry. So perhaps let’s call it that, just to be on the safe side.

 

Hanson Fact #9: “I reckon many Muslim women would love to break out of the burqa,” Ms Hanson said.

I reckon that sentence probably shouldn’t have made it past a sub-editor.

Maybe instead of speaking on behalf of Muslim women and presuming to tell them what does and does not liberate them our politicians could ask them?

A radical idea, I know.

Hanson Fact #10: “I want to see Tony Abbott step up and let the majority choose what they want.”

Last year, Ms Hanson returned to politics and ran as a senate candidate for One Nation in New South Wales.

In a clear-cut case of the majority rules, she didn’t win a seat.

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