politics

The moment a One Nation senator foolishly slams Waleed Aly's terror stance on The Project.

If you didn’t tune into The Project on Wednesday night, you missed an epic showdown between One Nation Queensland senator Malcolm Roberts and the panel comprising of Peter Helliar, Hamish Macdonald, Carrie Bickmore and Gretel Killeen.

Let’s just say things got a little bit feisty when Roberts’ party’s position towards Muslim immigration was broached.

The panel took issue with some of the Senator’s sweeping statements about the globe’s second largest religion, which included “[Islam] disrespects women.”

Guest host Hamish Macdonald set the tone of the interview, posing the question many at odds with One Nation want answered.

“Senator, your party has said that we’re being ‘swamped by Muslims’. What does that mean? What are the numbers?”

"What does that mean?" (Image: Channel 10)

"I'm glad you raised that," Roberts replied. "The percentage of our community in Australia that are Buddhists is 2.5 per cent. The percentage of our community that is Islam is 2.2 per cent.

"How often do we hear from the Buddhist community? How often do we hear complaints of Buddhist terrorism?"

But Macdonald refused to let his original point go.

"I just wonder what you mean by 'swamped'? How fast are the numbers increasing?"

It was a question Roberts could not answer.

"I don't know that, we have an advisor who goes into all of that.... our culture being swamped is what we're discussing."

"But you said we're being swamped by Muslims," Macdonald retorted. "So I just want to know what the figures are and you say you don't know them."

The importance of statistics was lost on the Senator, who began a diatribe about Sharia Law, and the importance of migrants "fitting into our culture, our laws".

"Don't you know what the fastest growing faith other than Christianity is in Australia?" Macdonald asked.

It appeared Roberts didn't know that fact, either.

 "Don't you know what the fastest growing faith other than Christianity is in Australia?" (Image: Channel 10)

"Don't you think you ought to know that before you go saying this sort of stuff in public?"

"No I don't think we need to know that," Roberts told a chuckling audience and reeling panel. "What we need to focus on is whether Islam is an ideology or a religion. And it's quite clear in our mind that it's an ideology and it doesn't fit with our culture.

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"It disrespects women... and think of the way gays are treated in the Middle East, surely you're not in favour of that are you?"

It was Killeen who jumped in to respond with the perfect antidote.

"Well, I really don't think that's a good reference point, considering [gays] don't have the right to marry here," she said, continuing: "For heaven's sake, I mean honestly your party does have a history of wanting to persecute people, of wanting to hate someone.

"Twenty years ago it was the Asians, at the moment it's Muslims. Now, what happens if a whole lot of Christians arrive, swamping us from Central America? Will you dislike them?"

It was a valid point that fell on deaf ears.

"The number one thing we have to remember here is the protection of our culture," Roberts said. "Pauline Hanson 20 years ago had a policy to stop the boats, and as a result of that finally being implemented we have now got the opportunity to bring in genuine humanitarian refugees."

 Bickmore and Roberts butt heads. (Image: Channel 10)

"So how far does it go?" an otherwise quiet Helliar interjected. "Do we deport Muslims who are living here? Should the man who usually sits to my left - Waleed [Aly] - be deported or relegated to breakfast TV in Syria? What are you suggesting?"

To the panel's shock and anger, Roberts then took aim at an absent Waleed.

"It would certainly be nice if Waleed actually condemned and didn't condone Islamic terrorism, wouldn't that be a good start?"

The panel didn't bother to warrant the rogue, glaringly false statement with a response.

"I don't think anyone needs to say anything but quite clearly he does," Macdonald fired back. "Senator, for your reference, in future it's Hinduism [the second fastest growing religion in Australia].

"Senator - uhhh, what's his name?" Macdonald asked his co-hosts to an erupting audience, before wrapping the segment up: "We'll be back with more in a moment."

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