The leader of of Australia’s populist One Nation party, Pauline Hanson, tried to persuade her fellow lawmakers to support her proposal to ban full-face covers Thursday by showing up to a parliamentary session in a burqa.
The stunt went on for about 20 minutes before Hanson took the floor to address the issue.
“I’m quite happy to remove this because this is not what should belong in this parliament,” Hanson told the Senate, according to Reuters. “If a person who wears a balaclava or a helmet to a bank or any other building, or even on the floor of the court, they must be removed. Why is it not the same case for someone who is covering up their face and cannot be identified?”
Other lawmakers were less amused by Hanson’s “offensive and dangerous display.”
Iranian-born Labor Party member Sam Dastyari, who described himself as a “non-practicing Muslim,” slammed Hanson for “targeting” Australian Muslims. (RELATED: Australian Community Bans Synagogue Construction Because Terrorists Might Target It)
“The close to 500,000 Muslim Australians do not deserve to be targeted, do not deserve to be marginalized, do not deserve to be ridiculed, do not deserve to have their faith made some political point by the desperate leader of a desperate political party,” Dastyari told the Senate, according to Sky News.
Several European countries, including France, Belgium and the Netherlands, have imposed restrictions on face-covering veils in recent years.
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