One Nation party leader Pauline Hanson has shocked the Senate by walking into the chamber wearing a burqa.

The Queensland Senator, who has been outspoken about her opposition to the burqa, was pictured in the Islamic garb when she appeared at Parliamentary Question Time on Thursday afternoon.

Standing to address the Senate, Ms Hanson called for the Government to ban ‘oppressive’ full-face coverings

She pulled the stunt ahead of a debate on full-face coverings in public.

‘I’m quite happy to remove this, because this is not what should belong in this Parliament,’ she said.

Her appearance was met with laughter and outrage, prompting Senate President Stephen Parry to call for order.

‘In light of our national security of this nation, will you work to ban the burqa in Australia?’ she said.

‘There have been 13 foiled national threats against us with terrorism, three that have been successful and Australians have lost their lives.

‘Terrorism is a true threat to our country. Many Australians are very much in fear of it.

‘A large majority of Australians wish to see the banning of the burqa.’

Ms Hanson said the idea for her burqa stunt was born when Senate President Stephen Parry told her last year that anyone could wear a burqa in Parliament.

She said the burqa was an ‘important issue’ facing modern Australia.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Senator Hanson said the burqa ‘presented barriers to assimilation’.

She said the Islamic dress ‘disadvantaged women from finding employment, was causing issues inside our justice system, presented a clear security threat and had no place in modern Western society’.

Ms Hanson’s dress choice prompted Senate President Stephen Parry to call for order in the chamber.

‘I’ve been advised by the clerk that the identity of Senator Hanson was established before she entered the chamber,’ Senate President Stephen Parry said.

The stunt drew anger from the opposition benches, with crossbencher Derryn Hinch questioning whether Senator Hanson could remain in the chamber.

‘I understand that she is not a Muslim, not of Islamic faith. Can I appear tomorrow in fancy dress unchallenged?’ he asked the president.

Senator Parry said he was not going to dictate the standard of dress for senators.

Senator Hanson will move a motion in parliament on Thursday, to be debated in the afternoon, calling on the federal government to ban the burqa.

Independent senator Cory Bernardi also weighed in on the stunt.

‘I did warn you that proroguing the parliament was in national interest. Things are getting seriously weirder by the day,’ he posted to Twitter.

Attorney-General George Brandis choked back tears as he tore into Senator Hanson for wearing the Islamic garb onto the floor of the Senate.

The fiery One Nation senator had urged the government to ban the burqa for ‘national security reasons’ but Mr Brandis was having none of it.

‘I am not going to pretend to ignore the stunt that you have tried to pull today by arriving in the Chamber dressed in a burqa.

‘We all know that you are not an adherent of the Islamic faith. I would caution and counsel you with respect to be very, very careful of the offence you may do to the religious sensibilities of other Australians.

‘We have about 500,000 Australians in this country of the Islamic faith. And the vast majority of them are law abiding good Australians.’

The government’s top law enforcement official, Senator Brandis said he had responsibility for national security policy.

‘And I can tell you, Senator Hanson, that is it has been the advice of each Director-General of security with whom I have worked and each Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police with whom I have worked that it is vital for their ntelligence and law enforcement work that they work cooperatively with the Muslim community.

‘And to ridicule that community, to drive it into a corner, to mock its religious garments is an appalling thing to do and I would ask you to reflect on what you have done.’
Ms Hanson’s stunt sparked a social media frenzy.

‘Pauline Hanson has absolutely no shame. She is beyond any level of decency. Should be banned from parliament,’ one woman said.

‘I tell you what, for anyone who didn’t realise it was Pauline Hanson under that burqa, it would have been a rude shock,’ another said.

One person supported her message and said they ‘agree that the burqa does not belong in Australia. We are not Saudi Arabia. It is ugly and scary’.


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