By Natalie Cornish
One Nation leader, Pauline Hanson has defended wearing the burqa in parliament yesterday saying she “did it to prove a point” about national security and felt “terrible” but not nervous peering out at the chamber from inside.
Hanson has ignited a heated and divisive debate about religious freedom after she donned the full veil during question time.
The Queensland senator entered parliament in the full black veil, and took her seat as fellow politicians groaned and shook their heads in disbelief.
She then rose to her feet and removed the garment with an arrogant smirk.
Attorney-General George Brandis instantly condemned her actions. His emotional speech, in which he called Hanson out for “ridiculing” Muslims and branded her actions “appalling” was applauded both in the house and on social media.
Now, she’s spoken to Karl Stefanovic on the TODAY show about the stunt saying she wasn’t proud of her actions but “did it to prove a point” about national security and “social cohesion”.
“My private member’s bill that I moved on the floor later in the day was all about banning the burqa in Australia based on national security, based on the fact I’m wanting social cohesion. This is the case in many countries around the world.”
Brandis had hit back at Hanson’s claims in the chamber saying: “I can tell you, Senator Hanson, that 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 intelligence and law enforcement work that they work co-operatively 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.”