Far-right politician dons burka in senate stunt


Last Updated Aug 17, 2017 4:33 AM EDT

CANBERRA, Australia — An Australian senator has provoked an angry backlash from lawmakers by wearing a burqa in Parliament as part of her campaign for a national ban on Islamic face coverings.

Pauline Hanson, leader of the anti-Muslim, anti-immigration One Nation minor party, sat wearing the black head-to-ankle garment for more than 10 minutes on Thursday before taking it off as she rose to explain that she wanted such outfits banned on national security grounds.

Australia Burqa Stunt

In this combination of photos Sen. Pauline Hanson takes off a burqa she wore into the Senate chamber at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017.

Lukas Coch / AP

Attorney-General George Brandis drew applause when he said his government would not ban the burqa, and chastised Hanson for what he described as a “stunt” that offended Australia’s Muslim minority.

“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 reflect on what you have done,” Brandis said, according to BBC News.

Senate President Stephen Parry said Hanson’s identity had been confirmed before she entered the chamber.

Hanson generated controversy in 2016 when she gave a widely condemned speech in which she said Australia was being “swamped by Muslims.”

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